Hon. Jude Chukwuemeka Idimogu, representing Oshodi/Isolo Constituency 2 in the Lagos State House of Assembly in this interview with Daily Independent, advised the people of the South East to align with the All Progressives Congress (APC), which according to him is capable of giving them the Presidency . Excerpts:
You have just been announced by the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the apex leader of the Ndigbos during a meeting with the lawmakers recently, what led to this?
To God be the glory, I always believe that one with God is majority. All the members of the Lagos State House of Assembly had a meeting with Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on Sunday 19th of July, 2020 and after that, we had a dinner. It was during this session that I spoke to the Speaker of the House, Rt. Hon. (Dr.) Mudashiru Ajayi Obasa to take me to the Governor. When we met the Governor, he said that he was aware of my new position as the Apex Leader of the Igbos in the state and the Governor told his Chief of Staff, Mr. Tayo Ayinde that henceforth, he should attend to me on anything that has to do with Igbos in the state. I never thought it could happen. I want to assure my people and all the Igbos in Lagos State that it is time for us to support the ruling party, the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Lagos State has been the second home of all the Igbos that are here. Lagos is the Japan of the Igbos; it is the America of the Igbos. Lagos State can be termed as the home of the Igbos in the Diaspora. Lagos State has been very homely. The Aworis who are the owners of Lagos State have been kind to the Igbos. There is no Igbo man or woman that can say he or she has not been at home in Lagos State and we are doing very well. That is why you see them thriving in their businesses. That is why Lagos is a unique state compared to other states in Nigeria. Lagos is the Centre of Excellence and it has been favourable, not only to the Igbos, but to the people of other tribes, even to non-Yorubas as well.
Igbos are many in Lagos State, they have invested in Lagos State. The investments of the Igbos in Lagos State alone is more than what they have in the five states in the eastern part of Nigeria put together. I always say that Igbo people talk about the unity of Nigeria more than others. Wherever they go, they establish their tentacles, they don’t care whether the place belongs to them or not. They invest their money and build structures there. That kind of people will never want anything that can affect their properties in such places. So, when you talk about the unity of this country, it is Ibo man.
In practical terms how do you want to ensure that the Igbos support the progressives in Lagos State because they usually support the conservatives?
We have started already; the train has left the station. We have been visiting all the local governments in Lagos State to tell the Igbos that things have changed. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is not our father’s party. There is no similarity of letter in Igbo and the PDP. So, the PDP is just an old platform for the Igbos, APC is the new platform, it is now a national party.
Today, APC is the party that is ruling in Nigeria and they rule in Lagos State. Instead of us to protest that we are being marginalised, thank God, the word marginalised is no longer being mentioned, I don’t know what happened. If you say somebody marginalises you, do you marginalise yourself ? Today, it is my joy that by the grace of God, He has put me in a little higher level in Lagos State politically. It is my duty to go round and tell them what we will gain a lot, when we are fully involved in politics. A typical Igbo man is a businessman; they are not concerned about the government. Unlike Hausa men who carry their radio all about and listen to news, an Igbo mam is busy with his business trying to make money. That is why you see them everywhere in terms of business, trading everyday.
An Igbo man goes out in the morning and comes back late in the night, it is my job to meet them in their workplaces that they should create time for politics and that this is the benefit they would get from politics. I am not saying you should leave your business, but you don’t say politics doesn’t concern you and when they make policies that negate your business, you start crying.
So you must make room to know what politics is all about and you must make room to influence those that are making policies that concern what you are doing. One policy can kill your business if you are not interested. It is high time they came out. I am not saying that all of them should contest elections, but you can influence political activities.
We must now look at where we are, we are in Lagos State, let us look at the party that is controlling government in the state, it is APC. If we are even looking at a party that can give Igbos chance at the presidency, it is the APC. The PDP has done it before for former president Goodluck Jonathan, but he is not an Igbo man he is a minority from the South South. We are looking forward that this great party, APC, can offer Igbos an opportunity for the presidency after our National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu might have gone there and spend eight years.
If you look at it, the South West is more prepared for the presidency in 2023 and we are believing that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has a better chance. We are still waiting for him to declare his intention and we are trying to prepare the ground for him and we are willing to support him. By the time he is through, he would look at how he could support the South East. The people of the South East should know that positions are not just given, they must struggle for it, we are not struggling enough.
Also, South East should know that they must work in tandem with other tribes, they must collaborate and that is the only way they can get it. Either they work with the South West or the North. If politics is a game, we must work with other tribes, we cannot achieve it alone and only APC, I believe can give us that opportunity. Lagos State would continue to belong to the APC or whatever name Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu gives the party he belongs because the state would continue to be under him. The leaders of the Yorubas in this state would continue to control the state.
The Igbos should fall in line with Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the APC in Lagos State and it shall be better for all of us. Once you support the party, you will get something.
There was this allegation that some Igbos were not allowed to vote in Okota area in Isolo in the last election, what can be done to avert this in the future?
That is why I am appealing to my people to support the government in power in the state, which is the APC. But somebody that is busy with his market everyday might not understand that. It is my duty to go to them and explain to them. I am privileged and I have to tell them. – Daily Independent.