Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Benjamin Kalu, has said that a special study carried out in the South-east has revealed that in the last two years the region has lost about N4 trillion to insecurity, especially the Monday sit-at-home, which paralyses economic activities in the area.
Hon. Kalu who disclosed this in his address at the annual all markets conference in Lagos organised by Ndigboamaka Progressive Markets Association, said that insecurity in the South-east is discouraging investment in the region.
He said Igbos should not blame any other region or other Nigerians but themselves for stultifying their economic growth and killing their fellow Igbos in a quest that will not benefit the people both in the short term and in the long term.
The federal lawmaker also said that Igbos and Yorubas should work together to buoy the nation’s economy by working together to ensure peace and harmony between the two tribes.
“In the last two years, we have lost N4 trillion due to the unrest in South-east. This rising development has caused us a lot as we keep losing business investment to the constant sit at home. We will tour igboland to bring calmness in the region. Insecurity remains a major problem in the East, the Yorubas are not our problem. We are our own problem in the east.
“When you build 100 houses in Lagos, build at least 50 in your home. No one said migration cannot be reversed. Migration can be reversed and people from Lagos can go to Igboland to buy goods. The constant killing, kidnapping, among others happening in the south east are not helping us. We need to readjust and arrange our home. This is not our identity. Igbos are not known for violence. We must rise up with one voice and denounce this ugly situation in our land. I’m pained that we are no longer safe in the land that our forefathers gave us.
We now sojourn in diaspora giving our children’s out in marriage in foreign land,” Kalu said.
In a speech, the Chairman of the occasion who is also the Chairman and CEO of United Nigeria Airlines, Prof. Obiora Okonkwo, maintained that there is no positive use for anyone to fan the embers of discord between the Yoruba and Igbo.
“The support Igbo traders gave the governor (Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu) in the March 2023 governorship election was not because he is Yoruba. It was rather because of the great competence he showed in piloting the affairs of the state during his first term. The traders also saw in him as a detribalised leader who eschewed discriminatory and divisive politics which Lagos, a melting pot of ethnicities, requires to excel.
This is why some of us are very troubled by the occasional diatribe between the Yoruba and Igbo in Lagos State as is currently the case. It is not only unnecessary but also of no positive use for anyone to fan the embers of discord between the Yoruba and Igbo who have harmoniously co-existed in Lagos, along with other ethnic groups for well over a century.
“The only people, who foster, revel in and benefit from such conflicts, are crisis merchants and we must rethink our association with them if we must maintain a decent relationship with our host communities. Let me stress that political tensions are inevitable in every society; even in the most advanced democracies. A key driver of such political tensions are interest group politics wherein diverse range of stakeholders try to advance their interests which can converge or diverge,” he said.