Tuesday, June 16, 2015

Why "Today, nobody in Lagos wants to rent to the Igbos

"Today, nobody in Lagos wants to rent to the Igbos
because of the choices made by some of them in the past.
and that's a fact" Unquote by  Rufus Orindare 

 Contrary to your blanket ignorance statement everybody wants to rent to Igbos and also everybody lets Igbo buy land across Nigeria, because of Igbo ability to pay and make everywhere their home. By these your blanket uninformed Statement above you are living in the fools paradise of  1970 mindset as if for 50 years Igbos have not  re-energized to achieve anything since after the war of 1966 to 1970 Biafran Nigerian  uncivil War, when millions of Igbos assets both landed properties, buildings and monetary assets where stolen, destroyed and some through Government policies were declared abandoned. Across Nigeria hottest real estate and land speculators,  Igbos are usually among the first groups of people that have good eyes  and ears on hot areas that are primed for development. Everybody rents and sells to Igbo because Igbo pays and Igbo knows it is good business.

Go find out who are the  big landowners, property owners,  landlords and tenants across Nigeria. For your information Igbos are not lacking in any front. Igbos are big landlords, large property owners and big land owners across Nigeria to your shock. Go and check it across Nigeria. Igbos are land owners and landlords in large number in every part of Nigeria including Lagos to your shock. Igbos have made great stride in all areas of life endeavors in Nigeria despite living under one of the world most corrupt and business repressive nation under every circumstance. Igbos from their  family, culture, villages and towns encourages them to be owners of their destiny everywhere.

In today Lagos State, We knew this much before now  and  as we speak Igbo high population areas and Igbo neighborhoods voted and sent about 6 PDP representatives to the Federal House of Representatives in Abuja from Lagos State. Also, Igbos elected 7 PDP representatives to Lagos State House members from Igbo high population areas of Lagos State for a total of 13 representatives from Lagos for both the Federal and State Houses. With these as facts and your ignorance lead you to make such a defeatist statement that because of the choices Igbos are making and talk about renting, while Igbos are at the level of very high proportion of Igbos are already  owners  of land and  properties  across Nigeria including Lagos--What choices are Igbos making if not the right choice as facts and evidence on ground proves it.

Rufus, One thing Igbos have achieved in Nigeria more than many of 350 tribes in Nigeria to your surprise is ownership of  lands , Buildings and properties ownership all over Nigeria. When you talk of renting and owning buildings in Nigeria please go and check the records and you will find out that Igbos are not lacking on average.

Igbos high ownership of buildings and landed properties to the turn of as high as  30 percent in some of the biggest cities in Nigeria is also a worry to many Igbos who want Igbo to bring back some theses assets and properties to Igboland . The critieria for any landlord to even rent to a tenant is ability to pay, and Igbos do pay their rent and buy ownership of vast properties and buildings  across Nigeria.For example at least in Lagos as a whole from Lekki, VGC,  Sattelite Town, Festac Town, Surulere, Ikoyi, Ojo, Alaba, Isolo, Ogudu, Maryland, Ikeja Victoria Island etc and all over Lagos Igbos have after Yorubas natives Igbos  have the  second highest landed and building  ownership in Lagos out of 350 tribes in Nigeria. This is the case in all major Nigerian Towns like Lagos, Kano, Kaduna, Port Harcourt, Abuja etc. Infact in Abuja and environs according to Government records after the Federal Government, Abuja municipal Government and the native owners of Abuja,  Igbos owns more landed properties and building as a group and individulas than the rest of Nigeria 350 tribes in Abuja.

It warms my heart when a lot of you guys that are so ignorant and lack appreciation for how much and how far Igbos have achieved in all areas of life endeavors in Nigeria since 50 years after the uncivil war. Most of you out of hatred are used to dismissing Igbo programs and progress, but today reality have stared all of you fools in the face, because the reality on the ground has shamed you all that wished Igbos the condition that Igbos experienced from 1966 to 1980.  It took Igbos 15 years in concrete terms  to start reversing  the bleeding, decline and military, police and customs occupation  of Igbo land and Igbo progress across Nigeria. As soon as Igbos reversed the bleeding and decline, Igbos have no where else to go than go up and make huge progress and the sky is Igbo limit not withstanding the bad and myopic leadership Nigeria and Igboland have to confront with.

Clement Udegbe a lawyer and Ugoji Egbujo in their Vanguard articles below are two Igbos who have lived in Lagos for a long time, and  they have an eye witness facts and history of Lagos land and political development from time. In their factual articles below they will open your ignorant eyes to the facts about who is classified on average as  a landlord and who is classified as  the tenants as far as a Nigerian ability to operate within the ambit of the law to self determination. By your statement  you do not know what land and property ownership means.

After the uncivil war, In all Nigerian Banks Igbos no matter how much he or she had in all Nigerian banks before the war was seized and reduced to 20 pounds each no matter how rich an Igbo person had before the war. 30 Million  Igbos before the war were in commanding heights of Nigeria economy and their money and securities in the all Nigerian banks in hundreds of  Millions or  Billions was reduced to only 20 pounds a person by the Government lead by General Gowon and Chief Awolowo the Finance Minister and  Deputy in the Federal Executive  Military Council.

I will bet my last penny on any Igbo any where on his ability to survive as an individual in any competitive and transparent assignment or competition  under any circumstances. Healthy competition is in DNA of Igbos because Igbos do not believe in any Government controlled assignment and Welfare State that breeds corruption and unfair  favoritism .

Ugo Ukandu


Ndigbo made land the gold of Lagos

on August 15, 2013   /   in Viewpoint 6:36 pm   /   Comments

Mr.  CLEMENT UDEGBE, a lawyer, wrote from Lagos
LAND and landed property are most expensive in Lagos than any other part of Nigeria, except for a part of the Central Business District area of the FCT, Abuja. Landed property in Banana Island, for example, has been reported to be one of the most expensive in the world.
Landed property is even more expensive here in Banana Island, than in some parts of the United Kingdom and South Africa, thus buttressing the various surveys that say Lagos is one of the most expensive cities in the world. While a three-bedroom flat costs as much as N248m, a four-bedroom counterpart can go for as much as N3.5bn, depending on the facilities it offers. In some parts of London, it has been reported that, a four-bedroom flat goes for between N86.1m (£350,000)   and N3.46bn (£10m).
In Johannesburg and Capetown, South Africa, such can be obtained for between N20.2m (R1,190,000) and N40.8million (R2,400,000). However, while there is a tested mortgage facility the buyer enjoys in London and other developed places, in Nigeria this is almost non-existent as it is a system of cash-and-carry, and government does not seem to care seriously about mortgage.
This trend of very high prices applies relatively to Victoria Island, Lekki and Ikeja areas. Even virgin lands that are being put up for sale are very expensive in Lagos. The prices went this hay wire when the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, came to power in 1999.
Today, the State Government rakes in staggering sums as revenue from tenement and other rates on land and landed property. Landed property in Lagos has now become ‘gold’, although this applies only to selected areas, as differentiated by the recent tenancy law of the State, and the seemingly deliberate policy of neglecting other areas, especially the Badagry axis.
These have made people to believe that discrimination may be part of the game plan. One expected that given the strategic importance of Badagry and the Seme Border, roads there ought to be developed to open up the area and attract high prices too. Some have argued that it is linked to the bashing of Igbo people, even when it was the Igbos that made land in Lagos the ‘gold’ it has become.
In the early 1970s, Surulere, old Yaba, and Bamgbose Road in the Island were mostly of small but cute bungalow settlements.
Most of Ikeja, Ojo, Anthony, Maryland and Okota were essentially swampy and bushy until Igbos moved in. Ekenedili Chukwu Motors was one of the first companies to move into Allen Avenue in the early 1980s and people wondered what he was doing in that bush. Today, his movement attracted others and Allen has become a completely new world we see today.
The late Igwe J.O. Obi, the Alakoso of Lagos,by the late 1970s, was the first to move into Ire Akari Estate in Isolo, when the whole area was a complete bush.
He also moved his company, Interland Transport, into the Amuwo Adofin Industrial Estate first, brought telephone lines there when it was a vast area of sandy-muddy soil.Today, we have a well-developed industrial estate in that area following his first move. Igbos in fact developed Isolo and Okota areas; they single handedly developed the whole of Olodi, Festac and Ojo areas. Any government that wants to forget this will create problems for itself in the near future.
The attitude of the Igbo man is what other Nigerians must learn to copy in order to foster peace. As civil servants, when Ndigbo get to a place, they settle down there,  build houses and raise  families in that place. But other tribes go on transfer to other places carrying a brief cases; they return with brief cases while remitting all their earnings from such places to their home states.
The investments of the Northern Nigerians in Lagos took a nose dive after the unsuccessful Gideon Okar Coup in April 1990, while that of Igbos continued to increase. Why won’t Nigeria accept and give Igbo man the Presidency for peace to reign?
In order to foster the One-Nigeria of our dream, efforts should be made now to discourage the provocation, oppression and killing of the Igbo man or any non-indigene in any part of Nigeria. The South East should come up with a policy of cows for burial programme. Any state government may demand 10 cows for the burial of any Igbo person killed in the North. It may  simply take 10 befitting cows from any cow dealer from within the concerned state and issuing the dealer with an official receipt which the dealer can use to claim re-imbursement from his home state on his return.
The FG should support this plan to protect Igbos and others from unwarranted and unprovoked attacks.
A casual travel within Benue State will reveal a quiet, richly endowed expanse of land, good and rich for agriculture and other industrial productions. In Benue which is known as the food basket of Nigeria, land is cheap, people are friendly and generally peaceful. The government appreciates Igbos, and come to think of it, it is just a stone throw from Enugu State. The military era is gone forever, so let Igbos go to where they are celebrated, rather than remain in areas where their stay is no longer welcome. The South East and Benue State can really forge a common ground for cooperation in all facets of life.Nigeria owes Ndigbo, and Ndigbo also owes Nigeria. This is what must engage the minds of Igbo leaders in order to pave the ways for Igbo Presidency in the nearest future.
Any scheme for the position of a Vice President at this time is less than what Ndigbo deserve. Our leaders must organise themselves to produce an Igbo President now or soon.
Mr.  CLEMENT UDEGBE, a lawyer, wrote from Lagos
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2013/08/ndigbo-made-land-the-gold-of-lagos/#sthash.JbOD26oa.dpuf

 Lagos politics : The return of the Igboon April 11, 2015
- See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/lagos-politics-the-return-of-the-igbo/#sthash.tYrwJaLe.dpuf

By Ugoji Egbujo “Omo Ibo go….go home. Omo…. Ibo go home. If you go home garri go cheap for lagos”.

Igbos have been back to Lagos politics but they announced their return on March 28 2015. For many Igbos now, Lagos must be home. - See more at:http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/lagos-politics-the-return-of-the-igbo/#sthash.tYrwJaLe.dpuf

The APC was rejected by Igbos in the last polls for less than objective reasons. That reflexive rejection borne of bigotry may have, however , yielded unintended positive collateral effects in Lagos. The electoral prowess of the Igbos in Lagos has been confirmed beyond refutation. The APC lost comprehensively in Igbo dominated areas . Hitherto , many treated claims of Igbos’ electoral importance in Lagos as exaggerated . It is otherwise perhaps inexplicable that the politically astute Lagos AC/APC, that has a reputation for foresightedness and inclusiveness, perennially failed to attach adequate importance to the touted numerical strength and wealth of the Igbos and allocated no tickets to Igbos in Lagos. How did they cede this glory to the PDP -

 The pogrom was on in the north and Igbos were being hounded and slaughtered indiscriminately . Many of the Yoruba elite read opportunity into the disturbances.. And Lagos, home to many Igbos, convulsed with hatred for the Igbo. Prominent Lagos Igbos went into hiding and pondered their fate. Hunted like rabbits by death squads , they soon relinquished the idea of waiting out the storm in their holes and had to sneak out of Lagos in darkness. Ordinary Igbos , free to flee, had thronged the motor parks and taken the boos and jeers in their hurried steps. APC Presidential Campaign Candidate, General Muhammadu Buhari, (middle) flanked by APC National Chairman, All Progressive Congress (APC), Chief John Odigie Oyegun, APC Chieftain and former Goverinor, Chief Ogbonnaya Ono, Eze Ndi Igbo Suleja, Amb (Dr.) Igwe Collins Chibueze Okoli, Uche Eginti Eze Udo, President General Igbo delegates Assembly (IDA) of the19 Northern States, Chief Damian Sunny Inyamah and others adopt GEN Muhammadu Buhari for 2015 Presidency at the APC Presidential Campaign office in Abuja. PHOTO; SUNDAY AGHAEZE Those who booed and jeered included not only excited and ignorant motor park touts but also shrewd covetous and perhaps envious civil servants and lecturers who had eyes on positions occupied by fleeing Igbos . A cocktail of sadism, opportunism and delirium. The Igbos in Lagos and Yourba land were perhaps fortunate . The north , seized by their own sense of vengeance, was a literal killing field. Let’s leave the details to belong to our history. Igbos may have fled Lagos in 1966-67 but their participation in Lagos politics had effectively ended in 1951.

 Nnamdi Azikiwe, otherwise a Lagosian, prevented by corrupted ethnic passions from becoming premier of the west , left for the east . And the implications and ramifications of that dislocation have impaired socio political cohesion in Nigeria till today. So when Igbos fled home in 1966 any doubts about an ordinary law abiding Igbo Lagos resident having same political rights and status as the ‘indigene’ were settled. For Igbos then , Lagos was not , after all, home. You can live in Lagos but do not forget that you belong somewhere else and it wouldn’t matter if you have lived in Lagos or port Harcourt all your life. Once law and order break down, ‘settlers’ fret. The civil war ended , Igbos with their 20 pounds, poured out of the villages and many returned to Lagos. And Lagos welcomed them. And before long , Igbos , by sheer industry, came to dominate street commerce in ‘Lagos and as their businesses flourished, their numbers grew. The Igbos’ preferred trade apprenticeship system meant that as Igbo entrepreneurs grew they brought in family and friends from the east as apprentices. And apprentices imbued with the “young shall grow” mentality soon became business owners and brought in more apprentices. So unsurprisingly Igbos would dominate whole trade lines likes the motor spare parts and electronics business and all dealings in imported goods. Naturally , they would dominate market complexes like ‘Alaba’, and ‘Aspamda’ and ‘Trade fair’ and ‘Balogun’. And that meant that they would dominate areas like Ajeromi Ifelodun, and Amuwo odofin and Oshodi isolo and Ojo , residential areas around major markets.

Preoccupied with commerce, wary of politics, mindful of the war and their residency status, Igbos helped build and develop Lagos but played only at the fringes politically. The ambitious trader aspired to be the president of the market union or the Eze ndi Igbo Lagos for vain glory but could not wrap his mind around being a member of the house of assembly and didn’t want to take political risks. Igbo professionals didn’t get involved either And despite the pervasive high level of political consciousness of Lagos and despite the intensity of media coverage of Lagos and despite the claim to progressivism by the dominant party of Lagos , Igbos who constitute a significant ethnic minority were kept out of elective positions. There is something glaringly anomalous about a system in which citizens can live all their lives in a city , raise children , pay taxes , have constitutionally protected rights to vote and be voted for but are somehow not expected to occupy elective positions. For indigenes, politically ambitious “settlers” are ungrateful usurpers . And this is a national malaise . Prevalent high degree of urban migration means that many have no other home towns besides where they reside. And how are they supposed to lead fulfilling lives if they can’t seek elective offices? Some are residents/ settlers and some are indigenes.

Yet all are citizens. And minorities everywhere have been similarly afflicted whether it be Muslims in Birmingham or Latinos in Florida or Igbos in Sabon Gari kano or the Arewa in Hausa quarters in Aba. Lagos has remained the most cosmopolitan city in Nigeria and the Yorubas have remained one of the most sophisticated and accommodating groups in Nigeria. And nothing in this article discredits the Yorubas particularly. The culture of exclusivity in Lagos politics existed in spite of the fact that Lagos is the most accommodating of all cites in Nigeria to non indigenes. But since Lagos is the leading light in commerce , politics and tolerance, any attempt to cure this national affliction must start from Lagos.

Besides morality, the stake of non indigenes in the state is proportionately too high to countenance their exclusion from effective representation in the governance of the state. The AC/APC in a rather tokenistic appreciation of the electoral weight of the Igbos appointed an Igbo technocrat , to the Lagos cabinet . And such tokens must be appreciated. However any thoughts that that gesture by Tinubu 10 years ago would lead to greater inclusiveness of the minorities in Lagos affairs has been conclusively disconfirmed by the failure of Lagos APC to allow Igbos represent communities where Igbos predominate. It’s even more absurd because we know that the APC has a way of drawing up lists of candidates. The APC was rejected by Igbos in the last polls for less than objective reasons. That reflexive rejection borne of bigotry may have, however , yielded unintended positive collateral effects in Lagos. The electoral prowess of the Igbos in Lagos has been confirmed beyond refutation.

 The APC lost comprehensively in Igbo dominated areas . Hitherto , many treated claims of Igbos’ electoral importance in Lagos as exaggerated . It is otherwise perhaps inexplicable that the politically astute Lagos AC/APC, that has a reputation for foresightedness and inclusiveness, perennially failed to attach adequate importance to the touted numerical strength and wealth of the Igbos and allocated no tickets to Igbos in Lagos. How did they cede this glory to the PDP? While Azikiwe’s ambition to lead the Western region may be seen as grotesque in today’s Nigeria because he , an Igbo, sought to lead the Yoruba nation. Any ambition by a qualified Igbo woman to pick up APC ticket and represent Amuwo Odofin cannot be an outsized ambition because she seeks to represent a political space in which she is by no means an interloping minority. The idea that those who are in majority in the state or who are indigenes must decide for inhabitants who would rule over every street and ward is not only undemocratic but immoral. Let’s face it , you can’t sell Amuwo Odofin to Igbos, collect billions for those rural lands, have marsh lands transformed to magnificent estates and yet seek to preclude them from representing Amuwo Odofin in the local and federal assemblies.

 The sentiment that settlers should not dominate indigenes may not be totally irrational. From Florida to Birmingham , from Paris to Jos north, settlers /indigenes dichotomy has led to social unrest. It is however more plausible to countenance the partial cultural exclusion of minority populations than to condone an attempt to preclude a population from freely choosing their representatives especially if that means settlers taking up elective positions in small localities where they constitute a relative majority. It should be a democratic given. There is therefore no feasible democratic argument to explain a Lagos house of assembly without Igbos or minorities. While one may sympathize with the Yorubas when , with perhaps innocently felt moral indignation , they ask , rhetorically , if a Yoruba can be a member of Abia house of assembly? Abia state has not even cared to have an Imo commissioner. The present governor , T . A Orji sacked civil servants of Imo state origin when he assumed office. Internecine squabbles in the east have meant that Igbos cannot have successful government careers in states other than their home states. Let’s not even discuss Rivers state. Lagos has an Igbo commissioner but Rivers cannot even contemplate that despite the population of Igbos in Port Harcourt. The civil war left many ugly legacies. But since Gov Amaechi has publicly , during the campaigns, claimed he is Igbo, we hope that some pre civil war brotherliness would one day return. South East Igbos are by no means any less guilty. It is sad that Igbos fighting for political Justice in Lagos haven’t established such standards of justice in the east amongst themselves.

415The general political environment in the east and everywhere else in Nigeria is hostile to political representation by non indigenes. And I must concede that Lagos and the political tendency that constitutes the south west APC is being held to higher moral standards. Lagos sets the pace, if Lagos initiates the practice it would have a great national normative force. The reality many argue is that Nigeria isn’t sufficiently politically mature and sophisticated to tolerate such representation by non indigenes as the polity is rife with inter ethnic and regional rivalry . And that our sense of nationhood is subservient to ethnic allegiance and other parochial identities. Others condemn emphasis on ethnic politics. When freedom and sufficient cohesion are achieved ethnic cleavages will disappear. Ohaneze and Arewa forum and Afenifere if conscientiously run will benefit the nation building. An inescapable reality is that when a minority group legally settles in a locality and achieves significant numbers they cannot be ignored and must be allowed full political participation in the overall interest of the society. This is the right moral and democratic position. Whether it is in Jos north or Sabon Gari Kano, every human being must be treated with equal moral concern and should be accorded human dignity.

The irreducible minimum is to allow full active political participation. It’s all the more imperative now , in this age, when many no longer have “ancestral homes” and belong wherever they legally reside. This piece had been written before the sickening pronouncements made by the Oba of Lagos went public. He exuded scorn, contempt and hate. Igbos should forgive the Oba or ignore him. But he should not be spared collective opprobrium and sanctions so that others similarly afflicted are deterred. Igbos do not owe their continued stay in Lagos to anyone’s magnanimity. Igbos like other groups, must with clear headed , reflective sobriety, pragmatically organize themselves politically to make their numbers and wealth and versatility count, protect their interests, promote local and national unity , and help enthrone good governance and excellence in Lagos. And every where else. All who are possessed by bigotry and conceit will in time come to reason. Igbos have been back to Lagos politics but they announced their return on March 28. For many Igbos now, Lagos must be home. Eko o ni baje o - See more at: http://www.vanguardngr.com/2015/04/lagos-politics-the-return-of-the-igbo/#sthash.tYrwJaLe.dpuf 

 By Ugoji Egbujo

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