Oba Akiolu’sLagos State chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, has asked Governor Babatunde Fashola to suspend the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, over his death threat on Igbo in the state if they failed to vote for the All Progressives Congress, APC governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, on Saturday.
The party said the suspension of the monarch till after the elections was necessary to guarantee free, fair and credible polls in the state.
In a statement yesterday, the Lagos PDP Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani, said that the party had alerted security agencies to hold the monarch responsible for any attack on non-indigenes or PDP members in Lagos.
The party accused Fashola of conspiracy over his silence, 48 hours after such inflammatory statements and threat to Nd’Igbo which suggests that the king acted on behalf of the state government.
At the meeting with Nd’Igbo leaders on Sunday, Oba Akiolu had said: “On Saturday (April 11) if anyone of you goes against Ambode who I picked, that is your end. If it doesn’t happen within seven days, just know that I am a bastard and it is not my father who gave birth to me.
“On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos State, the person is going to die inside this water.
“I’m not ready to beg you. Nobody knew how I picked Ambode. Jimi (Agbaje) is my blood relation and I told him that he cannot be governor in Lagos for now. The future belongs to God. I am not begging anybody, but what you people cannot do in Onitsha, Aba or anywhere, don’t do it here,” he said.
Although, the monarch has denied ever issuing such threats, the PDP alleged that, “The governor is thus a conspirator in this threat to life and must also be held accountable for any violence in coming elections.
“We have at this point been vindicated about the desperation of the APC to retain Lagos State at all costs, including the All Progressives
Congress’ plan not to concede the imminent defeat on April 11.
“The positions of the PDP are coming on the heels of the now viral threat issued by the Oba of Lagos to Igbo that they must vote for the APC governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, or be drowned in Lagos water.”
The PDP however urged Lagos non-indigenes and others not to be threatened by the monarch’s threat and be part of Saturday’s voting exercise.
Monarch should apologise to Igbo, says Falana
In his reaction to Akiolu’s threat, Lagos lawyer, Mr. Femi Falana (SAN), urged him to apologise to the Igbo people in the state without delay.
Falana, in a statement issued yesterday, said that the utterances of the monarch is unacceptable as it is a mockery of the political objective of national integration, adding that since the Electoral Act, 2010 (as amended) has banned any form of hate campaign, the Oba is advised to withdraw the threat credited to him and apologise publicly to the Igbo without any delay.
He said: “It is illegal as it clearly offends Section 42 of the Constitution which has prohibited discrimination on grounds of ethnicity, religion, political opinion, creed or sex.
“Although the Oba lacks the power to cause anyone to ‘die in the Lagoon within seven days,’ the threat constitutes a violation of the fundamental rights of thousands of citizens to life.
“In the case of Director-General of State Security Service vs. Olisa Agbakoba (1999) 3 N.W.L.R (PT 595) 314, it was held by the Supreme Court that, ‘It is not in dispute that the Constitution gives every Nigerian the right to move throughout Nigeria and to reside in any part thereof. It also guarantees to the citizen the right not to be expelled from Nigeria nor be refused entry or exit there from.
“Since the residency right of every citizen is constitutionally guaranteed, the Igbo in Lagos should discountenance the threat of Oba Akiolu,” he said.
Falana continued: “As a senior lawyer, Oba Akiolu ought to have realised that the Electoral Act has not conferred powers on any traditional ruler or any other authority to sanction anyone for voting for a candidate of his or her choice in any election conducted in Nigeria.
“After all, before the just-concluded presidential election, the Oba adduced reasons why he could not endorse the presidential candidate of the APC, Gen. Mohammadu Buhari. He was not harassed or intimidated for exercising his freedom of choice.”
Police won’t investigate Oba Akiolu – IGP
Meanwhile, the Inspector-General of Police, IGP Suleiman Abba, has ruled out the investigation of the Oba over his threat statements.
Abba said yesterday that since the traditional ruler had denied the allegation, he was not in any position to state otherwise.
The IGP said: “On the issue of Oba of Lagos making statement about who the electorates or voters should vote for in this election, I saw it in the media and I tried all my best to verify whether that statement was made and so far, what I have been able to gather is the fact that the Oba himself denied it.
“And if he denied it, who am I to say otherwise. However, if for any reason that becomes a subject of further efforts to confirm if he did it or not, I think we will leave that to the future but for now, this is what I have,” he added.
IGP Abba stated his position in Abuja yesterday when he met with the 36 state Commissioners of Police and the FCT to plan security strategy for the April 11 elections.
He also revealed plans to deploy more officers to such states seeing as being volatile, following reports that some politicians in some states are planning to go violent during Saturday’s elections.
The police boss also revealed that three suspects have been arrested in Enugu in connection with the bomb blast that took place during the presidential elections.
Speaking particularly in respect to political unrest in Rivers state, IGP Abba said: “Let me confirm to you that arrests have been made and there are also suspects identified with incidence in Rivers including those that were committed as far back as during the period of
campaigns. We have identified culprits or those suspected to have being involved or being the mastermind of these offences. We have not made it public because we are using all other avenues, our intelligence and operatives are out there to arrest them. Where we don’t get them immediately, perhaps, after a little while, we will exhaust other avenues including declaring them wanted.

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