Igbo business mogul, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, has denied referring to Yorubas, as “rascals” during a recent event held in Awka, Anambra State.
In a statement titled: “Refutal of Malicious and Wicked Faje Bews in the Social Media” which he personally signed, the Imo State-born businessman said his statement with regard to his remark in connection to the suppression of voters and harassment of Igbos in Lagos, during the recent elections, was completely misquoted.
“My statement was covered live by Arise Television, Channels and many other electronic and print media houses. All Nigerians of goodwill who care should get the true transcript of my statement from any of these media houses.
“I want to make it abundantly clear that at no time did I make the statement credited to me by blackmail circulating on social media that Yorubas are political rascals as this was fraudulently manipulated. I want to warn all perpetrators of this fake news that it is a criminal offence to circulate fake news against a peace-loving Nigerian”/
According to the owner of Iwuanyanwu Nationale club, his intervention at the occasion was to admonish Igbos who felt threatened by various attacks in Lagos that they have no cause to worry because there are no problems between Igbos and Yorubas.
“I, therefore, told them to stay in Lagos and go about their normal businesses. I did however mention to them that the attackers are political rascals and their action does not reflect the good relationship between Yorubas and Igbos”.
The Champion Newspaper Publisher meanwhile used the opportunity to condemn the denial of voting right as witnessed during the 2023 elections.
“Having said this, on a personal note, I must comment as follows: I felt very sad that a Nigerian should be denied his democratic right to vote for any candidate of his choice because of his tribe. What happened to Igbos in Lagos was in the press and Igbos are very grateful to those distinguished and well-meaning Yorubas who rose to speak against the killings, injuries and destruction of properties of Igbos in Lagos only because they voted for the candidates of their choice.
“Ironically, some of the Igbos who lost their properties and who were wounded were not only members of the Labour Party but of some other political parties. This is because I am aware that most Igbos in Lagos voted for the incumbent governor who in their opinion said the governor did well in the past four years and deserves to be given another opportunity.
“Ohanaeze Ndigbo does not own any political party and we do not control any political party where our members belong. In effect, people are free to choose, work for, and vote for any political party of their choice and that’s why Igbos are virtually in all the political parties in the country.
“I don’t have any doubt in my mind that the peddlers of this fake news are part of the syndicates that brought misery and sadness to the Igbos resident in Lagos. I am appealing to the Yorubas to fish them out and know that they are portraying Yorubas in a bad light.
“On personal basis, one of my best daughters is married to a prominent Yoruba family in Ibadan, Oyo State. My son-in-law and his wife have lived together for over 20 years. This union has produced four adorable children. I am very proud of my son-in-law. The children of this marriage are Yorubas and not Igbos by our culture and tradition.
“I will not be happy if at any time any group of people discriminates against them in Yoruba land because their mother is Igbo. Over the years, many Yoruba and Igbo families have intermarried. It is therefore very important to all men of goodwill to arrest the present situation which if not arrested may cause social unrest”.