A former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, is not a member of the All Progressives Congress and cannot speak on behalf of the party.
Tinubu said this at a rally in Iganmu, Lagos, while reacting to the controversial comments of the monarch on Tuesday.
The APC National Leader, who noted that he was the first Yoruba governor to ever appoint an Igbo commissioner, said the Peoples Democratic Party, having failed to win last week’s presidential elections, were desperately trying to pull the APC into the Akiolu controversy.
He said the Coordinator of the Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria, Ifeanyi Ubah, and the PDP leader, Bode George, were only making baseless accusations against the APC.
Tinubu said, “The oba is not a politician. His job is to accommodate all political parties, whether PDP, APC or SDP. So, what did he (Ubah) go and do at the palace?
“To you Igbos, don’t we pay your children’s school fees like others? Or is it the palace that pays for it? When we conducted an exam and a spelling competition, an Igbo boy, Ebuka, from Anambra, came first and he became the governor for one day.
“Those that won the competition three times in a row were Igbo. Ebuka was sent to Switzerland computer school and then Obafemi Awolowo University. We did not say he was an Igbo boy and he would not enjoy. He became an executive in Oando and he is now in Canada.
“Another boy, Felix, won and went to Switzerland and OAU. We paid his scholarship; we did not deny him because he is Igbo.”
In a separate statement, the Lagos State APC Publicity Secretary, Joe Igbokwe, said the monarch spoke out of anger.
He urged his kinsmen not to take out their anger on the APC governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who knew nothing about the incident.
The statement read, “Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos is not a card-carrying member of APC. He is not a leader in the APC. He does not speak for the APC. He did not speak for Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos state.
“He did not speak for our national leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. He did not speak for the incoming governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode. His Royal Highness is at liberty to speak for himself and he spoke for himself only.
“Lagos APC appeals to Ndigbo not to take the statement as the position of the party in Lagos. We passionately appeal to Ndigbo not to carry the statement credited to Oba Akiolu too far so as not to put a knife on things that have held us together for more than 50 years now.
“If out of annoyance, you throw your cap away, a mad man will take it and use it forever.”