A group, the Lagos Indigenes Congress (Igbimo Omo Eko), a network of Lagos bonafide indigenes across the Ibile of Lagos, has affirmed that the Labour Party (LP) Governorship Candidate in Lagos State, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes- Vivour, is a bonafide son of a reputable Lagos Island family and cannot be wished away because of maternal lineage.
The group of indigenes made this assertion in a communique issued at the end of its emergency meeting in Lagos Sunday and signed by Dr. Olusola Bamgbowu, describing the discussion on identity as worrisome.
The group noted that there was no individual that does not have both paternal and maternal lineages, warning that unless nipped in the bud, the discussion on identity issues portends a recipe for election violence “that will do our State, indigenes and none indigenes alike no good”.
Igbimo Omo Eko, while giving the warning, noted that the scar of the #EndSARS imbroglio was still very visible in Lagos as the state government was still grappling with rehabilitation using very scarce state resources, warning further that the state cannot afford any such incident under any guise again.
The group claimed that it was for this reason that it was stepping forward to speak against the divisive and wicked story being peddled about the LP Governorship Candidate, Rhodes- Vivour.
“We dissociate from it, we say it is wicked and planned to impair the love and harmony with which Lagosians have lived together in the past, just for the gains of a few,” the group said.
Speaking further, Igbimo Omo Eko, said the claim and campaign of being a none indigene against Rhodes- Vivour must have arisen from the incredible performance of his party in the last Presidential Election, declaring pointedly that the Labour Party governorship candidate without mincing words was “a true son of Lagos and indeed one of us.”
“We say without mincing words that he is a true son of Lagos and indeed one of us,” the group added.
“That the impression trending that one of our gubernatorial candidates Gbadebo Rhodes- Vivour is an Igbo because he has an Igbo mother, is a wicked political campaign strategy meant to take political advantage.
“Gbadebo is a true son of Lagos born into a reputable Lagos Island family. So many of our political leaders today are married from other tribes: Chief Bode George married from Delta, so also is Senator Bola Tinubu married from Delta and that does not change their identity or their children’s identity.
“Gbadebo is like many of our children born and trained abroad. This cannot in any way vitiate their identity. It should be added advantage,” the group added.
There have been back and forth following the inclusion of ‘Chinedu’, a Igbo name in one of campaign posters of the LP guber candidate, with opposition claiming the latter is not a true son of the soil — a development Gbadebo described as “petty” adding that it is a planned political gimmick to discredit his growing popularity in the State.