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Orji Kalu Threatens To Sue Fashola Over Forced Relocation Of Igbos

Former Governor of Abia State, Chief Orji
Uzor Kalu, has given the Lagos State
Government a seven-day ultimatum to
apologise to the 67 persons of Igbo ethnic
nationality allegedly deported from Lagos
to Onitsha in Anambra State or he would
head to court to defend their interest. Kalu
said there was no law in the country,
which empowers a state or governor to
deport any Nigerian to any part of the
country. In a statement made available to
THISDAY Monday, Kalu said there was
right to freedom of movement for every
Nigerian as enshrined in Section 41 of the
1999 Constitution.

While describing the action of the state
government was lawless and vexatious,
the former governor equally condemned it
in strong terms, saying it threatens the
corporate existence of the country. Besides,
the former governor argued that it was an
open secret that the Igbo contribute about
55 per cent to the Lagos economy.

“It is appalling to learn that the deported
Igbo were even detained in Ikorodu for
about six months before their illegal
deportation. They were taken to Onitsha in
four buses, escorted by anti-riot
policemen," he said. One of them, Osondu
Mbuto, a trader from Ohaozara in Ebonyi
State, was on his way to his shop on
December 18, 2012 when he was arrested
by officials of the state’s Kick Against
Indiscipline (KAI) and detained for no
reason until he was deported in his father's

“The reaction of the state government that
the Igbo were deported to reunite them
with their families was the worst insult to
any race. Governor Fashola's Special
Adviser on Youths and Social
Development, Dr. Enitan Dolapo Badru,
said: ‘The end result is to reunite them back
with their families.’ What an affront against
the collective will of Ndigbo or any other
race in Nigeria to live and do business in
any part of the country? The action of the
state government is not only wicked but a
clear breach of the Constitution of the
Federal Republic of Nigeria, as amended.

“To worsen the matter, most of those
deported are not even indigenes of
Anambra State. Is Anambra State now a
dumping ground for any act of illegality? Is
Lagos State Government above the law of
the country? If not, can it operate another
set of laws without recourse to constitution
amendment? Is it not a travesty of justice
that officers of the Nigeria Police Force
(NPF) were even used for this illegal act
against the Nigerian state? Was the
supervising officer, who allowed the
deployment of the policemen, not told that
they were going to be used for the
deportation of Nigerians they were paid by
tax payers' money to protect in their
fathers' land?

“The action is a gross infraction to the
rights of the deportees to dwell in any part
of Nigeria without discrimination. With this
wicked, crude and primitive deportation, I
just wonder why a component unit of
Nigeria, under the authority and
supremacy of a constitution would choose
to be lawless in such an unconstitutional
conduct. Not even under the military
would such an action have happened.

“Even if a criminal offence was committed,
the place to take them to is the court, not
for them to be deported. The action of the
Lagos State Government is lawless as it is
vexatious and I condemn it in strong terms
because it threatens the existence of our
country. All patriotic Nigerians should say
no to this xenophobic action of Lagos State
Government because it usurps the powers
of the federal government and disregards
our constitution.

“I demand a public apology from the
governor within seven days to all those
illegally deported and a repeat of such an
act must be stopped or I will head to court
to defend the interest of the Ndigbo in
Lagos. Enough is enough.”

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