Yoruba Community in Anambra Plans to Build Hall, Denies Clashing with Igbo over 2023 Election



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By Izunna Okafor, Awka

The association of Yoruba indigenes living in Awka, Anambra State has denied having any clashes or hostility between their members and the Igbo natives, over the outcome of the 2023 general election held in the state, which produced Ahmed Bola Tinubu as Nigeria’s President.

It would be recalled that reports started trending on some sections of the media, alleging that Yorubas indigenes residing in Anambra State were attacked during the presidential election; while some other publications allege that they were accused of not voting for Mr Peter Obi, the Labour Party Presidential Candidate in the 2023 election, despite residing in his home state.

Debunking the reports as rumour, the President General of the Yoruba community in Awka, Alhaji Ademola Okeleye, who addressed in newsmen in Awka, the State capital, urged the people to disregard the rumors peddled around by those who want to create unnecessary pressure and destroy the peace they are enjoying in the State.

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While stating emphatically that there is no such hostility between them and their host, Alhaji Okeleye described the originators and peddlers of such divisive information as individuals with limited intellectual capacity who have nothing to contribute to their immediate families, communities, or the state and country as a whole.

He issued a warning to individuals or groups fueling tribal or ethnic tensions in Anambra State and Nigeria, cautioning them to desist from such activities or face legal consequences.

Alhaji Okeleye further stressed that there was no business or political conflict between the Yorubas and Igbos in Anambra State. The Yoruba community has been peacefully coexisting with the Igbos, and its members have not experienced any form of intimidation or harassment.

“I have resided in Anambra State for the past 20 years since relocating from Lagos, and I have never witnessed or experienced an Igbo man fighting a Yoruba man out of hatred,” he stated.

“Even during the election, Yoruba people were free to vote for the candidate of their choice. The Yoruba community received support and reassurance from Chief Uzu Okagbue, former Chief of Protocol to the immediate past governor of the state, Chief Willie Obiano. Mr Okagbue visited the Yoruba community and ensured their safety during the high tensions surrounding the presidential election,” he added.

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Alhaji Okeleye clarified that if anyone is spreading rumours in Anambra State about a crisis between Yorubas and Igbos, it is false.

He also revealed that there were approximately 500,000 Yoruba people living in Anambra State, including civil servants and lecturers at Nnamdi Azikiwe University and Federal Polytechnic Oko, who coexist peacefully with the local population.

He further revealed that the Yoruba community planned to construct a hall and multipurpose centre in Awka, adding that they would soon initiate a bio-data exercise to register all their members residing in the state, for documentation and other purposes.


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