The verbal war between Governor Peter Obi and Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos over the latter’s deportation of some Anambra indigenes is taking a new dimension as Governor Obi has threatened a reprisal while Fashola has warned him against hitting up the polity.
The Lagos State Government began the deportation of beggars and destitute people to the various states since July 24.
Governor Obi is angry over the allegation that the Lagos State Government dumped 72 people at Upper Iweka Bridge, Onitsha, Anambra State in the thick of the night.
Obi, who has shown his anger, has written to President Goodluck Jonathan expressing his grievance what he described as an illegal action that is unconstitutional and evident of a blatant violation of the human rights.
Obi alleged in the letter that no amount of offence committed by the deportees, “even if deemed extremely criminal, would justify or warrant such cruel action by a State authority and in a democracy.”
Governor Obi, who urged the President to direct the Attorney-General of the Federation to investigate the incident, added that even refugees are protected by the laws of the land.
The letter stated: “I have the obligation to protect the interest and welfare of all Nigerians resident in Anambra State irrespective of their states of origin and I would be left no option other than reciprocity or reprisal.
“I will, however, put any such reaction in abeyance until Your Excellency has had the opportunity to address our concerns.”
Obi said this was not the first time the Lagos State Government would be embarking on the deportation of its people adding that in
In his reaction, Fashola, who spoke with journalists on Thursday while inspecting a light rail project in the Mile 2 area of Lagos, warned Obi to stop making attempts to incite the Igbos against the Lagos government.
Fashola said Obi was blowing the issue out of proportion and making political problems out of the deportation.
The Lagos Governor said he expected Governor Obi to reach him directly if he was not pleased with the action of the Lagos State Government adding that there is too much at stake for anyone to begin to incite the Igbo community against their host state.
“There is too much at stake here. It is a very dangerous and unwarranted precedent.
“And I hope that common sense will prevail here. Also those who are baying for blood should know that there is too much at risk here. When I get a formal complaint from the government of Anambra State or notification from the Presidency, I will lay the facts bare.”
He said it was unfortunate that his colleague governor “has made this a media issue. As I speak, I haven’t received any telephone call or letter from him to complain and I don’t think that is the way government works. On less important matters like this, he had called me before.”
“This is a political season and Anambra will be up for contest and in a political season, unusual things happen and perhaps we are living in an interesting times. And some of the evidence was when one see two adults kissing on television, it tells you that some things are afoot.”
Fashola expressed dismay at the letter sent by Obi to the President asking if Governor Obi thinks the President has the constitutional powers to investigate such an dispute.
According to him, “I know that the president has a moral authority because he is the head of the sovereign state of the country. But I am not aware that the constitution states that the dispute between states should be settled by the Presidency.
“If Anambra State has an issue on this matter, and they feel aggrieved, they should call or write to us. I feel that the final arbiter should be the court.
“And it is really important to say that our hospitality in Lagos state is legendary. And it is a global legend that the people of Lagos State are hospitable people and so is the present government of the state and previous administrations.”
Source: Huhu Online