The Coalition of South East Youth Leaders (COSEYL) has denounced the fire that destroyed the Akere spare parts market in Olodi Apapa, Ajeromi Ifelodun Local Government Area, Lagos State.
Arsonists set fire to several portions of the market in the early hours of last Wednesday, killing the 65-year-old security guard on duty, according to news reports.
Following the tragedy, the state Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu, directed security agencies in the state to find and prosecute the culprits of the fire.
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The Coalition, however, stated in a statement issued Saturday night by its President General, Goodluck Ibem, that the fire of the spare parts market was a direct attack on Igbo businessmen.
The Coalition expressed regret that innocent traders who are not politicians and have nothing to do with politics are constantly subjected to unwarranted attacks.
According to the report, the market attack came as a result of most Igbos voting for the Labour Party’s governorship candidate in the state, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, in the March 18 elections.
It did, however, urge the Lagos government to protect all Igbos and other ethnic groups resident in the state against violence.
The statement read in part: “It is unfortunate that innocent traders who are not politicians and have nothing to do with politics are subjected to unprovoked attacks at all times.
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“We have Yorubas in South East doing their businesses and no one has ever discriminated against them or attacked them.
”It, however, said such discrimination has never been recorded in the Southeast, stressing that some Yoruba people were allowed to run for elective posts in the region.
“The Labour Party, LP, House of Assembly candidate in Umuahia Central State Constituency of Abia State by name Mr Anthony Abiola is a Yoruba boy and nobody is discriminating against him because he is not of Igbo origin.
“It has never happened in South East because we are peace-loving and very accommodating people. We accept strangers as our own brothers and sisters. Yorubas living in South East can attest to iI.”
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