The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP), Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, has said he is an original Lagosian and the true son of his father, a lawyer, Mr. Olawale Rhodes-Vivour.
Rhodes-Vivour was reacting to a viral message claiming he is an Igbo man, purporting that he was born out of wedlock and not raised by his father.
“I am a Lagos boy, an Omo Eko Proper, no doubt! To those doubting my Yoruba pedigree, I advise you to read Lagos history if, as a Lagosian, you don’t know the Rhodes-Vivour family pedigree and our stellar contributions to the development of Lagos – foremost legal luminaries and judges from the 1800s such as Steven Bankole Rhodes, to my uncle the Supreme Court Judge Bode Rhodes-Vivour and my father, Barrister Olawale Rhodes –Vivour, a lawyer.
“The land upon which City Hall is built belongs to my family. My great parents’ estate owned the largest plantation in Lagos. I am an original Omo onile olona of Lagos. With so many high flyers in this Yoruba family that I have to emulate and surpass, I hardly have time for the 1939 April Fool’s day joke that ignited the Yoruba versus Igbo rivalry and its current divisive effects,” he said.
Rhodes-Vivour pointed out, “My focus is on how to uplift Lagos, my beloved state of birth and lineage, by resolving the perennial Lagos traffic problem by building four new rail lines in four years, whose multiplier effects would create jobs throughout our economy, resolving the massive unemployment and underemployment that is the ‘Agbero’ culture.
“Provide housing and social services, all of which you can read in my manifesto. Therefore the Yoruba-Igbo tribal card is a ploy by our political opponents to disunite and distract our people from ending 24 years of Lagos’ arrested economic and political development by the Tinubu cabal.”
Admitting that his father is Yoruba and his mother is Igbo, Rhodes-Vivour noted, “In Yorubaland, a child is that of the father. Omo Eko ni mi, I am the true son of my father.”
“Right from childhood, I noticed that there wasn’t much difference between Yorubas and Igbo as we share hundreds of the same words – Okuta/Okwute (stone), Imu/Imi (nose), Akuko/Okuko (chicken), Omo/Umu (child), Ifa/Afa and over a hundred other words even after thousands of years of dispersal. Economics and culture still tie us together, and love between thousands of Yoruba-Igbo families, from the Rhodes-Vivour, Funsho Williams, Agbaje, and many other Lagos families, to across Yorubaland with the Adelekes, Alade, etc.”
The LP candidate continued: “As I educated myself and became conscious, I learnt that Yoruba and Igbo and all Southern and Middle Belt groups share the same genetic and cultural origins. With more similarities than differences, we are the same people. Every Yoruba and Igbo town was founded and settled, according to our common knowledge bank Ifa/Afa, the world’s oldest knowledge bank. Genetic evidence shows Yoruba and Igbo share the same genetic and cultural origins as Ife. Ooni of Ife and Obi of Onitsha stated that Igbos once lived in Ife. We are a continuum of dialects that spread from Ife to South Africa. The Ezeani IIi of Mmaku, Enugu, said that if all Blacks were Catholics, Ooni of Ife is our Pope.”
He added: “It was the colonists that divided the Original African civilization, essentially made up of a continuum of dialects known as the Niger-Congo ethnolinguistic family that spread to South Africa. It was colonists that created and inspired divisive tribal perspectives. On April Fool’s day, April 1st, 1939, while leaving the much larger Northern Protectorate intact to break up the National Youth Movement and budding liberation movement evolving from Lagos, the British colonists broke up the Southern Protectorate into East and West regions and instigated rancour between Yorubas and Igbos till today. Once again, this time, as Nigerian Youth unite under the umbrella of the ‘Obidient’ movement for economic and political emancipation, the Tinubu cabal, the modern-day enslavers, and colonizers of Lagos want to divide us with tribalism.
“The political collaboration between Herbert Macaulay and Nnamdi Azikiwe, which fuelled the Black liberation movement, was split with Yoruba and Igbo rivalry after Macaulay’s death. This time, my generation is more consciously progressive, with successful collaborations between Olamide and Phyno and millions of others in tech and business. And unfortunately, Yoruba and Igbo jointly suffer Tinubu’s cabal-arrested development.”
He emphasised: “I, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is an embodiment of the successful unity of Yoruba, Igbo, and other Nigerians that propelled the ‘Obidient’ political liberation movement, and I am calling you to come out to vote for the freedom, progress, and harmony we deserve, and for a new Lagos that would set the pace for a new Nigeria. Eko e dide.”