CONTROVERSIAL publicity secretary of the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Joe Igboekwe has expressed surprise that he was subjected to a tough grilling when he appeared before the Lagos State House of assembly as a commissioner designate.
Highly vocal and regarded as the voice of the Igbo community in Lagos State, Mr Igboekwe has always courted controversy by confronting those who claim Ndigbo are marginalised in Lagos. He has also been a staunch and loyal supporter of President Muhammadu Buhari and for his troubles is now one of the 13 commissioner nominees appointed by Governor Sanwoolu.
This week, he appeared before the Lagos State House of Assembly as a nominee for a commissioner position after being nominated by Governor Babajide Sanwoolu. Mr Igboekwe said he was surprised that he was not just allowed to take a ceremonial bow and leave but was subjected to a tough grilling, which involved him being asked 15 questions.
Describing the exercise as excruciating, Mr Igbokwe said it was apparent that his position as the APC spokesman did not earn him any favours. Today, Mr Igboekwe was screened by a 16-man committee of the assembly chaired by the chief whip, Hon Rotimi Abiru and the findings will now be submitted to the full assembly for consideration.
Seven of the 13 nominees were screened today and the remaining six of the 13 on Governor Samwoolu’s second list will appear tomorrow. Hon Abiru told the nominees that they would get feedback on their performance through the governor and a report of the committee would be presented before the larger assembly before a decision would be taken.
Mr Igboekwe said: “The screening was quite excruciating. I was asked about 15 questions, which I answered.
“I thought they would just ask me to take a bow and go having served the party for a number of years because all of them are party members. However, I met a different thing, I thought it was just to go and take a bow but I ended up spending more time.”
He added that President Muhammadu Buhari received a low number of Igbo votes in Lagos State during the 2019 general elections because of the politics of ethnicity. According to Mr Igboekwe, Igbos voted for the opposition Peoples Democratic Party because its running mate, Peter Obi, was an Igbo man.