Legal Drama

Tribalism Rears Its Ugly Yansh: Oba of Lagos Threatens Lives of Igbo Leaders if they Fail to Vote for his Choice of Candidate

ObaofLagosTribalism, racism or any “isms” has no place in our society. Yesterday, tribalism reared its ugly yansh (butt) in Nigerian society. In fact, it struck twice. The first was unexpectedly from filmmaker Kunle Afolayan. Read the story here if you missed it.

The second is the video below showing the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, threatening Igbo leaders in Lagos State if they fail to vote for his choice of candidate, for the upcoming governor elections.

There have been explanations since the video emerged that it was a joke, it is a generational gap and the list goes on. Either way, it doesn’t look good.

I will tell you a story.

I have always valued and enjoyed diversity of culture and people right from childhood. To be honest, I had no idea that even within the Nigerian community, a thing such as tribalism existed until I relocated to the States. As children, we were just who we were enjoying pure and amazing friendship! I had Igbo, Yoruba friends as my BFFs and we all seemed so clueless to tribalism or its impact.

Trust America to help you mature in ways you may not have imagined. From the Nigerian parties to isolated experiences with Nigerians, I began to understand a bit more about tribalism. I recall one specific instance when an African-American girlfriend of mine who had a knack for dating Nigerian men introduced me to her boyfriend. He was Igbo. Prior to that, she had dated a really sweet Nigerian guy who happened to be Hausa. The first and only time I met her Igbo boyfriend (now an ex), the first statement out of his mouth, when my friend introduced me, was to turn to her, laugh and explain that my people (our women) were known to be maids, cooks and sexual pleasers of men in bed.

WOW! Talk about making a terrible first impression. I was so shocked. Needless to say, I was highly offended. We’ve all got a long way to go. Watch the video below.

UPDATE: Response by Igbo Leaders after the Oba spoke, the allegation is that he was joking

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Credited for several firsts in the fashion and entertainment industry, Uduak Oduok (Ms. Uduak) is a fashion and entertainment lawyer, speaker, visionary, gamechanger, trailblazer, and recognized thought leader, for her work on Africa’s emerging global fashion and entertainment markets, and the niche practice of fashion law in the United States. She is also the founder of ‘Africa Music Law,’ an industry go-to music business and law blog and podcast show empowering African artists. Her work in the creative and legal industries has earned her numerous awards and recognitions, including an award from the American University Washington College of Law for her “legal impact in the field of intellectual property in Africa." She has also taught as an Adjunct Professor at several institutions in the United States. For more information, visit her at

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