Reno Omokri, has defended the Lagos gubernatorial candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, against allegations of not being a true son of Lagos due to his Igbo heritage.
Rhodes-Vivour has faced various controversies since declaring his intention to run for governor, including old tweets in which he seemed to support Biafra and his wife's past criticism of Nigeria's anti-gay laws.
In response to these controversies, Omokri, who is a spokesperson for the People's Democratic Party (PDP), took to [a href="https://www.instagram.com/yabaleftonline"]social media[/a] to debunk claims that Rhodes-Vivour is not a true son of Lagos because of his Igbo name and heritage. Omokri explained that Rhodes-Vivour's name shows that he is a descendant of one of the original Lagosians who survived slavery and made it back to Lagos over a century ago.
According to Omokri, the Vivours or Vivors endured slavery and made it back to Lagos as survivors, hence the name Survivor, which was shortened to Vivour. He also stated that Rhodes-Vivour could mean that they survived Rhodes, which could have been a former slave owner or a name they were given or took.
While Omokri maintained his loyalty to the PDP and urged his followers in Lagos to vote for the party, he stressed the need for unity in Nigeria, stating that even if Rhodes-Vivour was Igbo, it should not matter. Omokri stated that "we must make an effort to build a united country, and it takes some give and take."
Omokri's defense of Rhodes-Vivour comes amid heightened political tensions in Nigeria as the country prepares for its next general election. Ethnic and regional tensions have played a significant role in Nigerian politics, with some politicians using identity politics to gain an advantage.