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Eko Foundation rejects Soyinka as head of Lagos at 50 planning committee




EKO Foundation has rejected the choice of Prof. Wole Soyinka as Chairman, Planning Committee of ‘Lagos at 50’, saying he is not an indigene of Lagos State and has never pretended to be one.

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had recently constituted a 12-man 50th Anniversary Committee for the celebration of the creation of Lagos State on the May 27, 2017.

The Committee has as its Chairman, Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, and Alhaji Rasheed Gbadamosi as the co-Chairman.

In a release signed by the President and General Secretary of the group, Professor Imran Oluwole Smith (SAN) and Kunle Uthman respectively, the group conceded that Soyinka has a towering image as an international playwright and scholar, but submitted that his choice to head the Committee is wrong and offensive.
“There is indeed a social disconnect, because he has no family house or compound in the geographical conglomeration of the state. He, Soyinka does not speak any of the dialects of the indigenous peoples and cannot connect with their sights and sounds. What then is the rationale for this choice?” the group maintained.

The group therefore urged him to do what is right in law, in fact and in morality, by resigning and relinquishing this appointment, in order for an indigene of Lagos State, who has a social connection with his people be appointed as Chairman of the Committee.
Eko Foundation also recalled that, Soyinka’s state of origin, recently celebrated its 40th Anniversary of creation as a state and the weeklong celebration was well attended by many prominent Nigerians locally and from the diaspora.

It explained that Ogun State Governor Ibikunle Amosun did not appoint a Lagos State indigene or an indigene of any other state as the chairman of the celebration committee.
“Amosun simply engaged the people of Ogun State to plan the auspicious event, and the celebration was a monumental success. This humane act of patriotism is what Governor Ambode has an obligation to emulate,” the group stated.

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  • Toyin Adepoju