Lagos Assembly urges renaming of sites, monuments named after colonial masters
The Lagos State House of Assembly has urged Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to direct the state’s Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture to liaise with the Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice to look at sites and monuments with a view to removing all vestiges of slave trade and colonialism superiority.
The Deputy Majority Leader, Noheem Adams, moved the motion yesterday at the plenary.
The Speaker, Mudashiru Obasa, stated that the intendment of the motion was not about history, and that history could not be changed, adding that statues are not our history, and that Africans should give backing to the blacks that are fighting for the rights of blacks.
He said that the kind of treatment meted to George Floyd must be stopped and that we should support those who protest against such an act.
“We must protect the interest of our people all over the world. We should change the names of some of these buildings.
“We can change the names of some of these buildings and streets, as some of the names remind us of these people that enslaved our people,” he said.
The Speaker, who asked why the discovery of River Niger was being ascribed to foreigners, and that the name Nigeria was said to have been given by the colonial masters, further said: “It is what you believe that says who and what you are. It is about what you believe and what you can do on your own.
“You need to exhibit your own beliefs and culture. Most times, we speak like foreigners and some of our children cannot speak our mother tongues.
“The motion is about us, Africans.”
In his submission, Gbolahan Yishawu, representing Eti-Osa Constituency II, who supported the motion, said that history that makes the black to feel superior should be changed.
However, Setonji David (Badagry 2) said: “I want to support the motion to some extent but we need to check ourselves, especially the black man. We need to look at the way we treat ourselves. Do we really value ourselves? Why do we have to scratch the surface?”
He, therefore, said that there was no need to remove the vestiges. “We should fight for a better government to value people. Removal of vestiges does not address the main issue.”
Also, Bisi Yusuff (Alimosho 1) said: “What we are witnessing today is because of lack of justice. When there is no justice, there can’t be peace. I have not seen anything changing the monuments but what we have in our brains.
“Neo-colonialism is worse than colonialism, we should wage war against our own minds. History is there, we can’t erase it.”