2019 poll aftermath, Lagos indigenes mull strategies for political relevance
Indigenes of Lagos State have looked back at the last 20 years of democratic rule in Nigeria, lamenting that the political developments have not been favorable to them.
They regret that ‘stranger elements’ have relegated, suppressed and schemed them out of relevance in the politics of the state. Looking inwards, the Eko indigenes blame entrenched political forces in the state for sustaining the imbalance.They also condemn their kinsmen who work hand in gloves with the strangers because of paltry benefits from the unjust system.
Some Lagos indigenes that spoke with The Guardian, yesterday, were miffed at the current political dispensation, especially in the area of representation, which they said has completely alienated them, both at the state and federal levels. Consequently they said they are rather working hard to adopt a different strategy to get relevance, instead of the old and usual strategy of lamentation and engaging in unnecessary and fruitless criticism of the existing political order.
According to the indigenes, one of their grouses against the existing political order and now is that none of the crucial pubic officers holding sway in the state has his/her roots in Lagos, just as it has always been since 1999 except in few cases. It was also alleged that those who had their original root in the state and were once part of the government were somehow technically removed or relegated to nothing in the past. They listed such examples include the likes of former Deputy Governors of Lagos State, Chief Mrs. Kofoworola Bucknor-Akerele and Mr. Femi Pedro, who were allegedly removed unceremoniously from office during former governor Bola Tinubu’s administration.
Maintaining that the existing political order in the state does not favour them, the indigenes noted that the Mega City attainment being orchestrated by previous and incumbent governments in the state is a charade and lacks elements of substance judging from the resources accruable to the state and what is being achieved.
To buttress their worry, it was alleged that the incumbent governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a non-Lagosian from Ijebu Ijesha and his deputy Dr. Obafemi Hamzat is from Ogun State, whose father was the immediate Olu of Afowora Sogade, Ogun State, Olu of Afowora Sogade, Ogun State; late Oba Olatunji Hamzat.
The incumbent Speaker, Mr. Mudashiru Obasa, is also said to be from Ogun State, while none of the senators currently representing Lagos are indigenes.For instance, Senator Olamilekan Solomon, who currently represents Lagos West, aspired to contest for Ogun State governorship election recently just as he claimed to come from Yewa area of Ogun West. After his ambition hit the rocks, he returned to run for second term in Lagos, where he had previously represented Alimoshosho Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. Senator Oluremi Tinubu, who currently represents Lagos Central, is also said to come from Delta State, but by virtue of being married to the national leader of APC, she is using Lagos slot, while Mr. Bayo Osinowo a former lawmaker in the State House of Assembly is representing Lagos East in the senate. Osinowo is said to come from Ijebu Ode.
This is besides various personalities, who have served as commissioners and heads of many agencies in the state but are non-indigenes of Lagos, such as immediate past governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, who served as Commissioner for Works in Lagos before moving to Osun. Incumbent Senator representing Ekiti Central, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele, was a former commissioner in Lagos, Mr. Wale Edun , who is currently being positioned for a ministerial appointment on Ogun’s slot is a one-time Commissioner of Finance in Lagos.
The incumbent lawmaker representing Ikeja Federal Constituency, Mr. James Faleke, was running mate of Kogi State APC candidate in the 2015 gubernatorial election, Prince Abubakar Audu, who died few hours to the announcement of the results.The Guardian however learnt that just as the indigenes of the state are worried and agitated over the development, the APC leadership are also uncomfortable and are looking for ways to address the situation going forward.
Perhaps it was in line with that thinking that some underground moves by some forces in the state began to root for Mr. Folarin Coker, a former commissioner in the state, who is a Lagos indigene, for a ministerial slot.
Meanwhile, former Lagos State chairman of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Sentonji Koshoedo, said some of the indigenes of Lagos are concerned more about the ongoing situation in the state, which he said is being perpetrated in collaboration with some indigenes. According to him, “Until indigenes of Lagos come together and decide the fate of their state, there is nothing anybody can do to salvage the situation.”
Although, Koshoedo said people of Lagos are yearning for a change, which only PDP could offer in the present situation, “I hope and am optimistic the next election would provide such opportunity.”In his response, Vice President, Eko Foundation, Mr. Biodun Dabiri, said the situation depicts exactly what other segments of Nigeria were complaining about how the Fulani are exercising political power. In Lagos today, similar political actors are excluding indigenes from Lagos politics.
Perhaps, Dabiri’s position must have been part of the reasons some indigenes of the state that were once critics of the existing political power are now aligning themselves to get relevance.
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