Posted by News Express | 5 December 2015 | 2,336 times
A socio-cultural organisation called Eko Foundation, has condemned in strong terms some of the actions of Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, in appointment and termination of officers in the state’s public service since his assumption of office in May 2015, among other anomalies in the administration of the state.
In a media statement co-signed by its president, Prof Imran Oluwole Smith, SAN, and General Secretary Kunle Uthman, the group stated: “Reasons for this palpable fear, apprehension, trepidation and ill-feelings are founded on the most recent sack and dismissal of indigenes in the Lagos State civil and public services, appointment of non-indigenes as chief-of-staff and commissioners, retirement of permanent secretaries who are indigenes without any reasons given for truncating their careers; dissolution of duly constituted commissions and boards, which tenures were still subsisting; appointment of a non-indigene as acting vice-chancellor, Lagos State University (LASU), etc.” Eko Foundation regretted that, politically, more than ever before, there are non-indigenes of Lagos representing the state in the House of Representatives and Lagos State House of Assembly: “Prominent positions in the Lagos State Civil Service are occupied by our brothers and sisters from neighbouring states, based on well-orchestrated, ill-motivated foresights of their predecessors.”
The Prof Smith-led association warned that the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos and large heartedness of its people should not be abused as justifications to relegate them to ‘second fiddle.’ “When push comes to shove, the non-indigenes have a back-up, while we the indigenes have no other place to navigate to but remain in that geographical enclave, which is our state of origin,” said the group, adding:
“There has been consistent violation of the provisions of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on federal character as non-indigenes occupy the slots of Lagos State on boards, Federal Government parastatals and Foreign Service. The cosmopolitan nature of our state has become a curse and an albatross. We have nothing against non indigenes to live and prosper in our state; and this is confirmed by our kindness, fairness and good nature towards them. However, non indigenes more than ever before are conscious of the need to repatriate their corpses to their indigenous states of origin for burial, and gladly retreat to their indigenous states of origin for social festivals and landmark events, while for us, Lagos is home.”
However, the group berated some of their royal fathers for their roles in this political calculus, while holding the elite - particularly those in government and positions of authority – responsible “for the pitiable relegation of our people.”
The leadership of the foundation, which it describes as Eko Akete, Ile Ogbon and its membership, noted that it has collectively resolved never again to “siddon look” and pretend that all is well, at the expense of our race.
It noted: “We will endeavour to periscope this administration and ensure that they correct obvious anomalies and anti-indigene policies and ensure that our efforts are duly recognised and appreciated; that our children are not treated with odium, disdain, ignored, relegated to the background, sidelined and made second-class citizens within the socio-political dynamics of our state. It is important that our revered royal fathers, senior citizens, former governors, Lagosians in the Diaspora and at home, should lend their support to our efforts.”
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