By Olabode George and Tajudeen Olanrewaju
The Ọmọ Eko Pataki Forum, an association of distinguished Lagosians with common interest, with patent ancestral values and vision, is displeased with the increasing imbalance in the appointment to public office in our state.
Yes, Lagos State is accommodating, easily embracing, deepened in effortless kindness and friendship to everyone, regardless of ethnic provenance. Here we treat none as outsiders. We give comfort, genuine friendship to all without prejudice.
But alas, our instinctive amity, and our spirit of brotherhood is being abused, disfigured as perhaps a sign of weakness.
For how do you explain this festering anomaly, where the indigenes are deliberately marginalized, elbowed out of reckoning in the political and administrative sectors of our state?
We are now reduced to the role of peripheral participants, flung into inconsequential orbit, draped in the robe of the scorned, the unwanted, the stranded orphans without succor.
This aberration cannot and should not continue. The essence of state creation is to rectify the ills of marginalization and give the natives of specific states a sense of belonging and ancestral attachment.
In the early 1990s I had the privilege of being the Chairman of the Assets sharing Committee of Anambra, Enugu, Delta, Yobe and Borno states, which was within the purview of the late Admiral Augustus Aikhomu’s office.
Whereas, I was the Commander, Corps of Artillery, this new assignment put me virtually at the frontline of ensuring that the indigenes of the newly created states were allowed to define their collective destinies and maintain their cultural heritage, without erosion from external forces.
It was a challenge to my personal probity that I should ensure equity, fairness, and natural justice to make sure that grievances and the seeds of discord were adequately thrashed out for amity to reign in the newly created states.
It is this same nudging for fairness which informs the leadership of Ọmọ EKo Pataki, in our collective insistence as a people that we must be given our rightful and deserved place in our state of origin.
We do not say that non-indigenes should be cast aside. Far from it. We only urge that the native Lagosians should have a natural pride of place in their state of origin.
We equally implore the Federal Government to strengthen the security architecture of our state with a strong military aid to civil authorities by citing a Special Forces Air Wing Base in Epe or whatever suitable location, to help curb the sudden explosion of banditry across the length and breadth of our state.
We hold no one any malice. We are not interested in chasing anyone out of our state. But we cannot be treated like the orphaned and the alienated Red Indians upon our own soil. We are basically exhorting that justice, fair play, decency and equity should be observed to ensure the inclusive participation of our people in the affairs of our state. We pray that the Almighty Allah will guide Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu aright in these important matters.
⁃ Chief George, CON, the Atọna Oodua of Yorubaland, is Leader, Ọmọ Eko Pataki Forum
⁃ Rtd Major General Olanrewaju, ndc, a former GOC, 3rd Armored Division, Jos, is a Trustee, Ọmọ Eko Pataki Forum.