An association of distinguished Lagosians with common interest and patent ancestral values and vision, the Ọmọ Eko Pataki Forum, OEPF, has cried out over what it perceived as marginalisation of the indigenous Lagosians and imbalance in appointments into public office in the Centre of Excellence.
Speaking on behalf of the Forum, the leader and a Trustee, Chief Olabode George and Major-General Tajudeen Olanrewaju (rtd), respectively, decried the manner real Lagosians are relegated to the background in matter of appointment into public offices in the state while non-indigenes are elevated.
The duo opined that while it is a fact that Lagos State is not only accommodating and easily embracing, but deepened in effortless kindness and friendship to everyone, irrespective of ethnic provenance, the people’s “instinctive amity, and our spirit of brotherhood is being abused, disfigured as perhaps a sign of weakness.”
Averring that Lagosians treat no one as outsiders, but give comfort, genuine friendship to all without prejudice, George and Olanrewaju lamented what they called “festering anomaly, where the indigenes are deliberately marginalized, elbowed out of reckoning in the political and administrative sectors of our state.”
They said, “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.”
Explaining that the essence of state creation is to ensure 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, the Atona Oodua of Yorubaland and the retired General Officer Commanding, GOC of 3rd Armoured Division of Nigeria Army respectively, said, “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.”
They also made a passionate appeal to the Federal Government for the establishment of a Special Forces Air Wing Base in Epe, or anywhere so found suitable in the state to “help curb the sudden explosion of banditry across the length and breadth of our state.”
While declaring that Lagosians in general and Omo Eko Pataki Forum in particular hold no one any malice, the Forum said, “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.”
The Forum prayed Almighty Allah to guide the Lagos State governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu aright in doing what is right by Lagosians in addressing the perceived marginalisation.