Some Lagos State indigenes, under the aegis of Eko Foundation, have faulted the appointment of Nobel Laureate, Prof. Wole Soyinka, as the chairman of the Lagos at 50 Committee, saying it is wrong.
At a press conference on Saturday, the group also rejected the appointment of a former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service as the committee chairman of the N25bn Empowerment Trust Fund.
The President of Eko Foundation, Prof. Oluwole Smith, said the group had observed that for the past 18 years, successive governments in the state had a penchant of marginalising “true indigenes” in appointments, adding that thenceforth, any government’s decision to give sensitive appointments to non-indigenes of the state would be resisted.
Smith said, “There are many elders, former governors, former ministers, and public and civil servants who are Lagos State indigenes and who are eminently qualified to celebrate their state.
“Prof. Wole Soyinka’s choice is an insult to the indigenes and we urge him to decline to serve so that he would defend his reputation as an activist who has tirelessly fought wrongs and injustices.”
Smith observed that the choice of Alhaji Rasheed Gbadamosi, an indigene, to co-chair the committee with Soyinka was “a deception and mischievous make-believe”.
He said, “We have decided to cry out. We can no longer keep silent and pretend that all is well when in fact it appears that there is no future for the indigenes of this state.
“At the moment, we have a non-indigene as a senator, several non-indigenes in Lagos State House of Assembly and in the executive council of the state. In the past, indigenes of other states have taken over our ministerial slot and occupy positions in the state and the federal levels. These are not happening in any other state in Nigeria.”
Smith said the indigenes would thenceforth closely monitor the activities of the present administration in the state, warning that appointments in the state must conform to Federal Character Commission Act, the constitution of the country and other subsidiary legislation.
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