Eko Foundation reject Wole Soyinka as Lagos at 50 chairman

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Eko Foundation complained that Lagos indigenes are been marginalized by the Ambode administration as people from other states were taking the appointment meant for them.

Briefing newsmen in Surulere this weekend, the group also rejected the appointment of former chairman of the Federal Inland Revenue Service (FIRS), Mrs Ifueko Omo-Okauro as the chairman of a committee to manage the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund, by the Ambode administration.

Those at the media briefing include Prof. Oluwole Smith, former Lagos commissioner, Peju Philips; former special adviser on environment, Taofiq Folami; former solicitor general and permanent secretary, Lagos Ministry of Justice, Lawal Pedro; the Oba Akran of Badagry, represented by Chief Gbonugan Ajose-Harrison; Lai Ajayi Bembe, among others. According to PM news, Professor Smith said Soyinka’s appointment was a wrong choice and unacceptable.

He also decried the fact that successive administrations in the state had been towing the same line by by-passing what he says are “true indigenes” for the past 18 years. He added by saying henceforth, they (Lagos indigenes) will resist government decisions to give sensitive appointments to non-indigenes of the state. He said: ”There are very many elders, octogenarians, septuagenarians, former governor, ministers, academic, public and civil servants and other indigenes both at home and in the Diaspora, that are more than eminently qualified to celebrate their state.

”Professor Wole Soyinka’s choice is an insult to the indigenes and he should decline to serve, to accord with his reputation as a protester, who has tirelessly protested wrongs and injustice in the better part of his adult life.” ”We have decided to cry out, to enable us partake as our right and in accordance with extant laws, in the government of the state. We can no longer afford to keep silent and pretend that all is well when in fact there appears to be no future for the indigenes of this state and the generations yet unborn in the state.

”At the moment, we have six Ibos occupying seats in Lagos, in the Federal House of Representatives, 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 various parastatals both in the state and at federal level. These are not replicated in any other state in Nigeria.”

Smith further stated that indigenes of Lagos state would henceforth closely monitor and periscope the activities of the present administration in the state. He warned that appointments in the state must conform with Federal Character Commission Act, the Nigerian constitution and other subsidiary legislation. The Committee for Democracy &Rights of the People (CDRP) had condemned Eko foundation after its paid advertorial appeared in The Punch newspaper recently condemning Soyinka’s appointment.

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