Bye-Elections: Lagos indigenes should occupy vacant seats – Group

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Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju (Rtd): Battles for the rights of suppressed indigenes of Lagos to have a stake in administration of their state.

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•Charges APC, PDP to right past wrongs, heal subsisting wounds

 

According to him, the opportunity that now presented itself, which he described as “historic” can be used as the beginning of correcting the ills that still confront the indigenous people of Lagos.

 

An association of Lagos State indigenes, Omo Eko Pataki Forum (OEPF), has called on the two major political parties in the country, the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) and the main opposition, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to ensure that Lagos Indigenes are chosen as their candidates to contest the forthcoming bye-elections for the Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe II State constituency elections respectively.

The senatorial seat became vacant following the death, on June 15, 2020, of Senator Sikiru Bayo Osinowo who represented Lagos East, while Hon. Tunde Buraimoh, who represented Kosofe State Constituency 11, died a few days ago.

The group, in a release issued on Monday and signed by one of its Trustees, Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju (Rtd), who is also former Minister of Communications, urged the two major parties to do this to as a way of placating the indigenes who it claimed had been marginalized over the years.

Olanrewaju, while making the call, said it was also in line his continuous quest to ensure equity, justice and fair play in the matters concerning his fellow indigenous Lagosians.

“In my continuous quest to ensure equity, justice and fair play in the matters concerning my fellow indigenous Lagosians, I am seizing this opportunity to appeal to the two major parties in my dear state to rectify the festering wrongs and heal the subsisting wounds by deliberately ensuring that their candidates for both the vacant House of Assembly position and the vacant East Senatorial District position are indigenous people,” he said.

The former minister, who is also former General Officer Commanding 3rd Mechanized Division, while recalling the two elective positions were once occupied by none native Lagosians, denounced the situation as unjust, urging that it was time that things should be done in a proper, legitimate and constitutional way as Lagosians had suffered too much marginalization upon their own soil.

According to him, the opportunity that now presented itself, which he described as “historic” can be used as the beginning of correcting the ills that still confront the indigenous people of Lagos.

“The positions were once occupied by none native Lagosians. This is not fair. This is not just.

“Let us start to do things in a proper, legitimate and constitutional way. Lagosians have suffered too much marginalization upon their own soil. This historic opportunity can be used as the beginning of correcting the ills that still confront us all,” Olanrewaju counselled.

“I do not write as a partisan person. I am not a member of any political party. I absolutely have no leanings towards any political strand. My interest is about the development and the growth of my state. As a retired Major General and a former General Officer Commanding 3rd Mechanized Division, I am a stakeholder in the affairs of my state and I do stand firmly as an Elder Statesman who wishes the best for my state and my country. This is what Omo Eko Pataki Forum stands for,” he argued.

“APC and the PDP should please ensure that their candidates for the two vacant positions are Lagos indigenes to mark a good beginning and correct the errors of the past.

“We the indigenes of Lagos have been observing how for example Mr Tunji Bello has been in government as commissioner under former Governors Bola Tinubu, and Raji Fashola (SAN); Secretary to the State Government under former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and now presently as Commissioner under Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and we wonder whether there are no Lagos indigenes suitable for such positions being occupied by him.

“The marginalization of Lagos indigenes in the political positions should stop and we want this to be corrected with the filling of these two vacant positions with Lagos indigenes,” the former minister said.


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