*Governor Sanwo-Olu should investigate, Retired General Tajudeen Olanrewaju urges
By BASHIR ADEFAKA
As widespread condemnations continue to greet early Wednesday’s viral video revealing candidates who are non-indigenes of Lagos State but were issued ‘Letter of Indigeneship’ to use the slots of Lagos indigenes in the ongoing recruitment into the Nigeria Army, eminent Nigerian in the state and former Minister of Communications, Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju (Rtd), has joined the conversation by adding his voice.
The DEFENDER reports that the fight against marginalization, deprivation and displacement of indigenes has gained momentum in Lagos State because of now evident plot being ostensibly orchestrated to push the rightful owners out of their own land and control of their state affairs.
An advocate for the rights of Lagos indigenes and untiring fighter against the unfortunate trend, Retired Major General Tajudeen Olanrewaju, who spoke through a statement Wednesday night, insisted that the development shown in the video “is procedurally wrong and constitutionally and democratically unacceptable, adding that it is a big slap on the national goal of achieving peace and unity of the country”.
He said, “Nobody would see and listen to the video and would not be repulsive about the violation of the constitutional rights of indigenes of Lagos State.”
The former General Officer Commanding (GOC), Three Armoured Division Nigeria Army was dismayed at the alarming rate by which people abuse office under the pretenses of money and friendship.
“If this video is fake, let it be. But if not, I’m requesting the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lieutenant General Taoreed Lagbaja, to please use his good office to look into this matter and, if true, interrogate and stop it.
“As for the ruling Lagos State government and responsible agencies, including Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC) of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State, they are implored to step in and stop those who dish out fake indigene identity to non-indigenous residents in Lagos State in general,” he requested.
The video, the statement noted, is simply an exposition of how Lagos indigenes are deprived from enjoying their constitutionally granted rights as indisputable owners of Lagos State.
According to the RetiredGeneral, “Some of the ways we feel these rampant abuses could be reduced by law will be outlined later in this article. This video has highlighted one of the various methods and ways indigenous Lagosians have been losing their slots as guaranteed in the Constitution.
“Issues emanating from this video have been traced to Oshodi-Isolo Local Government, even though the Media Office of the Local Government’s Executive Chairman has released a press statement trying to deny it, but the issue should not be swept under the carpet,” he said.
The former Minister explained why abuses of indigenes’ rights have been easy in Lagos State and provided solutions to the problem that, The DEFENDER gathered, even many non-indigenous friends of the state are now saying must be fought to the roots before the rightful owners and constitutionally recognized indigenes are turned to strangers in their own land.
“Our Local Government Area and Local Council Development Area Chairmen are not concerned and conscious of power of true Lagos State Indegenship. Same applies to our Obas, traditional Chiefs and Baales. Securing certificate, letter or any documents of Lagos State Indegenship by individual must be thoroughly scrutinised, secured and not offered on the altar of money or friendship.
“Non-indigenes should go to their states for whatever they are required to present, which may require their State of Origin’s approval whenever they want to join any of the national services. They have their own vacancies awaiting them in their various local governments and there are 774 Local Governments in the federation.
“Our IBILE Indegenship application conditions are too porous and susceptible to abuses because they are not secured and are obtained under pretenses of money and friendship. Very critical also is that most of the Chairmen of LGAs and LCDAs are not themselves true Indeginous IBILE persons. Same applies to some civil servants in the Lagos public services. These are believers of “Lagos State belongs to all”.
“Therefore, there is no doubt that the quota of Lagos State are usurped by the Yorubas of the South West, Kwara and Kogi State or even those of other states that could easily buy-out the Lagos State Indegenship certificates. I am sure same have been happening in other Security Agencies, Federal Civil Service Commission and other Department and Agencies. This is not a talk-shop matter anymore but walking the talk as a purposeful unit,” he explained.
“First, the Chairman of the Oshodi-Isolo LGA must step aside for thorough investigation to take place. He cannot investigate himself.
“Second, the Executive Governor/Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice are both respectfully requested to present an enabling law to the House of Assembly to be passed on “The Verification System Unit” that is autonomous and staffed by IBILE Indigeneous Staff, and established in the 5 Divisions of the State.
“Its function is to liaise with the Armed Forces and link with Governor’s Office, Alausa. They will deal with recruitment and further follow up with the interview processes and monitor those shortlisted for admissions into the Armed Forces. This is what most of the states in the North do now. If this approach is fine-tuned properly, the law will help to reduce abuses associated with Lagos State slots allocated to it.
“This method is doable and feasible, provided there is collective action and purposeful desire and political willpower,” he said.
Screenshot from the video showing one of the indigene identity letter issued to non-indigenous residents show below: