The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress,APC,Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Bola Tinubu,and other leaders of the party in the state have been enjoined to address the issue of alleged marginalization of Aworis in Lagos by successive administrations in the state since 1999.
Making the appeal in an interview with Daily Sun, the Onikotun of Ikotunland, in Lagos State,Oba Azeez Gbadabiu Asiwaju implored Tinubu to intervene in order to ensure that the Aworis get justice.
The royal father also spoke on other national issues.
You were one of the leading Awori Obas[traditional rulers] in Lagos State that recently cried out over alleged marginalization of Aworis in Lagos State by the APC-led state government, what has been the response of the state government, and the APC leadership?
W e are still waiting to get justice for the Aworis in Lagos State. Aworis have always been supporting, and voting for APC massively since 1999. We have qualified Awori professionals in different fields including technocrats, and also astute politicians who can serve Lagos State, and the nation at different levels, but what we get in return for our support and loyalty to APC over the years is not conmensurate with what we have been giving to the APC. Aworis are not getting what they deserve in Lagos State. Even non-indigenes are being treated in better ways than the Aworis who are indigenes. This is very unfair, and this is why we are crying out for the world to know what Aworis are going through in Lagos State. Our appeal to the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other APC leaders is that they should take steps to ensure that Aworis are given their rightful dues.
What are the proofs to show that the Aworis are being marginalised?
As royal fathers, we regard everybody as our children, be it indigenes or non-indigenes. We welcome all with open arms but in a situation where we are now being treated with unfairly, and being relegated to the background in a state which we are the majority, then we have to cry out, and this was why Awori Obas in Lagos State speaking recently through the Ojomu of Ajiranland, Oba Tijani Akinloye said we are not happy with the way Aworis are being treated in Lagos State.
A good proof of marginalization of Aworis is the new Lagos State executive council where Aworis were only given two slots whereas the Aworis are not only the original settlers in Lagos but also has a very large population spread across the state. Aworis own more than 70 per cent of Lagos State.
In a cabinet of over 25 Commissioners, and several Special Advisers, Aworis were given only two slots, and Aworis are the original settlers in Lagos. Not only that, the Aworis occupy 17 out of the 20 local governments in Lagos State, and 26 out of the 37 LCDA’S in the state. And like I said earlier, Aworis have sons and daughters who are eminently qualified to serve as Commissioners, and Special Advisers; so we are baffled that Aworis were only given two slots in the governor’s cabinet. Aworis deserve more than this.
What are the Aworis’ expectations from the APC leadership, and the Lagos State government?
What we are asking for is that we should be given our dues. Aworis are not asking for anything extra-ordinary. We want justice and fairness. Aworis are peace loving people. But it is an insult, and also against the principles of natural justice when Nigerians from other states are being given more recognition, and more political appointments and jobs more than the Aworis.
While people from other states are being given appointments in Lagos State, have you heard of any Awori from Lagos State being made a Commissioner or being given any other political appointments in Oyo, Sokoto, Anambra, Gombe, Ebonyi, Bayela, Delta or Osun State or any other state across the country? It is only in Lagos State that it is happening that non-Lagosians are being given appointments over and above Lagosians. This is an injustice of the highest order.
Honestly, I don’t know why they are doing this, but Aworis are tired of being marginalised in Lagos State. Enough is enough. We want the National Leader of APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to intervene.Aworis want justice.We also want the current governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu to look into our grievances.
It is even annoying when you see some people saying that Lagos State is a no man’s land. This is an insult.I’m saying a big No to this. Aworis are Lagosians. We are indigenes of Lagos State.. Lagos State is not a no man’s land. Aworis are Lagosians, and are the majority in Lagos State.
It is unfortunate that some politicians have been using their positions within APC leadership to oppress Aworis in Lagos State. This was why some prominent Aworis recently tackled a prominent APC leader in Lagos State, Prince Tajudeen Olusi who said that Binis own Lagos.What a falsehood coming from somebody like Olusi .
If Aworis had not come out to put lie to his false claims,Olusi would have been spreading this falsehood.What we even expect from Olusi as an elderly man, and also as a chieftain of APC is to ensure that APC in Lagos State is fair to all but instead of doing that, Olusi has been spreading falsehood all over the place over the ownership of Lagos. Let nobody make any mistake about it, Aworis are the first indigenous settlers in Lagos State. The fact that we welcome others with open arms should not be misconstrued, and distorted as sign of weakness. Aworis welcome everybody with open arms but we should not be marginalised, and relegated in the affairs of Lagos State.
What is your reaction to the present state of insecurity in the country?
It is sad and alarming. Insecurity is gradually becoming a big monster which must be quickly tamed. It is sad that kidnappers and bandits are now all over the place making life difficult for people. Although government has been taking steps to redress the ugly situation but these efforts must be stepped up in order to ensure that the situation is quickly put under control.