The Eti-Osa Heritage Organisation has frowned at the treatment meted to the indigenes of the area in the appointment of Lagos state government executive council members by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Mr Adewale Sanni and Alhaji Oloye Mustapha Okunmoyinbo President and Secretary of Eti-Osa Heritage Organisation respectively in a press statement dated August 11, 2023, said it has become a patterns for Governor Sanwo-Olu to always shut out the indigenes in the appointment into Lagos cabinet, despite its contribution in term of revenue and other socio economic development of the state.
The statement titled “Marginalization of Eti-Osa in the Appointment of Lagos State Government Executive Council Members: When shall this end?” It chronicles how the Eti-Osa has been marginalised in terms of appointment at all levels in the state.
The statement read ;”We, the indigenes of Eti-Osa Local Government, wish to express our deep concern and disappointment regarding the ongoing marginalization of Eti-Osa indigenes in the appointment of executive council members by the Lagos State Government.
“This press release serves as a call for fairness, inclusivity, and transparency in the governance of our beloved state. Moreover, we were shocked by the news that the list of 39 nominees for Commissioners and Special Advisers emanating from the office of the Chief of Staff to the Governor, to the Speaker of the State Assembly dated 7th August 2023 claimed 12 out of 39 of the nominees to be from Eti-Osa Local Government Area!
“To us, this is yet another exercise in misrepresentation. The practice of residents, even with names that apparently belong outside Lagos State, claiming to be indigenes of a local ancestral community of ours for political gains at the expense of the community is now becoming entrenched.
“As stated in our earlier letter to the office of the governor dated 2nd August, we are stating that the forwarded list did not contain a single indigene of Eti-Osa, ours is an indigenous community with over 500 years of history and the local government constitutionally recognized as a major constituent part of Lagos State. We consider this as an anomally, and therefore, we call upon the governor to redress the same as a matter of political and constitutional imperative by ensuring that Eti-Osa indigenes are adequately represented.
“As indigenes, we have observed with great concern that despite our community’s contributions to the revenue generation, growth, and development of Lagos State, the present administration appears to be wilful and persistent in excluding and marginalizing the people of Eti-Osa Local Government in the Leadership of the State Government, as demonstrated by the patterns of appointments over time. Notwithstanding this administration’s obvious marginalization, however, we never relent in showing commitment to our state and the government at all levels.
We recall our series of engagements on this issue, as well as the specific promises made by Mr Governor at the last Stakeholders meeting held on Sunday 12th February 2023 in Eti-Osa. It is surprising to note however that the meeting, like others, has not yielded any fruits in correcting the wrongs of the past. The current situation is definitely worse, whereby an acclaimed 12 names of individuals now pose as indigene of the local Government where none of them is known to us or our leaders as indigenes.
“It is pertinent to categorically state here that apart from the Executive Council, this administration has not appointed any indigene of Eti-Osa Local Government to the position of Permanent Secretary, Board Chairman or Member, Head or Member of Parastatals or Agencies in the Lagos State Ministries, as well as Councils of Universities owned by the State Government. We recall that even in the last administration, only one of our indigenes was appointed as Commissioner while so many total strangers, just like the current list, were used to fill the Eti-Osa quota in utter contempt and disregard for legal and constitutional principles.This development has sparked feelings of continuous neglect and disillusionment among our people. For the avoidance of doubt, Eti-Osa has competent professionals in every field of life.
“We condemn the practice of using other persons to impersonate the indigenes as representatives of Eti-Osa. Even when such people deploy those resources and experience garnerd at our expense to go and develop their own commuties while leaving us politically and financially desolate.
“Such practice also robs us of our constitutional right to participate in governance in the State as well at the federal level. It was in anticipation of this practice of using non indigenes to replace us and the need to redress the same that Eti-Osa Leaders of Thought with Eti-Osa indigenes Forum submitted a list of nominees from among the indigenes to the office of the governor for consideration.
“We, therefore, implore the governor to redress the anomaly in this submission to the Lagos State House of Assembly by causing the inclusion of Eti-Osa indigenes from those earlier submitted by our community. By doing so, this administration will send a strong signal of hope for equity and fairness to all the indigenes of Lagos State. “We do not deserve to be treated as mere onlookers in our state but remain hopeful that the Governor will take our concerns into account and work towards a more balanced and representative administration.
“In the end, we look forward to you, Mr. Governor as the Messiah to end this political manipulation without the need to look forward to the future for a rescuer”