The national leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, on Tuesday, assured the Awori Indigenous Forum (AIF), a socio-political group, mainly made up of the Awori people in Lagos of all-inclusive governance.
The group during a peaceful protest at Tinubu’s residence in Lagos, said no indigene of the land had been elected or appointed into any political office or position such as Chairman of the Council, Secretary to the Local Government, Executive Secretary of the Local Government, Supervisory Councilor, State House of Assembly and Federal House of Representatives in the LGA or LCDAs in the past 20 years.
Tinubu, who was on his way out, called for the leader of the group and requested for the letter they brought to press home their needs, however, promised to look into the matter with a view to getting back to them.
Alhaji Oyebola Onikoro, Chief Imam of Kosofe Local Government Area, Lagos, and Hon. Akintola Kamarudeen Balogun, a leader of the Awori indigenes in Ikeja division, both said it was time for the party to allow indigenes govern Lagos state.
They said the Aworis in Ikeja, Kosofe, Ojodu, Oshodi and others have been politically marginalised for the past 20 years.
The duo noted that early attempts made in the past to call the attention of stakeholders to this anomaly yielded no result, adding that a protest was made to Bola Ahmed Tinubu in 2002, while he was governor of Lagos state, and they were advised and assured that the issue would be looked into and resolved.
They said in recent past, they visited respected national and state leaders of the APC in Lagos, particularly Asiwaju Tinubu, and staged a protest on July 12, 2015 to remind and intimate him of their plight, and subsequently help persuade the political leaders in Ikeja to consider the Aworis for political positions and appointments.
“Up till now nothing has happened. Political decision makers in our areas are the people behind the deprivation of the indigenes of their political rights. Despite our efforts in ensuring that our voices are heard and what rightly belongs to us is given to us, our leaders believe it is their absolute right to hold onto the political positions perpetually”, the duo added.
The group noted that the Aworis are patient and accommodating, therefore, asked why should people capitalize on the two attributes to cheat, block and deprive them of a say in governance and control of their land. They added that rather than face the reality and the basic fact about the issue with a resolve to finding a solution to it, the alleged political leaders have resorted to blackmail.
“Whereas these local political leaders have their homes elsewhere and many of them have utilised this double opportunities to go and vie for positions after their tenure in Lagos, we the Aworis in Kosofe Land have no other home or elsewhere to go except our Kosofe. We want to prove that we own our land, and if there is anyone that believes to the contrary, let him dare us. This is no threat, it is real. We are more than ready to deploy all legal and traditional means to claim what rightly belongs to us. Enough is enough!
“What we are demanding is a situation where we are also involved in the governance and administration of our God-given land. We have all the while been alienated from having a say on what by right belongs to us. We have virtually, no sense of belonging anymore on our land. We have been colonized; now, we are ready to fight this injustice with the last blood in our veins. We are more than determined that we will not accept this and it will not happen in our land again,” the statement reads in part.