no representation in Local Govt, House of Assembly commissions, only one perm sec
To a large extent, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu have been kind to Ikorodu in terms of infrastructure. In recent times, the Governor visited Ikorodu Division and paid special attention to the people and its environs. However, recent developments have kept the people of Ikorodu wondering what could have gone wrong.
Under the watch of His Excellency, there have been conspicuous imbalances in terms of political appointments and structural projects to the detriment of the Ikorodu people, as they are being excluded from many appointments in key parastatals in Lagos State.
Many groups, stakeholders and concerned indigenes of Ikorodu are raising eye brows regarding the appointments of key State Departments. After seeing the trend of appointment in the Sanwo-Olu’s administration since late 2019, the people couldn’t take it anymore and some groups became edgy and are ready to take every necessary steps to confront this administration. Many descents of Ikorodu are beginning to question their stake in the State and they wonder if Ikorodu Division is still part of Lagos State.
Within a span of eleven months, December 2019 to November 2020, the people of Ikorodu division have been excluded from key government appointments in the State. Firstly, it happened sometime last year when the Sanwo-Olu administration appointed Permanent Secretaries in Lagos State. Only one of the Permanent Secretaries was picked from Ikorodu and since then, the figure had not changed in favour of our division. Many aggrieved groups within the division drew the government’s attention to that imbalance in the current dispensation but nothing has been done since then.
While that issue was still unsettled, the Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration overlooked yet another unfair representation in the Lagos State House of Assembly in November 2019. The Lagos State House of Assembly appointed five representatives of the Commission of the Lagos State House of Assembly, but to the utter dismay of many, Ikorodu descents were excluded from the list. That unfair structure attracted the ire of Ikorodu people and many groups wrote letters of complaint and redress to the legislative and executive arms of the State Government. Our newspaper carried the story in our December 2019 edition.
The most recent events, which culminated in massive agitation from the Ikorodu people, is the constitution of board members into the Lagos State Local Government Service Commission amidst the covid-19 crisis. The appointed five members of the newly constituted board were from different parts of Lagos with none from Ikorodu. This recent appointments indicated share neglect and confirmed the apprehension of Ikorodu people that their division has been abandoned since 1999 and successive governments in the State have been excluding the division from the scheme of things, deliberately.
At this point, many indigenes are not just agitating for what is theirs but are ready to tender their points not only before government agencies but also before the court of public opinion. Having being convinced that Ikorodu is being shortchanged deliberately, the people are ready to fight for what is officially theirs. To a third party, who might not understand the fuss and basis of the people’s agitation, a brief clarification might help shed light on the issue of marginalization against the division.
In 1967, when the Federal Government established Lagos State and recognized it as a political municipal in Nigeria, the aborigines and indigenous settlers were identified and harnessed into five administrative divisions. These indigenous groups comprises of Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe; the initials of each division formed the acronym IBILE. The ideology behind the formation of IBILE is to ensure equal representation and fair opportunity for all component divisions to thrive. Political appointments, infrastructural and social amenities were expected to be shared among the people of the divisions with equity and fairness. Since then, State Administrators and Governors were expected to follow this principle whenever they are embarking on State affairs. The military Governors who ruled in Lagos State from 1967 to 1999 mostly abide by the IBILE formula.
However, since the beginning of the 4th Republic in Nigeria, 1999, democratic Governors started neglecting the principle and they favoured some divisions more than the rest. The Ikorodu division, in most times, suffer in this trend of favouritism as it is being excluded from many appointments while the infrastructure received little attention when compared to other divisions. Going by the virtue of being a major division in the State, coupled with the strategic role Ikorodu plays in Lagos, the people expect, if not more, but at least fair and equal representations Statewide.
Aside being a core division of Lagos State, Ikorodu Division is among the largest, both in terms of landmass and human population. Its massive active population comes next to Alimosho and it has large active voters, who have vehemently supported the ruling party since 1999 (AD, AC, ACN and APC). Ikorodu is currently experiencing influx of middle level Lagosians, who are relocating from the densely congested Island and Mainland. The division also provide massive landmass for industrial layouts, residential estates and academic institutions. In the recent gubernatorial election, Ikorodu had the second highest votes in support of the ruling All Progressives Party, APC.
The people of Ikorodu have every right to demand for their rights and get what is due to us. There are many qualified men and women of Ikorodu descent, who have cognate experience in every fields of study. Many of the indigenes schooled and are taught in overseas with degrees and advanced degrees in professional studies.
The division have huge numbers of competent human resources to manage any public office in Lagos, Nigeria, Africa and globally, many of which are doing well in the United Kingdom, United States and other parts of Europe. Denying the people of Ikorodu slots in their own home State is not only a disservice to the people, but also a way of robbing Lagos State professional impute from the extraordinary people of Ikorodu.
The situation of underrepresentation of Ikorodu indigenes in key State departments is a burning issue among the people and they are mobilizing people from within to take the challenge to the door step of the State Government through every means possible. Either way, they will prevail at the end and their case will serve as a precedence to many other groups in Lagos. For the sake of organic growth and development in Lagos State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu should make a swift move by correcting the imbalanced and lopsided appointments in the Commissions and Ministries.
Concerned groups and personalities in Ikorodu have kindled the fire of fair representation in the State affairs and those who embrace it will be kept warm and cozy, but those who fight this move will be burnt by the flames of constructive agitation. Elite groups in Ikorodu like the Ikorodu Oga Development Association (IKODASS); Igbogbo Youth Coalition; the Ikorodu Resource Development Group, IDRDGG; the Oriwu Club and many other indigenous groups are making moves to demand their rights through all means humanely possible. We believe in Governor Sanwo-Olu and his amiable Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat; they will do the right thing before things spin out of control.