Some elders and stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress in Lagos Mainland (West) have petitioned the party’s National Leader, Bola Tinubu, alleging marginalisation in political office allocations since the return to democracy in 1999.
A statement by the group titled, “Injustice, Oppression and Continuous Marginalisation of Ebute Metta (West) in the Political Affairs of Lagos Mainland Local Government,” was jointly signed by the Chairman and Secretary of Lagos Mainland West Elders Forum, Baba Babs Fashina and Akibu Bankole, respectively, and copied to the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Olushola Sanwo-Olu and the Governance Advisory Council of the state.
The aggrieved elders and stakeholders noted that in the interest of justice, fairness, and equity, the House of Representatives, Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency position should be zoned to Ebute Metta (West).
They noted that Ebute-Metta (East) and Yaba have had their candidates represent Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency at the House of Representatives.
They further noted that between 1999 and 2007, the Federal Constituency was represented by Hon. Wunmi Bewaji from Yaba; while from 2007 to 2011, it was by Hon. Bashiru Omolaja Bolarinwa from Ebute – Metta (East); Hon. Monsuru Alao Owolabi from Ebute-Metta (East) from 2011 to 2015; and Hon. Jide Jimoh from Yaba from 2015 till date.
They appealed that after zoning the position to Ebute-Metta (West), Tinubu, Governor Sanwo-Olu, and the GAC should ensure that the candidate of the party must be a vibrant and intelligent youth below the age of 50 years, whose family must be well-known and must have contributed to the development of Lagos Mainland Local Government.
In their petition read at a press conference attended by royal fathers, community leaders, members of various community development associations, religious leaders and youth development associations, leaders of the Elders Forum lamented that their unwavering support for the party from the time it was Alliance for Democracy to its present form as the APC, they had been unjustly sidelined and marginalised in the political arrangement of the Lagos Mainland Local government.
They said, “It is disheartening that despite our contribution, support, and commitment to the party and its leadership, we have been treated unjustly, marginalised, oppressed, and outrightly sidelined in the political equation in Lagos Mainland Local government.
“It might interest you to know that since the advent of democracy in 1999, Ebute Metta (West) comprising of Apapa road, Otumara (Ilaje), Ilogbo, Abule, and Ijero has never held any major elective office despite our support for the ruling party in Lagos State.”
Revealing data to support their claims, the Elders showed details of elective offices and the names of the occupiers, their wards, and areas they represented from 1999 till the moment.
“Despite several protests and complaints, the marginalization and oppression of Ebute-Metta (West) persists till today, in spite of the fact that the area records the highest voters turn out in favour of the party from time to time,” they said.
They noted that the present political equation in Lagos Mainland Local Government marginalised them.
They further stated that in the House of Representatives, Hon. Jide Jimoh Abdul, who is representing Yaba local Council development area, had served as a councilor in Lagos Mainland Local Government and was a two-term member, Lagos State House of Assembly, two-term Executive Chairman, Yaba Local Council Development Area, and two-term member, House of Representatives, Lagos Mainland Federal Constituency.
They said, “In the House of Assembly, Hon. Ibrahim Ajani Owolabi is from Ward F Ebute-Metta(East) and he is representing Lagos Mainland Constituency one at the Lagos State House of Assembly.”
They added that at the Local Government level, Hon. Mrs. Rasheedat Omolara Essien was from Ward I Ebute-Metta(East) and was a former executive secretary of both Ikeja and Lagos Mainland Local Government and the current Chairperson of Lagos Mainland Local Government serving her second term in office.
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