Exactly one year and few weeks of the incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwoolu administration of Lagos State, many Ikorodu stakeholders have criticised the marginalization of the division in appointment consideration into State Boards and Agencies. This is inspite of the many campaign promises made to the good people of the Division, by Governor Sawoolu and his deputy, Hamzat during their campaign tour to the division.
Since the governor assumed office about a year ago, Ikorodu indigenes have only been compensated with only three political appointment is namely, a Special Adviser (now acting Commissioner), SUBEB and TESCOM Board memberships. The division, with her teeming experienced and highly exposed APC stakeholders, many of who served in key directorates and several capacities during the Sawolu-Hamzat 2019 Governorship campaign were yet to be considered for board appointments.
The latest in the series of such appointments into State boards was the reconstituted boards of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund and Lagos State Employment Trust Fund. The governor, in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Gboyega Akosile announced the reconstitution of the two boards on Tuesday, 17th June.
Reacting to the unfortunate development, Chairman of Ikorodu Oga Development Association (IKODASS) Otunba Ganiyu Abiru bared his mind.
‘I must express my displeasure at the non- inclusion of any lkorodu indigene on the boards of either of the State Employment and Security Trust Funds. I think this omission is one too many and I wish that our leaders must begin to show interest in important things like this. If we don’t strategically strive to put people there, whose help are we going to seek in future? The matter is from redeemable and I believe henceforward all our leaders and our Representatives both in Lagos and Abuja will work hands in gloves to see that our division is not always deprived of its right.
The time to act and work together as a formidable team is NOW, he submitted.
Some Ikorodu APC stalwarts who also volunteered their reactions to the development but, pleaded anonymity.
They were all unanimous in accusing the government of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu of not being fair to Ikorodu Division as a whole.
‘It is so unfortunate, we worked very hard for the party during the campaign and elections only to be relegated to the background now that the spoils of office is being shared. We were given all manner of promises and we delivered on our part. We came 4th among 20 local governments in the State in terms of volume of votes, but what do we have to show?’, a young party chieftain queried’.
Speaking in the same vein, another APC stakeholder, who chose to also speak on condition of anonymity condemned the party’s unfair treatment of the division and berated Ikorodu political and traditional leaders for playing the ostrich.
‘It is rather very unfortunate that despite repeated marginalization of Ikorodu indigenes, our leaders continue walking in flowing ‘agbada’ as if all is well. It will be an understatement that lkorodu had since lost its political bite with the death of Chief Ajisebutu. Can somebody tell me of any of our leaders that is serving Ikorodu passionately if not for the entrenchment of SELF?’, he asked.
‘What indeed have we gained from the present Lagos State government? How many Board appointments have we been given despite our commendable electoral feat at the last election? How many of our qualified sons and daughters in the State Civil Service have been privileged with the appointment of Permanent Secretaries, despite the fact that they are eminently qualified? What about the Commissioners? We have only one and we pray that her acting appointment be confirmed as she is doing well. The other one is not known to many of us and indeed has not identified with us, since his appointment was not at the instance of any lkorodu platform? Headship of parastatals, where are lkorodu indigenes? Of all lkorodu indigenes who played active roles during the last election and spent their all for the party, how many of them have been politically compensated? Yes, some of our leaders are among the GAC but, of what benefit is their membership of the body to the development of the division?’
Continuing he noted that, ‘Ikorodu is fast losing its political relevance in the scheme of things in Lagos State. Just imagine, the two recently reconstituted Security and Employment Trust Funds were without any Ikorodu indigene. May be there is but unknown to me. What happens to IBILE configuration? Does that mean we don’t have people who could be considered?. Yet our leaders and Kabiyesis feel unperturbed at this disgraceful turn of events? LASPOTECH Governing Board ? We will see again the denigration of lkorodu people through their absence in the yet-to-be constituted Council’, he said.
‘All of us must be woken from our unforgivably deep slumber and take our destiny in our hands. With our current political leadership, we can as well assume we are like a ship without a Captain. How long will it take us to free ourselves from this political slavery?, he concluded.
Another concerned community stakeholder from Igbogbo-Baiyeku LCDA, Dcn Ohi Obadan blamed the continued marginalisation of the Division on the in-fightings and lack of cohesiveness of Ikorodu APC party leaders in taking collective stand on political appointments due to the division.
While he believes that appointments into these all important Boards and Agencies are done more on personal merit of those so appointed and on their pedigree, he however noted that Ikorodu divisions also boasts of qualified candidates who can fit into some of these MDAs.
‘I strongly believe that Ikorodu also have many credible and qualified individuals but our political establishment must continue to network and intensify lobbying to see that our sons and daughters earn a place in governance’, he said.
‘I was so disappointed in the acrimony that ensured before a consensus was reached before a District Education Coordinator could be appointed almost a year after the expiration of the past DEC’, he added.
There must be a repository or pool or directory of qualified Ikorodu Sons and Daughters with a set indicators or criteria that would be set to assist or aid succession plan’, he advised.
It would be recalled that the slogan used during Governor Sanwoolu’s campaign across Ikorodu was ‘Sanwo-Ikorodu’, meaning that his government will ‘pay’ or reward Ikorodu if he wins the election. But, the current realities and treatments being meted out to Ikorodu indigenes in the Sanwoolu-Hamzat Administration is the direct opposite of their campaign promises to the entire division.
For a division that recently lost its seat on the Lagos State House of Assembly Commission (LAHASCOM) and has been denied of governorship slot, Senate Seat, State Speakership among other plum political considerations, the APC leadership at the State and Division needs to do something fast if it must win the support of Ikorodu’s people in future elections.