An Igbo group under the aegis of Concerned Igbo Elites (CIE) has cried out over the non-representation of Ndigbo in the government of Lagos State as currently constituted by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The group made its position known after it said it had undertaken examination, verification and scrutinization of the cabinet formation of the Government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
In a release made available to the media today Thursday, the group decried what they called a misnomer calculated at marginalizing the Igbos in Lagos.
CIE made it clear that Ndigbo in Lagos were not happy considering the cordial relationship existing between the Igbos and the Yorubas in Lagos especially since 1999, when the former Governor of Lagos State and current President, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, was in power.
The group maintained that such cordiality and peaceful coexistence between the two groups, which have been the jealously guided hallmark of the host and her visitors, should not be thwarted for any reason.
Coordinator of the group, Aji Ibe, said his group was surprised that no persons of Igbo extraction were found in the current government of His Excellency, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, despite the struggle and efforts even at personal discomfort of some Igbo people in ensuring that the All Progressives Congress won Lagos and Nigeria at large.
Ibe therefore called on the Governor and relevant stakeholders to halt what he called total marginalization of the Igbos in Lagos, especially when viewed against the quantum of revenue the Igbos added to the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the State.
Ibe said: “We are concerned and we are not happy. We have our illustrious sons and daughters in Lagos, especially somebody like Honourable Jude Idimogu, who has served the state in the Assembly for eight years as a lawmaker; we think that such a man should be compensated especially when you look at what he did for APC, he campaigned vigorously, organizing press conferences, town hall meetings and explaining APC manifesto to his kinsmen, he should be compensated. He should have been given something like commissioner or Senior Special Adviser, it is not too much for him. What we are saying is that such a position can still be created for him and others like him.
“Hon. Idimogu through his brainchild network, Abundance Movement, was able to mobilse his constituents for Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for Presidency and Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the number one Governor in Nigeria. He also played key role in so many other associations formed to mobilise support for Tinubu and Sanwo-Olu, such group as Igbokwenu for Asiwaju. Remember he also supported the election of Tinubu through Ohanaeze Ndigbo and other Igbo groups.
“He is not the only one, there are many Igbo people who worked for APC in this Lagos and across the nation, they should be appointed into Boards so as to give them a sense of belonging.”
Secretary of the Group, Mazi Cyriacus Nnaji, a media practitioner, also spoke in condemnation of the serial marginalization of the Igbos in the government of Lagos.
He said that there was no problem between the Igbos and the Yorubas and recalled what happened on the day of election, where a few individuals tried to cause trouble on both the sides of the Igbos and the Yorubas due to differences in political opinions, disagreements that were subdued by the responsive interventions by people like Honorable Jude Idimogu.
Nnaji said: “Our people are being marginalized, many see this as an oversight but this is a serious oversight and should be reversed. The Igbo race is not a negligible population, I can tell you authoritatively that the Igbos are second only to the Yorubas in the population of Lagos and so, they should not be ignored. We are not taking Lagos from the Yorubas, God forbid that anybody should ever think along that line. What happened during the election was a misunderstanding between two friends who were opposed politically.”