The Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, has promised to develop all the five divisions of the state into viable economic hubs.
He also promised to address the numerous socio-political and economic dislocations that affected indigenes of the state in the last 20 years of the current democratic dispensation.
A statement issued by the Media Office of the Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation (JACO) stated that the governorship hopeful gave the assurance in Ikorodu on Tuesday when he met with representatives of the five divisions of the state under the umbrella of the Conference of Indigenous Associations of Lagos State (CIALS).
According to Agbaje, there was the need to ensure that the current trend whereby the economic potentials of the state was limited to Lagos Island was urgently and frontally addressed.
He added that the agenda formed part of his re-anchoring programme that was aimed at the even development of all parts of the state.
Agbaje stated that the programme, when fully implemented, would address the numerous problems currently plaguing the state, such as quality education, mass transportation, education and provision of water.
“What we are looking at is a situation whereby we turn each of the five divisions making up the state to an economic hub, using the various comparative advantages of each of the various division for economic development in a sustainable manner that won’t cause someone living in Badagry for instance to seek livelihood in a far-flung area such as Lagos Island,” he said.
While admitting that the indigenes of the state had sacrificed much to accommodate others, he stated that there would be a fair term that would ensure that non-indigenes were not relegated in the scheme of things in the running of the state under his leadership.
The governorship hopeful, who described himself and his running mate, Mrs. Haleemat Oluyemisi Busari, as proud indigenes of the state, however, promised to dispassionately look into the issues of marginalization and loss of opportunities raised by the association.
President of the association, Professor Rasheed Ojikutu, lamented that aboriginal Lagosians had become marginalised in their homeland due to the hospitality extended to non-indigenes.
According to the association, issues such as lopsidedness in political appointments, environmental degradation, land grabbing by privileged state officials and politicians, dwindling opportunities to indigenes in accessing slots in state government-owned educational institutions formed part of the critical areas needing attention.
Articulating the grouse of indigenes of the state, Ojikutu said, “Those of us who are seated here are representatives of the people of the five divisions of the state. We are fighting for the interest of the entire indigenes of Lagos State and since you are an indigene we are urging you to join our struggle.”
Speaking further, he said, “Our demands are simple. When we talk about the indigenous people of Lagos State, we are not saying that the non-indigenes should not exist and thrive in the state. However, we are saying that we should have a fair share in the prosperity available to the state.”
While maintaining that the indigenous people of the state had demonstrated enough hospitality to non-indigenes, he urged Agbaje to right the many wrongs that the situation has generated for the indigenes in a manner that would ensure fairness and equity to all residents of the state.