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Lagos At 50: Group Defends Ambode’s Choice Of Soyinka

Wole Soyinka,

By Ayo Balogun

The Coalition of Ibile Professionals has defended the choice of Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka, as co-chair of the Lagos at 50th year Celebration Committee.

According to a statement released Tuesday by its General Secretary, Alhaji Wasiu Hassan, the group described members of Eko Foundation as rabble-rousers and noise makers seeking cheap publicity and attention for relevance.

Hassan stated Lagos State was made up of five divisions, namely Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos Island and Epe, adding that all the divisions were relevant for the progress of the State.

He condemned insinuation that indigenes of the State had been marginalized just because some Eko Foundation members, who were exclusively from the Lagos Island Division, had lost out in the search for appointment.

He said that the Lagos Island Division enjoyed the seat of power in Lagos for the last eight years as against other divisions, and that the Coalition of Ibile Professionals would resist any campaign of calumny against Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who he said had been successfully balancing the state affairs and appointments to the excitement of all divisions of the state.

Hassan vowed that members of the group shall not fold their arms and allow the so-called indigenes with foreign names to usurp stable and peaceful co-existence in the state.

“How else can one describe the President of Eko Foundation, Professor Oluwole Smith, who failed to qualify on the short list for Lagos State University (LASU) Vice Chancellorship in the last selection process or is it Mrs. Teju Philips or Mr. Lawal Pedro who have non-indigene antecedents, and cannot therefore claim to be more saintly than the Pope.

“We should be grateful for having Chief Rasheed Gbadamosi and Professor Wole Soyinka appointed by a Governor who has recognized their qualities to add glamour and depth to an international event for celebration of a cosmopolitan city like Lagos.

“Eko Foundation should purge themselves of their base and narrow sentiments if they expect to be taken seriously. Enough is enough,” Hassan cautioned.

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