Bode George, a former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP),.has slammed those arguing about the ownership of Lagos. George, in a statement on Wednesday night, said as a bonafide Lagosian, it was not the tradition to discriminate.
He said such augment was disheartening, shameful and embarrassing, coming at a time when Lagosians and Nigerians are going through economic hardship.
George noted that what Nigerians desired now was good governance, accountability from the leadeship of the country at all levels.
According to George, “It is disheartening, shameful, embarrassing, disgraceful and unpatriotic that at a time like this when Lagosians and Nigerians are going through economic hardship, some elders are infatuated with ownership of Lagos.
“What a distraction! What a disturbance! What a perturbation! It is shameful that at a time millions of Nigerians are going through anguish and extreme pain, some elders are flexing muscles on proprietorship of the Centre of Excellence.
“The question to ask is: What exactly is the intention of these agitators? The whole gamut of argument about the ownership of Lagos is not of any importance to patriotic Nigerians at this crucial time. Obviously, it is just a diversionary issue.”
Speaking further, George added, “All these combatants and gladiators should know that all efforts, at this trying time, should be geared at ensuring good governance, how to tackle economic issues and take people out of poverty.
“How to put food on their table; how to get the people out of abject poverty they are into; how to tackle the insecurity plaguing the country and how to deliver good healthcare to Nigerians whose lives are being cut short by lack of a good health care system.
“Anything short of all these is a complete waste of time. Pitiably, the ship of the nation is currently drifting, yet the issue of who is the rightful owner Lagos is what some people prefer to discuss.
“What a pity! As a bonafide Lagosian, I say without any sense of equivocation that Lagos has been, and would remain, a centre of commerce, which has allowed everybody to settle down here.
“It is not in our tradition to discriminate. People settle down from all over Nigeria and from the entire West African coast from time immemorial – a culture which has remained with Lagos and the city of Kano, the only two cities known for commerce in Nigeria.
“People are presently angered, thus the rhetoric about who truly own Lagos has gained momentum but we know ourselves.
“No matter how twisted the narrative, Nigerians know the truth.
“It is true the Bini were here in the earliest time, but it was temporary. It was not that they conquered Lagos like the colonial imperialists, as it is being bandied about.
“Inter-mariage had also overshadowed a lot of things. For instance, the only sister of my paternal father married a Benin man and gave birth to all my cousins, who are all in their 70s and 60s.”