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‘They see our state as spoils of war, we won’t be part South West Region – Lagos indigenes

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The Indigenous people of Lagos State have vowed that they will not be part of Western Region or South West region if the country were to return to regional structure as being canvassed in some quarters.

The indigenes under the umbrella of De Renaissance Patriots Foundation, said in a statement on Sunday, that a proposed bill seeking approval of the National Assembly to return Nigeria to regional system is set to be considered, but that Lagos State people will not be part of the Western Region.

The statement signed by Adelani Adeniji-Adele noted that Lagos indigenes have continued to face marginalisation from their neighbours who see the state as spoils of war.

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“This bill that is being proposed or suggested spells an ominous sign to us from Lagos State. It is a further attempt to subsume our aspiration into a larger group that is antithesis to whatever we believe in as indigenes of the state,” the statement reads.

“The first most important is that vast consultations were not held on the matter to find out if being submerged into another subgroup is a thing we desire. It cannot be generally assumed.

“Generally and since Lagos and its environs became a colony, we have always maintained that we prefer a stand alone status and not be part of any Western Region or Province.

“In recent times, our various indigenous groups had always maintained that we as indigenes of Lagos had always been having a raw deal from our neighbours in the South West, who see nothing good in us as they are only for project to marginalize us and see our state as ‘spoils of war’.

“We recall that in our history of over 100 years, Lagos indigenes in their various forms, towns and villages have never made progress and development as part of any region not to talk of the Western Region. The brief balkanization of our state to be part of the Western Region was an aberration.

“Nothing should be assumed especially from the contents of this proposed bill, especially if it has the inclusion of Lagos State as part of any region. We demand a referendum to actually reflect the wishes of the people.

“We, the indigenes of Lagos State, do not wish to be part of the regional state as being proposed in the Bill returning Nigeria to regional government. Our leaders and traditional rulers opposed it in 1953 and we gained respite in 1967. We, offspring of our heroes’ past, will not accept it.

“We enjoin our representatives in the National Assembly to consult with the elders statesmen and stakeholders before taking any action on the Bill. This is beyond the ruling party and state government affairs. Lagos State cannot be brought into nothingness through the South West Region proposal by this Bill surreptitiously.”

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