Lagosians never failed to entertain the rest of Nigerians. What Lagosians feel wronged on is what other Nigerians find comical. Nobody takes them seriously on issues of fairness affecting the wellbeing of OmoEko. The general notion is that any Nigerian can claim Lagos, so anyone nominated to represent them is good enough. To buttress that point, if we look hard enough, we can find OmoEko that will support any Nigerian as a Lagosian.
The fact that most Head of State keep nominating non-OmoEko for Lagos position in spite of protest from that State shows how seriously the people were taken. After all, they will just shout and forget it. That many OmoEko are mad is to put it mildly since nobody wants to be taken for granted. But the rest of Nigerians do not see it the same way. Lagos is a good example of one Nigeria, they claim.
Just wait until a non-Yoruba claims to be OmoEko, you will see other Yoruba rise to their defense. These are the same Yoruba who sit idly by while OmoEko is being cheated left and right. We have gone through this many times and it has become a recurring topic that others are tired of. The only people that are not tired of it are those who are denied or disenfranchised. Division of states is to cut the pie at the Federal level evenly so that no State is left out. Unfortunately, if a non-OmoEko is appointed to a position, his state gets two nominations while Lagos gets none.
There are other times other Nigerians come to the defense of OmoEko apart from Yoruba. They point to Lagos appointment of none OmoEko to judiciary, boards and semi-governmental agencies as characters worthy of emulation by other states. When it comes to appointments of OmoEko in their own states, it turns to a matter of rights and vested ownership. Even chieftaincy titles are not freely given out as they do in Lagos.
There used to be a time, when they claimed they could not find a qualified Omo-Eko. They have run out of that excuse. It is more or less in your face and what can anyone do about it these days. Indeed, it is generally known that OmoEko cannot win an election in Lagos without the support of Ara-Eko.
If you look at it from that point, the nomination of Aganga to represent Lagos is seen as fair and square. The role of OmoEko in this is how they shot themselves in the foot when Bode Augosto was nominated. Most Nigerians knew that he was competing for the Finance portfolio with a bigger interest group. That interest group did not even have to raise a finger since their work was already done by another special interest group within Lagos itself. As some people do now, they claimed Augusto could not represent them.
There is no true OmoEko that do not know the Augosto in Lagos but that is beside the point. You cannot find any family in Lagos who do not know his father or grandfather but that is immaterial. That the family was noted for their charitable contributions to both main foreign religions did not even count one bit. What was paramount was the selfish interest of these OmoEko that finally pulled him down before the other camp could lay their hands on him in competition.
So what difference does it make? They are few in numbers anyway. You appoint one of them, they complain, you appoint none of them, they complain. No matter what you do, they complain. You might as well appoint anybody that has lived in Lagos, jo!
Another case in point of how Omo-Eko relegated themselves is that of how Tinubu was made. This is a guy that was defeated in the primary by Funso Williams. But the Omo-Eko competing with him supported Tinubu with the notion that he would never win the primary because he was not one of them. Funso was the formidable competitor, not Tinubu. So they claimed Funso was not part of NADECO. As soon as Pa Dawodu was prevailed on and made him, Tinubu dumped them all.
Today, Tinubu is one of the champions of no indigene claim to a State over visitors. Until we are all fair to every group and every group can go from Sokoto to Port-Harcourt to claim rights over indigenes, we are only fooling ourselves. Nigeria’s problems have too much to do with hypocrisy and less to do with fairness. Again, if we are looking for justice, any court may not be a good place to look. Heaven may be a better place to look!
There were stories in Lagos in those days, that anyone that arrived in Lagos would be fed and clothed before the sun set. Accommodation, generosity and some complacency are ingrained in Yoruba culture. They even treat visitors in their midst better than their own. There is this saying that the way a son is born, so is a slave born. That was Yoruba’s view.
People have made all sorts of history and claim on Lagos. But so far, none of them have disputed that there were Omo-Onile families in Lagos before they came. Fortunately, not one of them has been able to invade the families of Omo-Onile. At the same time, some of the Omo-Onile families have absorbed visitors from different parts of West Africa, into their folds and these visitors, like all Yoruba families bear the name of the compound they were taken into. So how can anyone in good conscience say OmoEko are selfish?
The fact is you cannot differentiate visitors absorbed into OmoEko compounds from other West Africans today and if any of them is appointed into any position, their only grumble may be deeply internal. We all share that in Nigeria anyway. Some of the notables are that Abacha was not a Nigerian; Obasanjo is not part of Owu family or that Asika was not real Igbo etc.
Omo-Eko are not looking for sympathy from the rest of Nigerians, but it must be understood that every injustice perpetrated on one group foster and nourish injustice on the others. What is going on in Nigeria today is because we tolerate it when our balls are not on the line. It is surprising that some women, that have the balls, cry about injustice louder than men. As soon as it happens to our group we cry foul and become militias.
Yeah, it is the same Lagos Babangida ran out of and the place Abacha feared to visit in spite of multiple invitations from Marwa. It may be time to rediscover: Lagos does not take rubbish. Eko o gba gbere rara o!
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