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In the sequel to its primary mandate of sensitising the indigenous Lagosian society on strategies towards the socio-cultural and socio-political advancement of the state, a civic group, The Ibile Eko Summit Group hosted its maiden colloquium in what is expected to fling open the conversation surrounding the place of the aborigine Lagosian in the increasingly urbanised Lagos society.
The summit, entitled “Strategic Planning of Socio-Cultural Development of Lagos and Regional Agenda: An Indigenous Perspective” took place on October 30, 2021, at Eko Club Surulere, Lagos.
According to the group, the essence of the Summit is to draw the attention of the major stakeholders in Lagos State and those at the helms of affairs to the need for Socio-Cultural, Economic and Political re-engineering of the state to factor in the aborigine Lagosian in the grand scheme of things.
The target audience of the summit is the generality of the indigenous Lagosian society with a focal aim of proffering viable contributions towards elevating the socio-cultural landscape of Lagos to build a State that will not only work for contemporary society but generations of Lagosians to come.
The group also seeks to address the concerns of all stakeholders across the divisions of Lagos and also create an avenue for future dialogue vis-a-vis the challenges facing the indigenous Lagos society.
Speaking in an interview with Eko Hot Blog, the group’s coordinator, Prince Adelani Adedeji-Adele, noted that the initiative is aimed at re-engineering Lagos State to take cognisance of the basic concerns of aborigene Lagosians.
“This is our first summit for the Ibile Eko Group, and Our aims are clear and twofold. We want to stop the bleeding of our nationhood, Omo Eko wa, and I want everyone to recognize that.”
“If you go through the theme of our programme, you’ll notice that we speak with a voice. Lagos state must work for the indigenous and for everybody, we’re not being selfish as we love migrants. so Lagos must work for everybody.”
Prince Adelani decried the incessant displacement of indigenous Lagosians in the rapid urbanisation of the State that has seen real estate become an exclusive privilege for the wealthy.
“We do not want a situation where our lands will be taken over, developed, built into estates and then sold out of reach to our own people, that’s not attractive to us.”
He called for concerted efforts in devising logical solutions to the problems besetting the indigenous Lagos society and also hinted at future plans to honour Lagosians who have etched their names in gold.
“We’re embarking on so much as the time to speak is now, we want to reason together and talk common sense to outsiders and even to each other. we want to embark on so many debates and so discussions, we’re not going to stop neither are we scared, this summit will hold quarterly as the need arises.
“We are thinking of granting posthumous awards to our past heroes and heroines.
we’re not politicking, Lagos is bleeding and as passionate indigenes, we are so much concerned.”
The Erelu of Lagos, Chief Abiola Dosumu who also shared her views said the indigenous Lagosians have to jettison their hitherto, reticent attitude and join the quest to shore up the interests of the people.
“We have a lot of competent indigenous people who are expected to be part of the planning, to make it holistic, to make it robust and possible.”
“The group also wants to remind everyone that Lagos was mini Nigeria even before independence, everyone was here, felt at home, accommodated and welcomed with open arms, and that was when the ideas of independence and coming together was established, even until the movement to Abuja.”
“We must not forget the past, and therefore rooms also should be created, and interest of the indigenes should be recognized in the scheme of things.”
Olasupo Shasore, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN), further urged indigenous Lagosians to always be part of the conversation of advocating for the interests of the generality as “those who benefit from the system cannot be expected to change it. It’s the little guys who need to raise their voices and be heard.”
“We’re just creating awareness, we need to learn things that propel us into progress and development, and one of those things is our identity, we need to learn more about our identity as a people, and we also need to play to our strength and earnest the human capital that is abundant in Lagos, we also need to advocate for reforms.”
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