The leaders of Arewa communities in Lagos State have urged the federal government to grant Lagos State special status, lamenting the state’s diverse infrastructure challenges since Federal Capital Territory (FCT) has been moved to Abuja.
Likewise, the leaders of Ndigbo in All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State have endorsed the APC candidate for the October 31 bye-election in Lagos East, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, attesting to how he successfully transformed Polaris Bank from liability and profitability under four years.
The leaders of the ethnic nationalities in Lagos State made these remarks at separate meetings with the Lagos East Senatorial By-Election Campaign Council under the leadership of Chief Kaoli Olusanya in Ikorodu on Thursday.
At the Arewa meeting are the Apex Leader, Arewa United Group, Alhaji Mamuda Ibrahim; State Secretary, Arewa United Group, Alhaji Musa Sali; State Women Leader, Arewa United Group, Hajia Halima Zakara and Director-General, Arewa United Group, Alhaji Adamu Mats, among others.
The Coordinator of Ndigbo in Lagos, Chief Uche Okpotemba; Apex Leader of Ndigbo in APC, Mr. Joe Igbokwe; Deputy Coordinator of Ndigbo in Lagos, Chief Chris Akwilo, Lagos East Leader of Ndigbo, Mr. Kelvin Nwoha and Eze Ndigbo of Ikosi-Isheri, Eze Remi Anyamele also attended the meeting of Ndigbo in Lagos East.
At the meeting with Arewa people in Lagos, Sali acknowledged diverse infrastructure challenges Lagos State had been battling since Federal Capital Territory (FCT) had been moved to Abuja almost three decades ago.
Sali said: “We have come to understanding that Lagos has been facing grave infrastructure deficit since federal capital has been moved to Abuja.
“As a result, Lagos has a huge burden to the state government due to the task of managing the state’s infrastructure deficit. We are demanding special status for Lagos to enable it address infrastructure deficit facing it.
“Without special grants, the state will not be able to address these challenges. We therefore ask the federal government to grant Lagos State special status like other former federal capitals across the world.”
Also at the Arewa meeting, Ibrahim observed that the bye-election “is a task for Arewa people in the state. We have started mobilising our people in support of the APC. We will ensure all our members to vote for the APC on October 31.
“We have been enjoying support from the Government of Lagos State. We have also enjoyed robust relationship with the people of Lagos State. However, we look forward to improved relationship in the future,” he said.
At the Ndigbo meeting, Okpotemba assured Abiru that all Ndigbo indigenes in Lagos East Senatorial District would be mobilised to vote the APC on October 31.
While Ndigbo in Lagos adopted Abiru as its candidate for the forthcoming senatorial by-election, Okpotemba rechristened the APC candidate Ifeanyichukwu Tokunbo Abiru, commending him sterling achievements in banking sector.
After the meeting with Ndigbo, Abiru said if elected a senator representing Lagos East, he would will focus on initiating bills and sponsoring motions that will guarantee protection of lives and properties nationwide.
He also assured them that he “will promote legislation that will deepen our peaceful co-existence irrespective of where we live or where we transact businesses as well as ensure the unity of our fatherland; improve competitive business environments.
“I will equally focus on legislation that will drive foreign and indigenous investments; open up economy for the prosperity of all and promote easy access to working capital no matter who you are or where you come from.”
At the Arewa meeting, Abiru observed that the Arewa residents in the state treasured the prosperity of Lagos and value the unity of our fatherland.
He observed how majority of Arewa people “have been living here with Lagos people for decades as brothers or sisters. Even when there are issues among us, the Seriikis always work with our community leaders or our royal fathers to resolves our disputes.
“Aside, many of you were even born, transacting your business here without fear or trepidation. Without hesitation, Arewa people have been part of the growth and development of Lagos State for several decades.
“As people that dominate food and perishable goods businesses across the state and indeed Nigeria, you have been paying taxes here; performing other civic duties and engaging in community development in one way or the other. This x-rays your love and passion for the state you chose as your home,” Abiru explained.