By Gabriel Olawale
A pressure group, Omo Eko Pataki, on Thursday, kicked against the choice of Prof. Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello as the new Vice-Chancellor, Lagos State University, LASU, describing it as a gross marginalization of Lagosians .
In a statement by the Trustee of Omo Eko Pataki, Maj-Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju (retd), the group said such a skewed appointment has further pushed the natives into sheer servitude.
“The lagos State government of one size fits all policy of marginalisation of Lagos State indigenes is pushing the natives further into an enclave of sheer servitude. This unwholesome decision of the government will not stop us from speaking out.
“Ọmọ Eko Pataki will never be blackmailed or threatened into silence. We will continue to defend and protect the collective heritage and the dignity of our people against the ravages of the scourge of aliens
“It is so obvious now that the government of Jide Sanwoolu is indifferent and contemptuous of the popular feelings of the indigenous community. With the skewed decision to appoint Professor Ibiyemi Olatunji-Bello, a native of Ondo State as the new Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University, LASU, Lagosians have been inflicted with an unpopular candidate far and above well qualified natives.
“He has basically thumbed his nose on our people. While this may be the saddest day in the history of Lagosians, those who conspired to deepen our marginalization will never be forgiven by the ultimate judgement of history.
“From the beginning of this struggle to the the final decision of government, brilliant professors of Lagos State indigenes, some members of the Selection and Governing Council and others lost out for performing and asking for their legitimate duties. They were removed from participating in the process of selecting the VC of LASU.
“The pivot of the Nigerian Constitution is to protect the rights of the citizens. This very core of our liberty naturally dovetails to the state level where the indigenous communities in all the states are to be given preference in all appointments. Lagos State remains an aberration where indigenes are still being treated like second class citizens on their own soil. What a shame !
“We at Ọmọ Eko Pataki are particularly saddened and troubled with this brazen miscarriage of justice. This decision is a lie. And as Thomas Carlyle observed correctly : “No lie can live forever. “
“This is a pyrrhic victory for the ephemeral tools of power. We will not be silenced. Our voice will remain strong and vibrant, unmuted by the lash of evil. We will continue to resist and rail against injustice until the truth prevails over falsehood,” the group said.
Meanwhile, the Acting Vice Chancellor, Prof. Oyedamola Oke, on behalf of the management has congratulated Prof. Olatunji-Bello on her appointment and wished her a successful tenure of office.