Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the flag bearer of the Labour Party (LP) in the recent past Lagos State Gubernatorial election, has condemned in totality, the statement made by the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Mudashiru Obasa.
Earlier, Chronicle NG reported that Hon Obasa, during his inauguration as the Speaker of the 10th Assembly, had stated that hence “Lagos is a Yoruba land as against the assertions of some people that it is a no-man’s land,” therefore, “There would be laws…in the areas of economy and commerce, property and titles, and we will reverse all that is reversible to protect the interest of the indigenes”.
Reacting to the statement made by Hon Obasa, Gbadebo on his Twitter page stated in a statement that the motive behind the intended laws is only but for ethnic witch hunt.
He said “The speaker of the house announced his intention to make laws to protect indigenes. ” They will reverse the reversible ” I believe that the time for this ethnic dog whistling must come to an end. With an election that ripped our social fabric, it is time for healing”.
“We expect policy that compensates Indigenes for lands seized by government, education bursaries, and inclusion of an independent traditional institution in governance. Not threats to property rights enshrined in the constitution” He added.
The statement reads :
“As a Politician deeply committed to upholding the principles of fairness, equity and justice, I strongly condemn the statement of the Speaker of the Lagos State house of Assembly, Hon. Obasa for considering a Bill that seeks to reverse property rights in favor of indigenes at the expense of the constitutional recognition of citizenship. This move not only undermines the fundamental rights of individuals but also poses a significant threat to the principles of inclusivity and social cohesion that our great nation, Nigeria stands for.
“The Nigerian Constitution, which serves as the supreme law of the land, recognizes the rights of all citizens, regardless of their ethnic or cultural background to own and enjoy property. This fundamental constitutional provision is grounded in the belief that every citizen should be treated equally under the law, irrespective of their origin or indigeneship. It is a crucial killer of our democracy and must be safeguarded at all cost.
“By considering this regressive bill, the speaker disregards the spirit of the Nigerian Constitution and perpetuate a discriminatory system that divides our society along ethnic lines. Regrettably, this move threatens to erode our progress in promoting unity, national integration, equal opportunities for all Nigerians.
“Furthermore, it is crucial to recognize that property rights are vital to economic development and individual empowerment. The proposed bill undermines the principle of private ownership and could severely affect investment, economic growth and overall prosperity in Lagos State. By considering such legislation, the Speaker is sending a damaging message to local and international investors, disregarding their participation and confidence in the state’s economy.
“For years, I have strongly advocated for state-sponsored scholarship programs targeting Lagosians and special housing, healthcare and economic interventions. I also believe in affirmative action, where 50% of political appointments are reserved for indigenes. More importantly, I have advocated (and continue to advocate) for state laws that protect our heritage, historical sites, and traditional institution from political vandalism. Royal houses must be protected by the law to determine their Kings without political interference.
“Additionally, legislation delivering justice, in terms of financial compensation, for lands the government appropriated from indigenous families across Lagos state in Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ojo, Ikorodu, and Badagry is long overdue.
“As a progressive politician (in the true sense of the word), I firmly believe that the government’s role is to create an enabling environment that fosters unity, equality, and economic progress for all citizens. It is also the government’s responsibility to protect the rights and welfare of every Nigerian, irrespective of their state of origin or indigeneship.
“Therefore, I call on all well-meaning Lagosians, civil society organizations, elder statemen, and every citizen to resist this divisive and unconstitutional bill. The Speaker, Obasa should focus his efforts on legislation that promotes inclusivity, social justice, and the overall welfare of all residents of Lagos State. We also look forward to a State Assembly pursuing legislation to tackle youth unemployment and address the misappropriation of public funds and infrastructure financing. We can only build a stronger, more prosperous, and harmonious society for all Nigerians by promoting unity and equal rights.