Former presidential aide Reno Omokri has responded to the Lagos State House of Assembly’s announcement that it will soon introduce legislation to protect the interests of the state’s indigenous people.
WITHIN NIGERIA recalls that during his acceptance speech, Speaker Mudashiru Obasa stated that lawmakers would do whatever it took to protect state indigenes, even if it meant overturning existing law.
Lagos is a Yoruba land as against the assertions of some people that it is a no man’s land.
Therefore, part of our legislative agenda is to ensure the translation of laws passed by this House to the Yoruba Language. We also aim at achieving our collective goals of creating a robust legislative framework that protects the interest of our people.
Going forward in this wise, we are going to employ all legislative instruments for the support of the indigenes of Lagos. There would be laws and resolutions in the areas of economy and commerce, property and titles.
Some people, however, have reacted negatively to Obasa’s comment.
In response to the backlash, Omokri condemned those who were opposing the measures that the lawmakers were planning to implement.
Attacking the Lagos State House of Assembly for wanting to enact laws to protect indigenous Lagosians and labelling it “ethnic dog whistling” is grandstanding. Should indigenous Lagosians sleep on their rights when people they welcome into their communities provocatively and ungratefully call their land ‘No Man’s Land’, and falsely alleged that they built Lagos with their sweat? Never!
Many states passed laws rejecting Buhari’s Ruga settlements for Fulani herders, and we celebrated. Now that Lagos wants to pass laws to protect itself from people who wish to Ruga Lagos, you are complaining. How is that different? What is sauce for Greece is good for Uganda!
Every nation on Earth is entitled to have laws to protect indigenous peoples. Even America, which many like to cite as a bastion of democracy, has laws protecting Native Americans and recognising their status as original indigenes. Canada has such regulations as do Scandinavian and Nordic nations.
If those laws are made, and any group of people do not like them, they have two options. Challenge them in court, or leave Lagos and go to a place you feel is better for you than Lagos. Lagosians are very welcoming people. But it is outrageous to expect them to give up their rights as indigenous peoples because they want new residents to feel at home.