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By NBF News
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A leader of the Non-Indigenes and Youths in Oriade Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State has called on Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola not to forget to protect the interest of people living in the area during the forthcoming local council polls by giving them a slot.

Chairman of the group, Chief Benedict Obumneme who spoke recently on behalf of other members during a press briefing held in Satellite Town, said people of the area deserve a more credible representation at the council level in other to have a voice to speak for the non-indigenes most of whom are stakeholders in the project called Lagos State.

He argued that it would not be profitable if someone that has no interest of the group at heart were called upon to serve as Councilor. 'We have for so long been expecting the position of Councilor from the state. We have been loyal and consistent in the party activities both at the local and state level, so this is the time for us to benefit, and by so doing, we want Governor Fashola to encourage the election of our own person into the LCDA.

According to him, about 80 per cent of those living in Satellite Town and in the geographical area called Oriade are non-indigenes and because of the peculiar nature of the area, a trusted male or female member should be encouraged to come and contest the forthcoming polls. Obumneme pointed out that the non-indigenes are anxious to have a Councilor in Oriade, having worked tirelessly for the re-election of Governor Fashola in May 2011 general election in collaboration with the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN).

'We certainly qualify as Lagosians to vote and be voted for, having been born and bred in this city, and because most of us have investments running into billions of Naira, we cannot be said to be outsiders in the state. Although some of us wear the toga of Non-indigenes, some members have not reached their so-called towns for 10 or more years. So, now it is time for council election in the state, this should be his pay back time'.

The group leader described Governor Fashola as a detribalized leader who graciously appointed non-indigenes into his cabinet, the first ever to do so in Nigeria. He hoped that with this step, the issue of marginalization of non-indigenes in the state would end, and consequently pave way for durable and beneficial relationship between the indigenes and their neighbours.

'It is unfortunate that we have never had it better in the past. But, this time we are optimistic that our Governor would save us from the hands of selfish and non-reachable representatives by granting our request to have one of us, tested, tried and worthy, elected Councilor in the state. Speaking on behalf of the Youth, their leader, Mr. Mike Ufomba said that the time had come for all non-indigenes in the area to put their acts together and achieve a common goal, and pledged the support of his group towards ensuring smooth council polls in October.

He expressed optimism that the polls would be as free and fair as the gubernatorial one held in May 2011 and urged his members not to relent but do everything wholesome to ensure that the ruling party at the state level receive commensurate support during the council election.

Having commended Governor Fashola for the Godly job he is doing in the state, Ufomba appealed to him not to be misled by any individual or group whose slant smacks of selfishness or personal interest rather than broad-based public good. 'If we have better representatives, it would help the party in subsequent elections, but if it is otherwise, it may not favour the party'.