Some stakeholders of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the South West geopolitical zone have asked President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to be wary of a seeming hijack of all appointments meant for the zone by Lagos politicians in the party.
The stakeholders under the aegis of South West APC Support Groups (SASG) alleged that states in the zone are being sidelined in the appointments of presidential aides announced so far, as only the ‘Lagos boys’ are snatching the slots.
In a statement signed by its national coordinator, Otunba Dele Fulani, the SASG expressed worry that the trend might be extended to ministerial and board appointments for MDAs if not addressed immediately.
In the statement titled, “Dangers of ‘Lagosizing’ Southwest”, the South West stakeholders cited the case of the 20 aides that were recently appointed by the president, saying at least, 13 of them are Lagos-based politicians.
SASG warned that if the trend continues unabated, it might make the South West the first trouble spot that president Tinubu would have to contend with as leader of the party.
The support groups reminded President Tinubu of the significant role other states in South West played in his emergence as president in the 2023 polls.
The stakeholders said judging by the results of the presidential election, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo performed better than Lagos, adding that it would be unfair for Lagos alone to be reaping all the benefits that are meant for the zone.
The group warned politicians from Lagos to stop what it termed unwarranted sense of entitlement to the Tinubu administration when they contributed nothing to the success of the president.
Urging the Lagos politicians to stop giving Tinubu unnecessary pressure, the SASG asked the president ensure that all the appointments meant for the South West are evenly distributed across the States in the zone.
The statement noted: “We have observed, with utmost dismay, the ongoing unpleasant development at the presidency whereby most appointments are being filled with ‘Lagos boys’.
“We the Southwest APC Support groups are constrained to say that this trend, if not checked, might make the Southwest the first boiling point of the Tinubu administration.
“We hereby wish to call the attention of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to this ugly development and to state that a situation whereby politicians from Lagos State are seen to be the ones taking all the benefits that accrue to the entire Southwest is totally unacceptable to other States in the region as Lagos is not the only State in Southwest.
“A cursory look at the appointments made so far under this administration showed that majority of the people around Mr President are all Lagos politicians. While they may not all be indegenes of Lagos, but these are politicians based in Lagos, who have played all their politics in Lagos, lived in Lagos, and as a matter of fact made Lagos their immediate constituency.
“Looking at the appointments of 20 aides that was recently made by Mr President, we can categorically count on our fingers about 13 of them who are Lagos based.
“The arrival of former Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode into the fray as one of the ministerial hopefuls is another fact in this direction.
“Another scenario is that if you look at Tinubu’s first trip to France as president, those who accompanied him on that journey are those from Lagos despite the fact that most of them are without official portfolio or capacity.
“This is uncalled for. This administration shouldn’t be made an all-lagos affair. It doesn’t project Mr President well as a nationalist and a pan-Nigerian leader.
“Recently, the president constituted a committee that will constitute boards of Ministries Departments and Agencies, MDAs, and went ahead to make his Chief of Staff, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, the chairman while the Secretary to the Government of the Federation, SGF, Senator George Akume was made the Secretary. This is wrong. Going by hierarchy and order of protocol, Akume’s position supercedes that of chief of staff. Gbaja is only an aide to president Tinubu while Akume is the SGF. The president should do the reverse, Gbaja should be the secretary, then a representative of the party should be part of the committee because the party knows who worked for the president during the election. Putting Gbajabiamilla as chairman of that committee is to further take care of ‘Lagos boys’. If care is not taken, you will see ‘Lagos boys’ having most of the board appointments.
“It shouldn’t be like that. Similar thing might happen with appointment of heads of MDAs.”
Acknowledging that there is so much pressure on Tinubu, SASG urge the president not to fall so cheaply to the mointing pressure.
It continued: “Mr President should stand his ground and not allowed himself to be misled under any unwarranted pressure. He should be a president for all.
“His appointments should spread out to other States in Southwest because if not, it will be as if Lagos State is the only State in the entire region.
“Even if we are to look at it on the strength of performance at the 2023 general elections, Lagos didn’t lived up to its billing as Mr President lost the State to opposition party. If we were to rely on Lagos State alone for that election, the president would have failed going by the results declared.
“We know the role other States in Southwest particularly Ondo, Ekiti, Oyo played in the last election. These states gave the president the best results in the Southwest in the last election.
“Politicians from Lagos should stop The unwarranted sense of entitlement to this administration as they contributed nothing to the success of Mr. president and cease from giving him unnecessary pressure.
“We want to state that we are not comfortable with this trend, and things need to change. If the president fails to correct this anomaly, the narrative might change come next election.
“This government shouldn’t be seen as Government of Lagos State and Lagos alone shouldn’t take all the benefits that are meant for the Southwest otherwise other parts of Southwest will leave Lagos next time to play the politics alone to see if they have the strength to do it.
“We made this observation in the interest of unity in the Southwest and the best interest of Nigeria at large.”