A prominent member of the Governance Advisory Council and the first Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Asiwaju Olorunfunmi Reuben Basorun, has said that people in the existing five divisions that formed Lagos State are satisfied with the structure and do not want any distortion in their arrangement.
Bashorun, who is also a key chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC), made this statement following the rejection of the proposed bill by the Lagos State House of Assembly to review the existing five divisions that made up the State.
He spoke in an interview with THE IMPACT stating that the bill is dead on arrival and people should forget it.
In the proposed bill which some of the Assembly members have stated that they do not know its sponsor, it is being proposed that Shomolu and Kosofe, which are currently part of the Ikeja Division, should be merged with Ikorodu division, while Eti – Osa that is part of Lagos Division, is being planned to be merged with Epe Division.
Alimosho section of the state is proposed to go with the Badagry Division.
Asiwaju Basorun spoke on the sensitive matter with THE IMPACT in an exclusive interview at his Igbogbo office on Wednesday, February 17, 2021.
“The divisional system was designed and it is historical. It was designed when the state was still very young, with the aim of getting people together and to work together and they did worked together”, the elder statesman said.
“In fact, Ikorodu became a division in 1968 and that coincided my 30th birthday. I was on the queue to shake hands with Gov. Mobolaji Johnson when he came to Ikorodu. Former Kabiyesi, Oba Omolaja Ogunlewe, regarded me as one of the elites in Igbogbo when they asked him to bring some people along for a meeting with the governor. I was on the queue with the likes of Oba Ladega of Ikorodu then”, Asiwaju Basorun recalled.
“It was at the event where he announced that henceforth, Ikorodu would be moved from the Ikeja Division and become a division by itself. In 1972, the government promulgated an edict to that effect. That means that if there had not been any edict, they would have sat down in their office and adjusted it.
“That edict is equivalent to the law which they wanted to amend”.
The GAC member told our reporter that virtually every part of the state, especially those that the proposed bill want to merge with others, have opposed the review.
“The first headache that they had (the promoters of the bill) was the rejection by the Eti – Osa people of their merger with Ibeju – Lekki and Epe. Even the Kosofe people that they are moving here (to Ikorodu) said that they cannot come and play a second fiddle to Ikorodu and that they are Aworis.
“Are they not? Starting from Agboyi, Ikosi down to Isheri and you want them to move here. Shomolu people have, however, kept quiet.
“It was only two days ago that I saw that the Badagry people rejected Alimosho from joining them. They all cited history and their working together for several years which they enjoyed, as reasons for their rejection”.
He said that the rejection by the cross section of Lagos people implies that they are satisfied with the existing structure and do not want any merger to distort or disturb it.
Basorun added that the public outcry may have prevented the proposed public hearing on the proposed bill from holding as scheduled and enjoined Lagosians to forget about it.
“They don’t want anybody to come and break their existing arrangement. I am also happy that our own people met last Sunday and came up with some resolutions in the same vein, rejecting the proposed review of the existing divisional structure.
“We heard about it last week and we were told that they had had the first and second reading and that there would be a public hearing on Friday (last Friday) but when I enquired if it would still come up, I was told that it has been cancelled and that made me to know that the thing was having a problem.
“For now, I think that we should forget about it in the interest of everybody”.