Let’s meet you
My name is Ibrahim Tanko, the BOT Chairman of Arewa Community Forum in Ajeromi/ Ifelodun local government. For years, the Arewa’s have been following this politics and anytime they ask for our support, we always make our people available and we never care whether they give our people anything. However, we have often emphasized on things that will foster peaceful co-habitation amongst the different ethnics in Ajeromi /Ifelodun. See our neighbors at Marine Beach and Apapa; they all have more than three Councilors of Northern extraction in those areas.
If you go to Agege, it is the same. They have their share of the Councillorship seats, the same in Idi-Araba. It’s only in Ajeromi /Ifelodun that they see us as nobody and we are relegated to the background despite our usual massive support to the indigenes.
Politics, they say is a game of numbers. Do they mean to say the Arewa’s in Ajeromi are insignificant because we constitute one third of the total population of this local government. Our stand this time is that things should change and based on this, we have been meeting with respected and influential people in Ajeromi/Ifelodun local government. I am referring to the respected leader, Hon Prince Rabiu Adio Oluwa, who we had visited about two or three times on the matter.
We have also visited Chief Taju Ogunaike several times too and also Hon Paul Kalejaiye, as well as the present serving Council Chairman of Ajeromi, Hon Fatai Ayoola. We made him realize our pains and complain and we also made demands from them which will assuage us.
We told them that we need at least a Councilor, a Supervisory Councilor and also the position of the Vice Chairman of the Council and they just have to oblige us this time.
We are the majority tribe as far as Ajeromi /Ifelodun is concerned and they just have to consider us this time around for equity and fairness because we are members of the All Progressives Congress (APC). We have never joined any other party, we have always been with them and we do not see any reason why we should be sidelined. This time around, they should not turn their backs on us.
May God bless Baba Rabiu Oluwa. We met with him and he patiently listened to us and promised to get back to us soonest. More importantly, Baba Oluwa showed sympathy and understanding to our feelings and plight.
Just go to Rorobi area,Idi,Salami and Taiwo and a lot of other streets in Ajeromi and see the number of our people there. Imagine what our total number should be at the local government, we are the predominant tribe that is occupying here with about six Arewa dominant states of Sokoto, Kebbi, Zamfara, Kano, Kaduna, Yobe, Adamawa and Niger indigenes.
We are not joking about this matter and we are ready to meet with anybody because the marginalization and injustice is too much on our people over the years.
Politics they say is about numbers and our people come out enmass all the time to support the indigenes and at the end they will forget us when it comes to issue of positions. Before now, Arewa’s had leaders that do not border about these political positions; however, it was obvious that they were not bringing the concerns of the Arewa community to the knowledge of these political leaders.
The cry of persecution and marginalization of our people is too much and yet if you divide the population of Ajeromi /Ifelodun into three, the one that takes the lion share should not be sidelined.
Just imagine, in the last election, the Igbo’s did not do much for the APC in this area, it was the Arewa’s that came out fully to support the APC , even during the House of Representatives election between Hon Rita Orji of the PDP, and Hon Kolawole Taiwo of the APC.
The Igbo’s gave their support to PDP, but the Arewa’s solidly stood behind the APC candidate who eventually won. But the APC still gave the Igbo’s the position of the Vice Chairman and some Councillorship slots and nothing for the Arewa’s.
Please, what do they take the Hausa people for, are we only needed during voting and not fit to occupy any position?
Do you think you have Hausa women that can take up an appointment if you be given the opportunity to occupy a seat at the council?
Such issue cannot arise because the Arewa’s have lots of educated women that are different from Hausas of yesterday. About 80% of the Hausa’s in Lagos today were born and brought up in Lagos. They understand the culture of the Yoruba man.
When it comes to voter’s registration, go and check, it is our people that registered more than other tribes. Ask any Hausa man or even the wheel barrow pusher about his voter’s card, and they will bring it out for you.
What is your next line of action?
We are ready to produce people that will fill the different positions we have suggested. From this coming week, these people will emerge, because this has been an issue for us in the previous meetings in the past meetings.
Let me tell you that the Arewa’s are endorsing Hon Fatai Ayoola for a second term and we have invited him to come and address us. The Arewa’s in Ajeromi /Ifelodun are ready for politics now, and there’s no going back because it cannot be business as usual.
Again, I want to tell you that the Arewa’s are peaceful. I have always emphasized it to our people to go the way of peace. They should cohabit in peace with other tribes because it’s is only peaceful coexistence that will enable us enjoy the fruits of investments and businesses. We do not need to be looking for anybody’s trouble and that is why during the ENDSARS fallout, you did not see any Hausa man partake.
We have been busy spending our time and money re-orienting our people on how to conduct their selves. We invite on regular occasions some big police, navy and army officers, to advise us on what to do and we consult them when there is any issue for their professional advice
We do not want our people to take laws into their hands anymore and that is the present campaign we are prosecuting now. By the grace of God, our people are better controlled now than before and they have the disposition of listening when you talk to them and we are glad so that nobody will say Hausa man did this or that.