In an article in a Nigeria newspaper, the Vanguard, a reporter OLASUNKANMI AKONI wrote as follows
- “LAgos — Lagos State Government, yesterday, said she is responding appropriately to the N1 billion and N20 million suits against it by some of the Igbo indigenes deported out of the state to Onitisha, Anambra State in July, 2013, adding that it had begun preparations toward the challenge in court.”
This is the most satisfying development in the “deportation” of Nigerians from Lagos. Since that awful date that some Nigerians were deported from Lagos, their former capital, and their chosen place of residence, I started lamenting again the loss of Gani Fawehinmi. If this true Nigerian was alive, this matter would have been making its way to the Supreme Court of Nigeria and if necessary to the World Court for it was the worst case of human rights abuse.
When I read that Mr. Fashola had apologized, I was nervous that his tongue in the cheek apology would douse this constitutional violation. I am now happy that the likes of Fani Kayode and other misinformed Nigerians would be thought to accept that the Hausa, Igbo, Kanuri, Igalla. Edo, etc that live in Lagos do not live there because of the generosity of the Yoruba just as the Ondo people in Lagos do not live there because the Onikan family of Lagos was magnanimous. They all live there as their birth right as Nigerians.
I understand why they would demand monetary compensation because this case is probably being driven by hungry lawyers. It would have been nice if they had sought that the courts answer a simple question like the Dred Scott question. The question would be if any governor or any person for that matter can deport a Nigerian from any part of Nigeria. Once that question is answered then the issue of compensation could arise.
This was my view when the governor of Abia terminated the appointments of Abia residents from outside Abia, simply because of their places of birth. I held this view during Fashola’s first effort, in “deporting” some Hausa residents of Lagos. That was the first time I sensed that Mr. Fashola in spite of his high credentials as an administrator may be constitutionally ignorant.
By going to court and having this matter settle at the highest court in the land, we would get this matter settled for all eternity. The Governor of Rivers State would not wake up one day and ask those who have come to seek employment in oil sector to park and leave.
I am looking forward to the Day of Judgment.
Benjamin Obiajulu Aduba