A group, Eko Foundation has faulted the decision of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to appoint a veteran Nollywood actor, Mr. Richard Mofe-Damijo as the chairman of a 9-member Committee on Empowerment of Entertainment Sector.
They are therefore calling om the former Delta State Commissioner for Tourism to decline the appointment, saying such responsibility ought to be handled by a native.
In a letter addressed to the governor and dated May 6, 2021, the group condemned the choice of Richard Mofe-Damijo, saying that his appointment is a marginalization of Lagos indigenes in the governance of their state.
According to the group, while the initiative is a step in the right direction to revitalize the entertainment sector and film production in Lagos State, there are qualified indigenes of Lagos both home and abroad qualified to lead the Committee rather than the former Delta State Commissioner for Tourism.
Part of the letter read, “We appreciate the initiative of the Lagos State Government to revitalize the entertainment sector; film production in Lagos State.
“As indigenous group in Lagos State, we condemn the appointment of Richard Mofe-Damijo as the Chairman of the committee and we urge him to decline honorably the offer to chair the committee for the sake of justice to competent lagos indigenes.
“We regard the choice of Richard Mofe-Damijo as chairman as marginalization of Lagos indigenes in the governance of their state.
“We need to draw the attention of the government to the fact that there are many Lagos indigenes both home and abroad that are doing well and are eminently qualified to chair the committee.
“For the sake of emphasis, we wish to remind his Excellency that Pa Jide Kosoko, Ajoke Silva, Morayo Aka-Bashorun, Tolu Oniru, Tiwa Savagé, Banky Wellington, Gbemi Shasore, Aduke Gomez, Disun Holloway (Former SA & Commisioner under Mr. Tunde Fashola), Polly Alakija are doing well in the entertainment sector and they deserve your consideration into the committee.
The groups, in the letter also said RMD’s choice was tantamount to “slapping and spitting on the face of Lagos indigenes at the same time”, urging him to “respect himself by rejecting the offer as the chairman if he desires to retain his honor as a veteran actor who has made mark for himself in the entertainment industry.”
The letter added, “The implication of the continuous presence of RMD as the chairman of that committee is that Lagos indigenes who are interested in film making and entertainment will have to lobby an indigene of Delta before his/her proposals can be approved in his state.
“We will also like to condemn the continuous drive of this government to the path carrying out of the extinction plan of core indigenes of Lagos State.
“As core indigenes in the state we will therefore not keep quiet because there appear to be no future for us and our unborn generation in our states .
“Tunde Kelanu is over Seventy years, Richard Mofe-Damijo is over sixty years and when RMD was a commissioner in Delta State, how many Lagos indigenes did he empower?
“We are therefore by the above urge RMD to tow the part of honor and immediately decline the appointment.
“Though Lagos state is cosmopolitan but it is heartbroken to see democratically elected governor allot roles and resources of the state to non-indigenes where there are indigenes that are capable, credible and competent.
“We don’t belong to a camp that says Lagos is a no man’s land, we are passionate and proud of our state. Why is the governor doing this to us in our state and why are we regarded as second class citizens in our state?
“We therefore call on our traditional rulers to prevail on Mr Sanwoolu to stop this marginalization of indigenes during his tenure. Lagosians will remember you and hetch your name in gold if you can reverse this appointment and make one of us as the chairman of the committee,” the letter concluded.