Badagry: When Over-Silence Is Insanity

Written by O'News Blog

The word silence has been used ubiquitously in many and varied perspectives, depending on the context and objective.

To some silence is golden, while others would say silence speaks to consent or that it is the best answer to a fool!

But while former prisms seem really contextual the latter is no longer contextual in a complex contemporary society as we have today especially in an ever kinetic society like Lagos. Circumstances in contemporary politics especially as it affects Badagry division have pervasively proven that over-silence is nowadays synonymous to stupidity and foolishness.

There is a common saying that when a person is over-silent over his problems everything about his life becomes still, stagnant and degenerates: this is the stage where over-silence assumes the identity of inanity.

Above introduction aptly captures the scenario that has defined Badagry (not Badagry Division) political vicissitudes in the context of political power sharing, distribution, recognition and respect in Lagos State within the last two decades as Badagry political influence in Lagos State continues to wane and regress geometrically.

Never have we had it so regressive!
The political culture of keeping mum over our political challenges has become our major albatross, even when injustice is meted against us as a people with reckless abandon and impunity, we keep tight-lipped over it.

The best we do, in circumstance like this, is to express our bitterness murmuring amongst ourselves and it ends there!

We are jaded, fatalistic and remain passive to express our displeasure and say the truth out to those that should hear it because they will remove the feeding bottle from our mouth?

Righteousness, they say, exalts a nation. A life that abhors the truth is a worthless life.

At the time late Alhaji Jakande was Governor of Lagos State up till the emergence of the Tinubu’s (our next President by His grace) first term in office there was fair political power sharing in the division. It had always been one appointed Commissioner from Badagry and one from Ojo.

At that time it was a conscious political consciousness borne out of indigenous sensibility, balancing and expediency. But in the contemporary Lagos politics the narrative has changed drastically and the people of Badagry are now regarded as not being part of Lagos State any longer hence the pervasive denial of their political right in their father’s land.

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Who are those that speak for Badagry at the top?

How do they present Badagry to the power that be?

What are they saying about us to the power that be?

Are they pursuing the overall interest of Badagry or their personal interest?

Within the last two decades and within the same Badagry Division, in Ojo Local Government to be specific, two Deputy Governors had been appointed, Princess Serah Shosan during the Fashola’s regime in 2007, and Dr. Idiat Adebule in 2015 during Ambode’s Administration. Dr. Adebule was also appointed Secretary to the State Government by Governor Fashola in 2011.

Recently Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi was elected substantive Party State Chairman of the ruling party in the Lagos State (the Deputy of this position which impacted nothing was considered best for Badagry) and now within the same Ojo Local Government the Lagos Southwest Senatorial District’s Seat has been zoned to represent the Lagos Southwest Senatorial District and interestingly it is the former Deputy Governor and Secretary to the State Government Dr. Adebule that was elected (she will surely be by His Grace).

One is saying this not out of acrimony but to point out that Badagry people have long been treated very unfairly in the political power balancing and opportunities in Lagos State in general and Badagry division in particular.

While one recognizes the fact that all the appointments are from the same Badagry division, one is alarmed that steadily this trend is becoming a standard: that it is only at Ojo Local Government could the State gets qualified hands to hold higher political office to represent the division!

The political narratives of Badagry must not be subsumed into the Ojo narratives. Badagry was the birth-place of the division and it’s not accidental.

The recent appointments of new Cabinet members where Badagry was blotted out completely cements our apprehension for political violence and clampdown on Badagry.

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The picture is that every important political office either appointed, elected or to-be-elected in Badagry Division within the last 20 years have continued to be zoned to Ojo Local Government at the expense of Badagry, leaving Badagry politically underdeveloped, undermined, impoverished and at best to continually pick from the crumbs, that is, Special Advisers since Fashola’s period till date.

  • Is this a punishment upon Badagry for her resolve to align herself with the State ruling Party?
  • Is it until this trend becomes irreversible before we start to react?
  • For how long shall we keep mute in the face of this perennial political ‘violence’ against our collective intelligence, integrity and sensibility?
  • Is there anyone speaking for Badagry at the top echelon of the party at all?

During the 2014 and 2018 elections in Badagry division, out of the four main Local Governments in the division only Badagry Local Government delivered 100% results for both the Presidential, National House of Assembly, the Governorship and the House of Assembly elections.

In the entire Badagry division with four Federal Constituencies it was only Badagry Local Government that did not concede to the opposition. The remaining three were won by the opposition party.

Out of the eight House of Assembly constituencies in the division only three were delivered to All Progressives Congress, of the three Badagry had two!

What is more, this period was when the ruling Party, the Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) appointed one of the illustrious sons of Badagry as Air Marshal – first of its kind in the history of Badagry. The ruling Party (PDP) went ahead to approve the construction of a gigantic Air Force Base Medical facility for Badagry all in the bid to lure the people to vote PDP but the people remained resolute and voted massively for the All Progressives Congress at all the elections without losing one to the opposition!

This same electoral feat was also replicated in 2018 at all levels!
What else does the Party leadership at the top wants Badagry to do to deserve respect and be rewarded for her hard work and loyalty to APC?

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Is anybody trading Badagry political development for his personal gain?

This position could easily be despised by some of the ill-meaning leaders on the premise of those who are of the school of thought to ask that ‘what does Badagry bring to the table at elections?

Suffice to answer this question by asking whoever is of this notorious school of thought that they should mention one individual from Badagry in the last 50 years of our political toil and moil (for both Lagos State and the Federal Governments) that the system had so empowered politically in Lagos State either as Governor, Deputy Governor, Senator, Secretary to the State Government, Director-General of Federal Parastatal, Minister etc that could afford to bring something to the table?

This, to my thought, is deliberate position by the power that be to continually suppress Badagry econo-political growth. It is grossly unfair! Badagry people are not political slaves in Lagos State.

This write-up is not written from the position of acrimony or hatred for the political ascendancy of Ojo people or to incite people to political mutiny but to awakening the slumbering consciousness of the leadership in Badagry to the dwindling political fortune, a political trend with the potential to bury Badagry into political backyard in no distant future if it’s taken for granted and not addressed expeditiously.

The political narrative of Badagry in the last 15 years is one of regression, backwardness and failure for Badagry’s political human capital development.

The development of any society is measured by the quality of her people not its physical manifestations. It is high time this ungodly culture of over-silence stopped and the leadership start to be called to questioning.

As a matter of fact I salute the political sagacity of the Ojo political leadership for the achievements in the last two decades. But in Badagry there’s anger hovering in the air.

Mr. Senapon Honvoh
Writes from Badagry

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