Abuja - The Transformation Ambassadors of Nigeria (TAN) on Sunday commended its efforts in breaking the over 70-year-old jinx of electing non-indigenes to represent Lagos State in both the national and state assemblies.
A statement issued by TAN’s Director of Media, Afam Ilounoh, urged every state of the federation to emulate the feat recorded in Lagos in providing a level playing field for all residents in their states.
The statement quoted Ilounoh as saying that TAN decided to use the People's Democratic Party (PDP) as a platform to achieve the record because the party is more accommodating than any other party.
"The PDP understood the cosmopolitan nature of Lagos State and keyed into it.
"The 2015 general elections might have come and gone but the ripples generated by the polls will abide with us for quite some time.
"One of such ripples is the feat achieved by the TAN toward the election of non-indigenes to represent the cosmopolitan Lagos State in the national and state assemblies.
"The international NGO in its characteristic manner threw in everything into canvassing support for the best candidates whether indigenes or non-indigenes during the campaigns.
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"At the end of the day, non-indigenes who arguably constitute a major block in Lagos can now have a voice and representation in the national and state assemblies," the statement quoted Ilounoh as saying.
It recalled that the last time a non-indigene was voted to represent Lagos in any form of representative capacity was over seventy years ago, when the legendary Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe was elected in the state.
That was during his (Azikiwe) great partnership with great Adeniran Ogunsanya, which spanned their political lives.
"Moments after that election, the nation fell abysmally into a political set-up where primordial and other sentiments started playing crucial roles in getting a candidates elected into office at the expense of competence and capability.
"The implication of the ugly development is that round pegs continued to find themselves in square holes while mediocrity instead of meritocracy became the order of the day.
"This has affected the growth and development of the country negatively.
"With the significant contribution of TAN towards redressing this anomaly, starting with the National Assembly election in Lagos, it’s obvious that the advocacy group has indeed played a pivotal role in deepening democracy in Nigeria.
"This positive development has taken shine off the dreaded monster of political discrimination which has bedevilled the nation for long," the statement further read.
It noted that Nigerians irrespective of the state of origin should participate actively in the affairs of their host communities.