Lagos@50: Don’t Succumb To Blackmail, Shittu Tells Ambode, Soyinka

imageFormer Deputy National Chairman of National Conscience Party (NCP), Comrade Amitolu Shittu on Tuesday urged Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode to disregard calls by a group in Lagos asking him to rescind his decision to appoint Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka as co-chair of Lagos@50 Celebration Committee.
Shittu, in an interview with an online newspaper, Fourthestates.com, also urged Soyinka not to succumb to pressure being mounted on him by the said group to resign honourably as co-chair of the celebration committee.
Shittu, who is an activist and Director General of De Raufs Volunteer Group, an association propagating the leadership qualities of Osun State Governor, Rauf Aregbesola, said his intervention became imperative owing to numerous newspaper reports sponsored by the said group known as Eko Foundation, asking Soyinka to resign his appointment on the basis that he is a non-indigene, and should not chair a committee to celebrate the anniversary of the state.
“I find it appalling and disgraceful that the so-called members of Eko Foundation who are claiming to be professionals are asking Governor Ambode and Professor Soyinka to do an unprofessional act.
“We should be happy that a person of the caliber of the Nobel Laureate even accepted to take up the appointment in the first place which I see as selfless and in the interest of the state.
“What will our respected Nobel Laureate benefit from the appointment other than bring his experience and professionalism to the table for the greater benefit of the state?
“This is a man that is sought after all over the world and here is a small minded group of so-called professionals, who I believe are only seeking cheap publicity with their blackmail, working hard to deny the state the benefit of his expertise. Professor Soyinka is an international man and I am sure he will turn the celebration of the anniversary of the state to an international event.
“The action of Eko Foundation is unfortunate and I make bold to say that the members of the group are really not interested in the development of the state but working to protect their selfish interest.
“I urge Governor Ambode to vehemently reject the calls by the group and I also urge Professor Soyinka not to succumb to this very cheap blackmail.
“I have known Prof right from our days of activism and I know him to be a strong man who will not succumb to cheap blackmail of this nature. He is eminently qualified for the job and that is the most important thing,” Shittu said.

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