How Niger govt discriminates against non-indigenes, by Yoruba elder

.Seeks govt’s review of policies

By Ummi Ismaeel,


Governor Abubarkar Sani Bello of Niger State has been called upon to review his hard stance on non-indigenes most of whom were born and reside in the state.

  Yoruba elder statesman in Niger State, Mr. Olawale Ajayi, made the appeal in Minna, the state capital.

 He said that non-indigenes who had spent their productive years contributing to the growth and development of the state were being denied opportunities and treated like “third-class” citizens by the present administration in the state.

  He described policies of the government such as payment of higher school fees by non-indigenes as discriminatory and bad for the image of the state government.

  Ajayi, who is the former president, Niger State Chamber of Commerce, Mines and Agriculture, made the appeal during a Night of

Tribute to the late hotelier and entrepreneur in Niger State, Chief Dominic Onyaka Onuigbo, the chief executive, Doko International Hotels.

 Ajayi pointed out that  many non-Nigerlites were at home with the immediate past administration because it focused more on “what you can contribute to making Niger state better socio-economically and not on where you come from and what religion you profess.”

 Ajayi expressed regrets that foreigners from neighboruing countries, advantaged by their religious belief, enjoy more than Nigerian citizens from other parts of the country in the state.

 This, according to him, should not be the case in the present Nigeria. Ajayi, however, extolled the virtues of the late Onuigbo who during his lifetime contributed to the making of Niger state through investments in hospitality, Sports and Pharmaceuticals among other business concerns that provided job opportunities to hundreds of


  He lamented: “We have never heard about our children being discriminated so much as it is today. Today we have two different rates in payable fees in schools, for indigenes and non-indigenes. Before you are attended to you are asked your name and where you are from and this will determine the kind of attention that you will be accorded.

  “What we are seeing today has never happened before.”

The Etsu Nupe and Chairman, Niger State Council of Traditional Rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubarkar; and the Emir of Minna, Alhaji Umar Farouq Bahago, all represented in their various tributes, described Onuigbo as a ‘True Igbo man who believed in touching lives for posterity’s sake’.

  While praying that God should grant the family he left behind the fortitude to bear the loss, the royal fathers unanimously agreed that building bridges of friendship across ethnic divides, job creation through investments in Hotels, Sports and Pharmaceuticals among other enterprises endeared the late Dominic Onuigbo to the minds of many Nigerians, Nigerlites in particular.

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