Politics, Seat of Power

Fashola takes Jonathan, Agbaje to the cleaners during 2,800 days in office

GOVERNOR Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) of Lagos State marked his 2,800 days in office on Tuesday, January 26, 2015, at the Blueroof, LTV 8, Lateef Jakande Road, Agidingbi, Ikeja, Lagos.

President Jonathan

President Jonathan

It was a different Fashola on that day.  Usually, the governor would reel out his achievements in the previous 100 days. But on this occasion, he did not only reel out his achievements in the last 100 days, he also used the occasion to take swipes at President Goodluck Jonathan and Jimi Agbaje, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) presidential candidate and governorship candidate in Lagos State respectively.

For example, when the governor was talking about the 83 per cent performance of the state budget in the previous year, he took a swipe at Mr. Jimi Agbaje for saying the state spent three per cent on education.

Hear him, “The opposition’s candidate still displayed so much ignorance about budgeting when he said the state government spends three per cent on education.

“Every serious and self-respecting Lagosian must see not only the ignorance of that candidate but his lack of experience and preparation.”

While listing the achievements of his government in the 100 days in the areas of education and electricity, particularly as it concerns hospitals and schools in the state, the governor had this to say about the PDP government at the centre.

Jimi Agbaje

Jimi Agbaje

“Gradually, one by one, by God and by the dedication of our workers and the faith of tax payers, we will put the shame of darkness that a failed government and umbrella party has imposed on our children in schools and on patients in hospitals behind us.  These solar power systems will shed light on their failure and illuminate our pathway to change.”

Again, Governor Fashola descended heavily on Jimi Agbaje for saying that there was mass failure of students from the state in the WASCE last year.  “It is clear that the language of failure is spreading in their party, and their candidate in Lagos has caught the bug of failure.  Out of 21 PDP states, he could only mention three states when they gave him the microphone to speak in Lagos.  This is 14 per cent knowledge of states in his party.  Our children have done better than this.  They are the party of failed people and failed promises.  Our children will succeed because their generation will not fail.”

On housing, after reeling out the achievements of his government in the sector, the governor again took a swipe at Agbaje, “Their candidate has said he would teach us how to build low cost housing like Alhaji Lateef Jakande.  When he got to talk to Alhaji Jakande, he would be told that the naira was a stronger currency at that time and was not the devalued currency their party had turned it into today.  It is obvious that he does not understand that at over N210 to $1, and at 24 per cent interest rate, prices of building materials are going to rise.  This is not a bold idea as he called it.”

The governor did not also forget to mention infrastructure facilities, buildings, computers, servers, data backup and record keeping facilities that his administration has provided to the Nigeria Police.

This is what he told the federal government and PDP on the issue of security and Nigeria Police.  “Let me be clear that this is not our responsibility.  But when a government and a party choose to export your money in private jets in search of security equipment, we must respond to support policemen and women who have shown great commitment in keeping all of us safe in spite of neglect by their employer, who denied them a merry Christmas by not paying their salaries.”

The controversy between the Police and Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA) did not escape the governor’s comment during the address.  He said the Federal Government removed all banners of the APC candidate on the electricity poles using security (policemen) and replaced them with those of the president.  According to the governor, he said the Federal Government and its party (PDP) also removed the banners of Glo and Huawei which are businesses that have paid for adverts.

He added that this singular action of the Federal Government and PDP has caused irreparable loss of revenue to the local governments.

The governor, therefore, implored Lagosians to embrace change at the federal level and continuity at the state level in the coming elections.

He went further to say that apart from voting for Buhari and Osinbajo at the presidential election, Ambode and Adebule at the governorship election, Lagosians should also vote for APC legislators in the Senate, House of Representatives and the state House of Assembly.

His words, “At the national level, the wind of change is blowing.  Please, do not be left behind, join it, flow with it and own it.  At the state level, please stay away from bold ignorance, stay away from inexperience, stay away from deception, vote for the continuity of what we have worked together to build.”

The Tuesday, January 26, 2015, 2,800 days was the 28th 100 days in office to be marked by Governor Fashola since May 29, 2007, that he was first elected the governor of Lagos State.  The governor since his inception in office has been rendering account of his stewardship every 100 days.  So far, he has done 2,800 days. He will certainly do one more which will make it 2,900 days in office.  After that, he will have just 22 days left to bid Lagosians goodbye.

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