Politics

‘Why I want to become Lagos state governor’ -Obanikoro

-Vows to unseat APC in 2015 guber election

People’s Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial aspirant in Lagos State, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has explained why he wants to become the next governor of the state.

Addressing the party supporters who thronged the National Stadium, Surulere, Lagos, during his official declaration, the former Minister of State for Defence maintained that the eight years of the incumbent governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has only transformed the lives of the influential Lagosians.

But this time around, he pledged that the policies of his administration, if he becomes the next Governor of the state, will focus on changing the lives of the common man for the better.

He said; “The major beneficiaries of policies and governance of this administration in the last eight years have been for the privileged and the affluent. We have noticed the attention of government and major infrastructural upgrade in the areas harboring the rich and privileged. We have seen billions spent to link Ozumba Mbadiwe Road with Falomo Bridge; we have seen billions spent to link Lekki with Ikoyi; we have seen billions spent in sand filling our waters in order to construct quote and unquote Low Cost Housing; we have seen billions spent on Bourdillon road and so on.

“I believe it is time for a new direction. I believe it is time for government to spend billions on upgrading the infrastructures in Alimosho, in Somolu, in Epe, in Badagry, in Agege, in Mushin, in Ikorodu, in Kosofe, in Ajeromi. It is time to focus on the masses and majority of Lagosians, for only when the masses are catered for, and only when the masses thrive in Lagos can we truly say “Lagos is working”. That is the Lagos of my dream.

“I call it a greater Lagos, where a hardworking family or a determined youth can afford tuition. A Greater Lagos! Where the Iya alata is always remembered in Alausa and not paranoid of being dislodged from her place of business. A Greater Lagos! Where low ccost housing isn’t built on water. A greater Lagos, where small businesses are not multi-taxed and harassed. A greater Lagos where our hospitals are not flooded with patients ailing from sicknesses like malaria among others. A Greater Lagos where pipe born water to ours homes is not a luxury. A greater Lagos where obtaining the title of your home doesn’t cost you an arm and a leg.

The Lagos Island born politician said under his administration, if elected, governance would be premised on three main pillars; including grassroots governance, simple solutions where most critical challenges are addressed and education.

He also threw jibes at the opposition for calling him a thug, criminal and uneducated politician.

“Cynics said don’t vote Obanikoro because he is a thug. I stand before you as the thug happily married to my high school sweet heart, Mrs Moroophat Omolola Obanikoro. Can we please appreciate this beautiful woman. A big thank you to Ikorodu for providing me this lovely woman who stood firmly by my side for over 30 years. I love you so much and to my kids, I love you guys so much!

“They say Obanikoro is uneducated. I stand before you as an uneducated thug with a bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Texas Southern University, USA. They say Obanikoro is a criminal. Eyin a ra Eko (people of Lagos), I have lived all my life in Nigeria and in America for a little over 8 years and not once have I ever been arrested. Let me say this again, I have never been arrested in my life, and I do not have a record of having broken the law, either criminal or civil in Nigeria or America. I stand before you as probably the only Lagosian who has served in all tiers of government without a single blemish to his record of service in any of the positions I have ever been blessed or opportune to serve in.

Over the years, I have let detractors and naysayers especially in the All Progressive Congress (APC) with their media machinery get away with spreading lies, tarnishing my record, my image and above all, my character. That time has come to an end, and this time, their propaganda will not work as this time, Lagosians know better and I am also prepared.

“The time is ripe for my people, the people of Lagos are tired of the pseudo-monarchy style of government under this APC Leadership and they want change. We can and we will unseat this government come February 2015,” Obanikoro vowed.

He however called on party members to remain united, saying that; “United we shall be. I am committed to working with every single member of our party and every leader of our great party. The time has come to put the past behind us. It is a new day, a new dawn.”

As at the time of filing this report on Monday, December 8, 2014, the PDP primary election for gubernatorial seat in Lagos was on-going. Apart from Obanikoro, other aspirants were Jimi Agbaje and Deji Doherty, Mr. Tokunbo Kamson and Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi.

However, there was an opinion poll among the PDP faithful showed that Obanikoro would likely carry the day and eventually become the party’s flag bearer in the 2015 Lagos governorship election.

-RASHEED ABUBAKAR

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