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Fashola Dares PDP to Investigate His Administration

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IMAGE: Governor Babatunde Fashola »
  • Inaugurates Lekki-Ikoyi toll bridge

Gboyega Akinsanmi
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has dared the state chapter of People’s Democratic Party (PDP), leaders to investigate his administration if they are in doubt of how the state is being run.

He urged the leadership of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to remain focused on the mandate for which it was established, saying such an anti-graft agency should not be an ally of witch-hunting.

The comment came on the same day the governor, along with several stakeholders in the state, unveiled the Lekki-Ikoyi bridge, which the governor said was made possible by the noble disposition of the late President Umaru Yar’ Adua to the project
Fashola yesterday expressed the views in an interview with a four-man panel, which comprised Editor-in-Chief of Vanguard Newspapers, Mr. Gbenga Adefaye; Daily Editor of The Sun Newspapers, Mr. Steve Nwosu; a human right lawyer, Mr. Mohammed Fawehinmi and Channels Television broadcaster, Ms. Maupe Ogun.

Fashola acknowledged the right of the opposition to raise questions on issues in a democracy, explaining that the activities of his critics had helped him to do more and be more effective.

He added that the opposition continued “to do their jobs. The important thing “is that they need to investigate us. Our administration is open to investigation. But the EFCC must remain focused on its mandate.

“The EFCC should not be an ally to witch-hunting. I understand by my training that a leader should submit to investigation. I am ready to give account for everything this administration has done from 2007 till date.”

He made reference to the administration of former Governor Lateef Jakande, whom he said, did excellently in the provision of low-cost housing scheme for Lagos residents during his tenure between 1979 and 1983.

But Fashola said he did not want to make the same mistake, which the Jakande administration made by not institutionalizing the process of allocating the government housing schemes in a way that would guarantee continuity.

The governor also spoke on the affordability of the housing scheme, noting that there “is no low cost cement in the market. There is no low cost iron rod. There are no low-cost building materials. But what will make the scheme affordable is that the state government will not ask the buyers to pay at once. The payment will spread across a period of time.

Meanwhile, Fashola, while  unveiling the Lekki-Ikoyo toll bridge yesterday, explained how the intervention of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua made the newly constructed Lekki-Ikoyi Link Suspension Bridge a reality.

He said although there was no federal funding for the project, the bridge was a clear evidence of what the federal might could achieve depending on whether the person who exercises authority chooses to be a politician or a statesman.”

The governor made the remarks during the inauguration of the bridge in Lekki, noting that the primary objective was to provide a transport infrastructure and strategic traffic management solution aimed at easing traffic congestion in the area.

The bridge was unveiled alongside Jakande, first Military Governor of the state, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson, Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire; First Lady, Mrs. Abimbola Fashola and members of the State Executive Council among others.

But speaking on what happened after the bridge was conceived, Fashola explained that there was apprehension that the late president would not release some of the properties of the federal government, which he said, would be affected in the construction of the bridge.

“At the height of the dispute between the state and the federal governments over Ikoyi properties which had already resulted in a court case, some of my colleagues felt that we would not get the federal government to cede property to a state controlled by the opposition party to build a bridge for the people.

“While President Yar’Adua surprised them, he did not surprise me. This was the same president who had released our local government funds that were illegally withheld.
“He gave his outright blessings for the release of some of the properties which are federally owned and were impeding the project. He was in my view the first builder of this bridge.”

Fashola said the state government had done something similar in Okota with the Okota-Itire Link Bridge which eased traffic connectivity for seven local governments as well as in the Falomo area with the Falomo Ramp.
According to him, the initiative is in sync  with the commitment of the state government to improve service delivery  given the commitment of the administration to PATH, which is the acronym for Power, Agriculture, Transportation and Housing.

“This is why similar bridge works are being undertaken in Agiliti in the Mile 12 area, to connect communities that have been separated by water for forever. This is why a similar project is being executed in Ajao-Ejigbo area with the construction of a link bridge and road to connect another area separated by the Ejigbo canal from time immemorial”.

He added that the users of the bridge would have to pay a toll each way with salon cars paying N250.00, motorcycles with 200cc capacity and above N100.00, Mini-vans, SUVs and light Pick-Up trucks N300.00 while non-commercial buses with a maximum seating capacity of 26 persons will pay N400.00 each way.

Article Credit: Thisday Newspaper

Updated 6 Years ago

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