Lagos not in bondage, Razak tackles Agbaje, others

A member of the Lagos State Governor’s Advisory Council (GAC), Chief Lanre Razak, has dismissed as diversionary and cheap blackmail recent claim by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) governorship candidate, Mr. Jimi Agbaje that the state is under the firm grip of a political godfather from whom Lagosians must be liberated.

Rather than resort to name calling and primordial sentiments, Razak challenged Agbaje to focus on issues-based campaign as doing otherwise would not give him victory at the poll, insisting that other political parties jostling to upstage the All Progressives Congress APC were only envious of the state’s strong economic and financial base and not genuinely committed to providing good governance to the people.

Razak, a chieftain of the APC in the state said Lagosians and Nigerians would fare better if they elect Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the party’s gubernatorial flag bearer and President Muhammadu Buhari in the forthcoming polls.

He commended Buhari for appointing former governor of Lagos State and APC national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as co-chairman of the Party’s Presidential Campaign Council, adding that the body has the capacity to ensure total victory for the APC candidates in the 2019 general elections.

Razak a former commissioner for public transportation in Lagos State had made a strong case for Tinubu’s appointment to chair the Council.

Speaking with newsmen in Epe at a party he hosted for members of the APC drawn from Lagos East Senatorial District, he said Tinubu was eminently qualified for the position because he has built a “successful political structure second to none not only in Lagos State but the entire country since the return to civilian rule in 1999.”

Taking a swipe at Agbaje and others who claimed that the state was in bondage, he said they are “lazy politicians and groups who can’t provide quality leadership and render selfless service that will earn them goodwill among the voters but very desperate to grab power with a campaign mantra of coming to grant freedom to Lagosians.”

According to Razak, “My posers for them are: “What kind of freedom are they seeking for Lagos? Are Lagosians truly in bondage? Are those elected to positions of authority across the state not Lagosians? Those appointed to the state cabinet positions, are they also in bondage? Are they being denied their constitutional rights to do what is right and just in serving the people? Nobody can steal our votes in Lagos because we will resist it.

“They should show us any evidence of their readiness and ability to provide dividends of democracy to the people rather than pretend to be a savior worthy of our mandate and offering to free Lagos from the so called bondage which is mere expression of sentiment. We will not accept anybody who wants to use Lagos State as an experiment in governance.

Continuing he said, “Lagosians know their needs and those with the pedigree and capacity to deliver good governance to them. Very soon Lagos State will become the third largest economy in Africa which can be attributed to the strong foundation in governance laid by administration of former Governor Tinubu in the state.

“It is also on record that from a meager N600million average monthly state internally generated revenue, IGR in 1999 when he took over as governor, the government has increased the IGR to between N34billion and N36billion monthly revenue currently.

“It is this economic prosperity and revenue profile made possible by Asiwaju Tinubu which is second to none among the 36 states that has made Lagos State very attractive to other political parties. That is also the reason why some politicians think they can capture power at all cost and loot the state’s treasury.

But I want to assure that there is no room for corrupt politicians in Lagos State. What we need are committed, dedicated, honest and patriotic Nigerians ready to render selfless and quality leadership in governance.

“Therefore to achieve this, our people should vote President Muhammadu Buhari and Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s ticket and Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu as governor of Lagos State to ensure continuity in good governance.

“We also thank God that we will be part of 2019 general elections but the question is: how can we impact positively on the living standard of the people of Lagos State in particular and Nigerians in general?

For me, I believe the right platform to actualize this dream better is the APC since we have been opportune to witness two eras- the PDP 16 destructive years and the nearly four years of President Buhari’s administration that has laid a solid foundation for the rapid socio-economic development of Nigeria.”

He further noted that “because the APC-led federal government is genuinely concerned with the wellbeing of Nigerians, it has completed some of the major projects that were inherited from the PDP administration rather than embarking on new ones. These include the Kaduna-Abuja rail scheme, the Lagos- Ibadan expressway, the accelerated work on the Second Niger Bridge among others.

“But the real issue is: what have we achieved with the huge capital allocations to the various sectors in the Nigerian budgets for the 16 years (1999 to 2015) during the PDP era? You will be amazed that not much was achieved. So the most reasonable alternative left for us as eligible voters is to re-elect President Buhari in order to enjoy the benefits of the solid socio-economic foundation laid by him.

He therefore called on the mass media to educate Nigerians to stop the PDP and its candidates with such a tainted past from returning to power at any level of government because that “will result in total destruction of the economy this time around,” adding that “you and I know that the nation was on the verge of collapse when God sent President Buhari to salvage the situation and rescue Nigerians from bad governance in 2015.

As a nation he noted Nigerians should not continue to wallow in poverty in the midst of plenty stressing that President Buhari has demonstrated “enough integrity and capability to turn the nation’s fortune around for good.”

Among the APC’s heavyweights that graced the occasion were Senator Anthony Adefuye, Omoba Olumuyiwa Sosanya, both members of the Lagos GAC, Hon. Tasir Olawale Raji representing Epe federal constituency in the House of Representatives and Hon.

Abiodun Tobun of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
Meanwhile, Chief Razak has called on the organized labor to further dialogue with the federal government in resolving the dispute arising from the proposed N30,000 new national minimum wage in order to avert a planned strike.

An amicable resolution of the issues at stake he said would be in the overall best interest of the country.

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