Lagos govt wasted eight years fighting FG – Rasak, PDP senatorial candidate
Friday, February 16, 2007

• Chief Lanre Rasak
Photo: Sun News Publishing

A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Chief Lanre Razak, and senatorial candidate for the eastern axis of the state, has expressed optimism that PDP would win Lagos in the coming election.

According to him, the state would gain more by voting for the PDP because it would be in the same party as the centre.
While commenting on his Alliance Congress (AC) opponent, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora, Razak declared that “he will not score up to 20 per cent of the total votes in his senatorial zone.”
How do you intend to contend with the Action Congress and incumbent Senator Mamora?

Well, I want to sincerely thank you for this question because it is relevant. Except if magic happens I don’t know how Senator Mamora would score up to 25 percent of votes in this coming election. First, he was a Speaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly. During this period, they approved a lot of bonds for the state government to work on road, housing, among others. On his assumption of office, Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu promised 10,000 housing units for the poor. You will remember vividly Eko Akete Housing Estate was designed to provide houses for the masses.

Under the leadership of Senator Mamora, as the Speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, those bonds were approved. You know that they made commitments to the people, they have responsibility to ensure that through the application of their oversight function the job is not only done, but perfectly done to the specification and need of the people. Today, the housing estate, (Eko Akete) on Lekki expressway is not there, even though over N10billion was said to have been expended.

With all these, Lagosians are terribly disappointed in him. He is in Senate today; that is compensation for him for the job he did for Bola Tinubu. In the Senate today, there is no constituency project he can point to in all the five local governments in his constituency.

He never cared about the needs of the people in his constituency. He never worked towards alleviating the poverty of the constituency. They were busy defending Tinubu’s 57 local government establishments.
I said severally that if I have the opportunity, I will provide about 80 local governments in Lagos State . Nobody is saying creation of local government is not good, but there must be priority in whatever we do. Let Mamora come around Lagos and point to one or two projects that he has been able to influence. All they did was confronting the Federal Government.

There is no government that turns itself to the opposition of the government at the centre that can attract any meaningful development to its area. I have sited a lot of examples of what Jakande did during the day of the National Party of Nigeria (NPN) and Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN). UPN was in the state, NPN at the centre, but we created the opportunity for dialogue and discussion with the presidency. During Ramadan period then, Jakande and many of us would be with the head of state to break the fast.

We did this to create an enabling environment between Lagos State and the Federal Government. That is why it was possible for the Federal Government to support us when the metro line was being established by the Jakande administration. We told them all these, but they turned deaf ears to the advice that could have placed Lagos State in a good position. Lagosians are knowledgeable. They know they have been shortchanged. Lagosians believe strongly that to continue with AC will be a colossal waste and they are not going to do that. Again, the AD administration in Lagos State cannot even manage their political party, hence the death of Alliance for Democracy (AD).

They wanted to form ACD. It was a complete failure. Now, it is AC. I don’t know how someone who cannot contribute reasonably and meaningfully to the legislative development of Lagos State will be trusted again. They have been given the opportunity for eight years but the eight years government nothing but colossal waste to the people.

Indigeneship factor
The issue has gone beyond indigeneship. People in this senatorial district are looking for the best. If you are part of them and they know too well that you don’t have anything to offer, they will not vote for you. Mamora has disappointed them.

The issue is not whether he is from Epe or anywhere. He is a Nigerian and the constitution allows that if a person has lived with us for a certain period, he has the right to contest election. If they found anything of value in him, they will continue to embrace him, but today, he is a spent force and he has outlived his usefulness in electoral circle and they don’t want to continue with such a person. Therefore, it is clear that the people are conscious of the need to have the right people to represent them. With the situation on the ground, I don’t see him securing 20 percent of the total votes in this area not to talk of winning the election.

PDP’s internal wrangling
One thing I want to assure you is that there is crisis management mechanism within the party that we are trying to apply to see that we reconcile all the aggrieved parties before the election. One may be forced to remind Lagosians that the party is a platform for individuals to actualise their dreams; their ambition as far as being in their position is concerned. You cannot say one or two persons was aggrieved. Over 26 governorship aspirants. It was only one who emerged, you don’t expect others to fall in line, because of human elements. However, we are not leaving any stone unturned. We are working on them.

We are appealing to them. We are telling them the need to be team players, to belong to the party, to consider the issue of the larger society, the need to bring about the desired and needed change; to turn Lagos around.
What is the Lagos government not doing right and the PDP intends to correct if voted to power?

No where in the world, especially where you have large concentration of people that you live public transportation completely in the hands of private investors. If you consider the man hour being wasted on daily basis, it has a negative impact on the economy of the state and the nation. PDP will have a system that will synchronise the three modes of transportation in the state, the road, rail and water, to the extent that we would save over 90 percent of manhour being wasted daily. PDP government will do that for you so that you can be sure of your timing for anything you want to do.

On housing, the AD government failed woefully. If you don’t house your people, it is a terrible situation. The PDP government will provide houses for the poor. We have a blueprint already.

In the educational sector, go round the schools and see for yourself the terrible state some of them are at the moment. Indeed, you will be ashamed that we still have such schools in this state. We will look into this and bring about the desired changes within the first year of PDP government in the state. I am sure you will see the difference within the first three months because of the programmes and plans we have for Lagos. In health sector, we will ensure that people get adequate medicare.





© 2007 THE SUN PUBLISHING LTD. This service is provided on The Sun Newspapers' standard terms and conditions in accordance with our Privacy Policy.
To inquire about a licence to reproduce material and other inquiries, Contact Us.