Thousands of artisans, tradesmen and farmers in Lagos State joined the Governor, Babatunde Fashola, SAN to receive the gubernatorial flag bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and Vice Presidential candidate of the party, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, with the Governor advising them not to trade experience in government business for experiment and trial and error that the opposition wants to bank on.
At an interactive Town Hall meeting at the Agidingbi premises of LTV, the Governor said Mr Akinwunmi Ambode is better suited for the state’s number one job because of his competence saying he worked with him for over six years as Accountant General of the state and would start from where he hands over the baton to him.
He said he can thump his chest and vouch for the governorship candidate of the APC in Lagos State as one who would be a worthy successor to him.
Backing his contention with several anecdotes, the Governor urged residents of Lagos not to make the mistake of electing someone without cognate experience who would only end up wobbling and fumbling with the fortunes of Lagos.
He stated that he is ready to defend his stewardship in office at any time and at any forum if called upon to do so because his government has been very impactful to the lives of the average residents of the state.
Governor Fashola thanked the artisans, tradesmen and farmers for their honesty and truthfulness about the positive change that has come into their lives with the activities of the state government in the informal sector.
He said he wholeheartedly supports their request for a continuation of the prosperity that is being enjoyed in the informal and agricultural sector under the present administration, adding that the only way such continuity could be actualized is by voting to ensure that the All Progressives Congress (APC) emerges victorious at all levels in Lagos State and the federal level.
He stressed that this is the time and period for Nigerians to make very important decisions about their lives as the elections approach and that the people should be bold to take up their leaders on what they have done with the time they have spent in office before asking for renewal of tenures.
He said when President Jonathan was seeking the votes of Nigerians before his first term in office; one of his sloganeering catch points was that as a child he had no shoes and walked barefooted but that now the campaigns would be about issues as the era of having no shoes to curry sympathy was gone.
The Governor also quoted from a speech delivered by the President while on a foreign visit to Turkey some years back where he stated emphatically that if he could not fix the major problems of power and security within his first four years in office, then he had no business seeking a second chance.
He added that the President also made several promises such as the one he made in Lagos during the campaigns in 2011, where he promised to reconstruct the road leading to the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, adding that four years after, nothing of that sort has happened in Lagos.
Speaking further on why change was imminent in the country in 2015, the Governor noted that while Nigeria claims to have the largest economy in Africa, it cannot provide stable electricity to its residents while smaller countries do same without hassles.
Governor Fashola said the ruling People Democratic Party (PDP) is like a virus because every sector of the economy or the nation’s life that it has touched has been destroyed, adding that Nigeria would be missing from the most glamorous football competition in Africa from next month because of the ineptitude of the PDP while the smallest country in Africa Cape Verde will be represented.
He said the composition of the 2015 Federal Budget also speaks volume of the inability of the PDP to bring about any meaningful change into the lives of the average Nigerian because only a paltry 14 percent has been devoted to capital expenditure while a whopping 86 percent is set aside for recurrent expenditure adding that the time has come for them to be swept away from governance at all levels.
In his message of goodwill, the governorship candidate of the APC in Lagos State, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode saluted Governor Babatunde Fashola for the great work he is doing in Lagos, saying his election as Fashola’s successor would be about taking Lagos to the next level.
Ambode said the task would not be completed with the electoral successes of the APC in Lagos State alone but also at the federal level with the election of General Muhammadu Buhari and Professor Yemi Osinbajo which would only be possible through the massive voting for the candidates of the party across the federation.
He acknowledged the role of the informal sector in the development of any nation, stressing that they represent over 80 percent of any economy and that he would also ensure the continuation of the several empowerment initiatives of the current administration if elected into office.
He said just as former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, laid the foundation for the transformation of Lagos and was built upon by Governor Babatunde Fashola, he would also ensure that he improves upon what the present Governor has done for the State.
Also speaking, the Vice Presidential Candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Professor Yemi Osinbajo commended Governor Fashola for his regenerational strides in Lagos, saying today he represents one of the very best in Nigeria.
He stated that his decision to team up with General Muhammadu Buhari and others is about rescuing the ship of state of Nigeria from total destruction and that it is a task that every Nigerian must be ready to participate in and accomplish.
In his own remarks, the President of the Lagos State Council of Tradesmen and Artisans (LASCOTA), Chief Bola Sanusi stated that all the artisans in the state are very appreciative of the support of the Governor to LASCOTA since the formation of the association some years back.
“We are therefore grateful to Your Excellency for the recognition you have accorded to Traders and Artisans and for all the support programmes you have put in place for us as key operators in the informal sector”, he stressed.
The LASCOTA President on behalf of the association also passed a vote of confidence on the administration of the Governor and his party, saying: “We shall always queue behind you; especially during this political dispensation so as to repay you for all that you have done for us. We shall cast our votes for all APC candidates in the 2015 general elections”.
Also speaking, the President, Commercial Agriculture Development Association (CADA) Lagos State, Mrs. Bolaji Dania said while the task of making food available to every growing population like that of Lagos State is enormous, the operators in the sector could not have achieved much without the continued support of Governor Fashola for the development of agriculture in the state.
She expressed gratitude to the Governor for providing farming aids and tools and also engaging youths in the State positively for various developmental initiatives, pledging that the association would massively mobilize the farming communities for the forthcoming elections so that the APC can retain the seat of government in the State and also win at all levels including the Presidency.
Earlier in an address of welcome, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Commerce and Industry, Mr Seye Oladejo said LASCOTA represents over a million artisans in Lagos State and have never had it so good due to the various empowerment programmes embarked upon by the current administration.
The event was attended by members of the State Executive Council including the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire; the Secretary to the State Government (SSG) who is also the Deputy Governorship Candidate of the APC, Dr (Mrs) Idiat Oluranti Adebule; the state Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, Mrs Olusola Oworu representatives of various trades groups, associations and farmers groups.