The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, and the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Wednesday, 4th February, 2015, took the campaign train of the party to Surulere with the Governor enjoining the people to transfer the same massive votes that came out of the local government in 2007 to the party’s gubernatorial flag bearer.
Addressing the large turnout of party chieftains and supporters at Shitta Under bridge, Stadium Bus stop, Surulere, Governor Fashola told the people that voting for the APC governorship candidate would mean reinvesting in the peoples future, strengthening the party and consolidating the progress of the State.
Flanked by his Deputy, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; the party’s flag bearer, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode; and his running mate, Dr (Mrs) Oluranti Adebule; state Chairman of the party, Otunba Henry Ajomale; and other notable leaders of the party, Governor Fashola stressed that the job would only be completed if the people harnessed the same energy and support they demonstrated in the last seven and half years for the incoming administration.
The Governor also debunked the allegation by the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the state, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, that his administration was yet to pay the National Minimum Wage to the state’ civil servants describing the allegation as a display of ignorance since his administration was the first to implement the wage policy among the 36 states of the Federation even before it became law.
He stated that Agbaje has continued to display bold ignorance, inexperience and lack of knowledge of what is really happening to the people he seeks to govern in all facets of their life.
“They were showing me this morning that he said in a newspaper report that we are not paying the minimum wage. I have said it that what he called Bold Ideas are Bold Ignorance. This state was the first to pay minimum wage even before it became a law.
“That is the person who says he wants to govern you. He does not know what is happening to you. And if he knows, he is lying. Do you want the Governor who lies? Either way it is zero ignorance, do you want an ignorant Governor? The Governor that will disgrace you when he speaks in public”, Governor Fashola asked.
Expressing pride in the way the people of Surulere united under his administration, the Governor, who recalled that in 2002 the local government was politically divided, added, “We held our rally somewhere there not here, and they had to come and wield us together”.
He thanked all the community and party leaders in the area, including the Minority Leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila and late Shitta Bay adding, “All of you, men and women, who time would not permit me to call your names, I salute you: woman leader, man leader, youth leaders, I am grateful to you.
“But the job is only half done, we now have to transfer that energy, that support, that leadership and the massive vote that came out of Surulere in 2007; we have to transfer them to Ambode. By so doing we would be strengthening our own party; we would be consolidating our own progress, we would be reinvesting in our own future”.
The Governor, who recalled that Surulere hosted the National Convention of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and also the National Sports Festival, expressed joy that the local government demonstrated such uncommon hospitality to all the guests that the events became a reference point nationwide.
Noting that while coming to the campaign venue he passed through Aguda and saw the level of work there, the drainage work at Brown Road, Nnobi, Kilo, Okanlawon, Ajayi and Lawanson Streets before passing through Ojuelegba, Governor Fashola, who said he equally saw roads like Ogunlana Drive, the Skills Centre in Suenu, Office of the Public Defender at Barracks, the new Tejuosho Market and the new LAGOS HOMS in Shitta, declared, “It is your party, the APC that did it.
“There were no street lights here in 2007. Who did it? Your party APC did it. If you climb the bridge that is opposite us, I was ten years old when Federal Government constructed it, but you would recall that the expansion joints were in bad shape and motorists felt it when driving and we had to repair it”, the Governor said.
He said his administration repaired the expansion joints despite the fact that it was a federal project adding, “We also did that on the Eko Bridge. The money we also spent on rehabilitating their roads has not been reimbursed. They now brought a chemist who is hiding under the umbrella and says he wants to be the next governor of Lagos State”.
Speaking earlier, the gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, promised that if elected as Governor of the state, he would continue in the footsteps of the incumbent Governor to ensure that Lagos continues to work adding that his priority would be to create jobs for the unemployed youths.
Ambode, who noted that the present administration has made huge investments in the construction and rehabilitation of inner city roads in the State, promised that his administration would compel each of the local governments in the state to build 20 roads every year for the four years of his administration.
He also promised to engage the youths in all the programmes he plans to carry out in the State adding that his administration would enhance the tourism potentials of Surulere Local Government to connect it to the rest of the world.
The APC gubernatorial candidate, who also pledged to complete all on going projects that would be left behind by the present administration, said 1,000 new buses would be added to the present fleet of the State Mass transit bus service, the Bus Rapid Transit (BRT), adding that the waterways would also be further developed to further take transportation to the level befitting the Centre of Excellence.
Other party chieftains who spoke at the rally included the APC Woman Leader in the state, Chief (Mrs) Kemi Nelson; Senatorial Candidate for Lagos Central Senatorial District, Senator Oluremi Tinubu; Minority leader in the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila; and House of Assembly Candidate for Surulere Constituency 2, Mr. Desmond Olusola Elliot, among others, all of whom urged the people to vote massively for the APC for change of leadership at the Centre and continuity in the state.
Highlight of the occasion was the traditional handing over of the flag of the party to candidates to signify their formal endorsement by the people and party they are representing, a function which was performed by the State Chairman of the Party, Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale.
Also present at the occasion were the First Lady, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola; some members of the State Executive Council including the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire; state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello; his Education and Information and Strategy counterparts, Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye; and Mr Lateef Ibirogba, wife of the Gubernatorial Candidate, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode and other party chieftains and supporters.