Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Thursday, 26th February, 2015, again reiterated his call on Lagosians to collect their Permanent Voters’ Cards (PVCs) as the only means to both ensure continuity in the state and effect change at the centre saying their desire for change of bad government in the country would remain mere wishful thinking without it.
Governor Fashola, who spoke at the Ifako-Ijaiye Mini-Stadium venue of the governorship campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state, likened the task of effecting change at the centre to cracking a hard nut with a stone in order to remove the seed adding that only the PVC could crack that nut.
The Governor advised that starting from Friday, 27th February, 2015, those who were yet to collect the cards should go to their polling units to do so adding that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said it has distributed about 3.6 million PVCs in the state while about 1.4 million cards were still awaiting collection.
“Starting from Friday, 27th February, 2015, through Saturday, 28th February, to Sunday, 1st March, 2015, the INEC say they are going to take the PVCs to the various polling centres so go there and collect your cards if indeed you want to make your choice during the coming elections”, the Governor said.
Giving reasons why Lagosians should vote for the APC at all levels, Governor Fashola recalled that the other parties seeking to rule Lagos has, in the last four years, acquired the reputation of making promises and not keeping them noting that in recent times, the President of the country has been visiting Lagos, something he did not do when the State needed his presence.
The Governor declared, “They have said the President is coming to Lagos; he is welcome to come, Lagos is part of his constituencies. But we will not vote for him because when we needed him he did not come to help us”, citing a catalogue of promises which the President made to the State but failed to fulfill.
He asked the audience, “When the International Airport Road got broken and he promised to repair it, did you see him? When Ebola hit Lagos did he come? When water started flooding at Kuramo Beach, when it was going to wipe out a whole estate in Goshen Beach, did you see the President? To all the questions the audience gave a resounding “No”.
Recalling also that he flew with the President in a helicopter to Ibeju-Lekki where sea erosion was threatening to wipe out the communities around the coast, Governor Fashola noted that although the President promised “to do something about it soonest”, that visit was the last he (Governor) heard from him in spite of numerous letters and appeals reminding him (the President) of his promise. He told the people, “What we have been doing we have been using your taxes to gradually protect those communities.
“So you have been on your own and with your own party and with your own Government”, the Governor said adding that no matter the number of times the President visits Lagos, he would not get the votes of Lagosians because, according to him, “The only time the President works is a few weeks to elections”.
According to the Governor, for four years, whenever there was crisis in Lagos nobody saw the President in the State neither did the President assist the Lagos State Government to procure arms and ammunition as well as logistics to improve security in the State.
He declared,”Let him come, but tell him the truth; that it is not about where he comes from but about the quality of work he has done”.
On what his administration has done in fulfillment of his campaign promises to the people of Ifako-Ijaiye, Governor Fashola, who recalled that the area was one of the first places he visited during his campaigns for re-election in 2011, added that the Ifako-Ijaiye Mini-Stadium venue of the rally was a promise he made to the youths of the area.
The Governor also recalled that on the first week of June, one week after being sworn in as Governor in 2007, Ifako-Ijaiye was where he carried out his first screening programme, screening of women and adults for Diabetes and Hypertension adding that it was the first programme of his administration before it was taken round to other local government areas in the state.
He told the people of Ifako-Ijaiye, “A few months later we were here to commission a general hospital which was then under renovation. Later we came to commission a waterworks. Much later you got a maternal and childcare centre after we started the roads, Faniyi, Man city and so on and so forth”, adding that the administration has impacted in all parts of the local government.
“Late last year I was here to complete two schools and open Yaya Abatan-College Road. As I drove on that road to this campaign, I felt gratified and fulfilled; I also gave God the glory that I can make promises to people and keep it and that they can go and stand in the sun and in the rain and they will vote for my party”, Governor Fashola said.
Thanking the APC for building a strong legacy of promise keeping, Governor Fashola assured the people that whatever projects left by his administration would be completed by the Gubernatorial Candidate of the party, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, if voted into power adding, “As our party candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode, has told you that whatever project left behind by us will be completed by him, take it as a covenant made in honour because our Party delivers on promises”.
Earlier, in his remarks, the APC gubernatorial candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, told the people of Ifako-Ijaiye that he would continue in the tradition of promise keeping as laid down by the party and as demonstrated by the incumbent Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN.
He said his administration would prioritize programmes that would create the enabling environment for the growth of the economy and creation of jobs for the teaming youths of the state adding that he would expand the frontiers of tourism and sports to give both the old the young the opportunity to work and to relax as well as to grow the economy.
Ambode, who acknowledged the transformational leadership of Governor Babatunde Fashola, especially in the area of infrastructure renewal and other sectors of the economy, promised to continue to move Lagos higher as a reference point, not only for other states in Nigeria but also for the international community.
“We want to continue in the tradition of excellence in Lagos”, the gubernatorial candidate said adding that in order to achieve this, Lagos needed an experienced and competent administrator and not one that would come and experiment with Lagos. “They have experimented with Nigeria and they have failed”, he said.
Highlights of the programme included the presentation of flags to the National and State House of Assembly Candidates representing the area, Dr. Elijah Adewale for the House of Representatives; and Hon. Saka Fafunmi and Town Planner Makinde Rasheed Lanre for State House of Assembly; by the Chairman of the state chapter of the party, Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale, as well as good will messages from leaders of the party and performances by artistes.
Also in attendance at the rally were members of the state Executive Council including the state Deputy Governor, Hon. (Mrs.) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire; the deputy governorship candidate of the party, Dr. (Mrs.) Oluranti Adebule; her husband; wife of the governorship candidate of the party, Mrs. Bolanle Akinwunmi; the APC Women Leader, Chief (Mrs.) Kemi Nelson; the Deputy Chairman of APC Lagos chapter, Cardinal Omolaja Odunbaku; as well as other top leaders and supporters of the party.