By SIMON EBEGBULEM
BENIN — GOVERNOR Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, in Benin City, Edo State, weekend, gave reasons why he disagreed with the planned country’s centenary celebration by the Federal Government, just as the Minority Leader of the House of Representatives, Mr. Samson Osagie, alleged plans by the Federal Government to present a bogus budget in the name of centenary celebration with a view to squandering the money.
Governor Fashola and Osagie bared their minds on the proposed centenary celebration in Benin City, during a youth summit organised by the Edo State Government.
Osagie said: “We have heard all the talk about Nigeria’s centenary. I do not understand except on the fact that those who are putting it together have an agenda to put bogus budget in order to squander it in the name of celebration.”
On his part, Fashola expressed confusion over the planned centenary, insisting that the country was supposed to be celebrating 54 years of independence and not a hundred years as planned by the Federal Government.
He said: “I have more questions to ask because all our teachers taught us is that Nigeria became a sovereign nation on October 1, 1960. And on Independence day, I participated in many national parade and I believe that about a few years ago, in 2010, we rolled out the drums celebrating our 50th Independence anniversary.
“Then speeches were made, we all made promises including at the national level, that in 50 years time, Nigeria will be 100 and that was documented. And then three or four years after, suddenly we said there is a centenary. I don’t understand it, centenary of what? I want answers because I don’t know how we got to the 100, because we can then ask Chief Obafemi Awolowo, Chief Enahoro and others that we are confused.
“Our people said they wanted independence because of that some of them went to jail, but today they have changed the counter.”