The campaign team of Mr. Jimi Agbaje, Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, has taken Governor Babatunde Fashola to the cleaners for dismissing the politician as “too old” to be Governor.
Describing the charge as spiteful, hypocritical and a contradiction in terms, a statement released in Lagos Thursday by Agbaje’s organisation described it ironical that such a charge originated from Fashola, whose party was currently fielding a 73-year old retired General as its Presidential Candidate.
Pointing out that Agbaje was in his 50s, like Fashola and the Candidate of the All Progresive’s Congress (APC), Akin Ambode, a statement by Felix Oboagwina, Agbaje’s Director of Media and Publicity, said the PDP Governorship Candidate was eminently qualified for the position.
“This is pure and unprovoked attack,” Oboagwina said. “Instead of engaging in this degrading mudslinging, APC and its henchmen should embrace issues-based campaigning.
“It only shows that APC is bereft of creative ideas, so it should cede the administration of Lagos for fresh minds. Agbaje represents that fresh mind that Lagosians have been yearning for,” the statement said.
Agbaje was born on March 2, 1957 to a banker father, Chief Julius Kosebinu (the first Nigerian Director of a bank) and Mrs. Margaret Olabisi, a teacher.
The statement further referred to Section 177 of the Nigerian Constitution stipulated that: “A person shall be qualified for election to the office of Governor of a State if he is a citizen of Nigeria by birth; he has attained the age of thirty-five years; he is a member of a political party and is sponsored by that political party; and he has been educated up to at least School Certificate level or its equivalent.”
According to the statement, it was a pity that the APC chieftains failed to address the misgovernment of Lagos, characterized by poverty, unemployment, industry emigration, over-taxation and the deportation of non-indigenes.
It also said it was also a pity that the APC campaign in Ikeja Police College yesterday could only produce insults to a single individual.
Mr. Jimi Agbaje, also identified inadequate funding as one of the factors militating against primary education in the state.
He attributed this to the fact that only 3 percent of the State’s budget went to primary education, with vocational is accorded 1.5 percent.
This, he opined, placed the state at a major disadvantage in view of the strategic position of primary education to national development.
Agbaje stressed that the PDP government under him would reverse the trend to improve the system.
According to a statement Thursday by his campaign office, Agbaje who spoke at a governorship debate organized for governorship candidates by the Diocese of Lagos West (Anglican Communion) said governments around the world placed a lot of emphasis on primary education as it was the foundation of formal education.
This, he said, was the reason why the founder of facebook and many inventors with little education ended up being astounding innovators.
Continuing, the PDP chieftain lamented that foreign welders were flown into the country, earning thousands of Dollars working as welders in the oil and gas industry.
He noted that such money would have gone to Nigerians and Nigeria if the welders were citizens of the country.
Agbaje, who commended the efforts of Governor Babatunde Fashola, however, said Lagos was moving rather slowly despite its enormous potentials.
This he blamed on vested interest, which he added, was affecting the growth and development of the state.
He, however, promised to take a holistic look at critical sectors to give Lagosians a new lease of life.
Specifically, he said that Lagos, according to the World Bank, was the worst state to do business in Nigeria.
Agbaje said this might not be unconnected with the fact that the present arrangement was hostile to business and enterprise.
He added that this was aside the fact that the State Civil Service languished in a sorry state, just as he assured Lagosians of new ideas and bold opportunities.
Earlier, the Bishop of the Diocese, the Right Revered (Dr.) Olusola Odedeji said the programme was organized to enable voters make informed choices.
He urged the independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), and other stakeholders to be fair to all in the coming general elections.