By Olasunkanmi Akoni, Monsur Olowoopejo & Olaitan Shinyabola
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, yesterday, accused the People’s Democratic Party, PDP-led Federal Government of stalling the construction of the $1.354 billion Lekki Deep Seaport, saying “FG failed to fulfill its own side of the agreement.”
The Federal Government had on December 4th, 2013 approved the construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port for construction.
Fashola who disclosed this at the second Mega rally of the All Progressives Party, APC, in Apapa axis of the state, lamented that the party at the centre (PDP) has failed to fulfill all the promises it made to the residents of Lagos four years ago.
The governor said, “We are building the Lekki Deep Sea port, the investors have brought their own share of the required fund and Lagos State Government has provided the land. But it is saddening that the central government has failed to fulfill its own side of the bargain which was to providing $117 million of the total cost of the project.”
He added, “Rather than handover this fund for this project which will create employment, Federal Government was busy transferring the fund elsewhere.
Fashola lamented that the FG had failed to yield to the plight of the citizens, saying, “It is alarming that traders spend several days before they could clear their goods from the Tin Can and Apapa Ports. And this has continued because the PDP-led Federal Government has mismanaged the ports.”
The governor also blamed the Federal government for what he called “unprofessional act” as being responsible “for investors who were planning to withdraw about N1.7 trillion from the country’s economy.”
Fashola queried, “The mismanagement of the country’s economy and the inability to address insurgency must have been responsible for the withdrawal of this huge fund.”
Buhari not too old to rule Nigeria
The governor also faulted the claims by some critics that APC Presidential candidate, Major General Muhammadu Buhari is too old to rule Nigeria.
He stressed that Buhari is not too old to govern the country, but what Nigerians needed now is a trusted and credible candidate who can properly manage the nation’s resources.
The governor argued that current development in the country has shown that a younger person without big ideas and competence cannot rule Nigeria successfully.
Fashola said the nation’s most challenging problems are insecurity and corruption which, he said could only be tackled by Buhari given his track records.
According to him, “Some people are challenging me that if I say Agbaje is too old to govern Lagos, what about Buhari who is older? My response is this: We all agree that we have problem of insecurity in the country. Between Jonathan and Buhari who is the most experienced to tackle security issue? We all know Buhari as an experienced security expert.
“Then on corruption issue, who is the most credible among them? It is only Buhari. He has ruled Nigeria before, he has headed several positions without record of corruption and mismanagement.
“You know Jonathan has confirmed that he has failed the nation. So don’t vote for failure vote Buhari.”
On Lekki toll gate
Fashola who also took a swipe on Agbaje over plan to discontinue toll collection on Lekki Epe Expressway said the PDP candidate lacks understanding of the dynamics of modern ways of developing infrastructure.
He appealed to the residents to vote wisely, saying such decision would discourage foreign investors from investing in the nation’s economy.
Agbaje’s statement divisive
The governor also lashed out at PDP, gubernatorial candidate, Jimi Agbaje for a statement credited to him that the South-South will collapse the nation’s economy if Jonathan loses in the incoming election.
According to him, “Making such statement is wrong. And anyone who wishes to lead or govern do not make such divisive statement. The reason Lagos is safe, was that we have lived in peace coexistence and harmony despite our diversity.
That showed that Agbaje is inexperience. And that was why I told you that do not experiment with Lagos. Ambode will not make such statement. We need leaders who build cohesion and not those who promote division.
Ambode promises relief for Apapa traffic gridlock
On his part, APC governorship candidate Akinwunmi Ambode promised to give his all to eradicate the perennial traffic gridlock in Apapa area of the state.
Ambode noted that the hectic traffic in the area was caused by the activities of the articulated vehicles loading fuel and containers from Apapa port, adding that the situation in Apapa is a pointer to the failure of the federal government.