.Launches parallel support group for PMB in Lagos
..Targets 6M votes for Buhari
..Endorses Sanwoolu, Hamzat governorship candidacy
By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Monsuru Olowoopejo
Ahead of the forthcoming 2019 general elections, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing and immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has assured Nigerians of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration decision to take the country to the next level of change in another four years.
Fashola stressed that the change promised by the All Progressives Congress APC, in 2014 was not intended to be actualized in four years.
The minister, along with retinue of Lagos APC stalwarts in Buhari cabinet, gave the assurance, yesterday, at the flagoff of “5,000 footsoldiers for the Buhari/Osinbajo 2019 Presidential campaign,” in Ikeja, Lagos.
Fashola, addressing the large crowd, explained that the South West had benefitted much from the current administration, saying 6 million votes for Buhari in Lagos in 2019 poll is assured and it’s a task that must be done.
He said the achievements of the administration were better than 16 years of Peoples Demicratic Party, PDP, government misrule.
Fashola also noted that the work had begun but it can not be completed in 2019 when the tenure of the present administration is expected to have expired.
Fashola therefore, stressed the need for the continuation of Buhari administration, saying “the coming election is a judge between going forward to the next level and going backward.”
According to him: “In 2014, we said we would change Nigeria, but we did not say we will do it in four years. This election is a choice between going forward to the next level or backward because the work has already began. We are moving to the next level of the change we have always been promising Nigerians.
“No government can fix a battered economy in four years.
“There is no state in the country where this government is not building at least one road. We are building a government where everybody will benefit from.”
While explaining the policies implemented by the Buhari administration, Fashola stressed that Buhari in his bid to revamp the power sector, inaugurated the Infrastructural Development Fund(IDF) which was used to execute most of the power projects.
The Minister explained further that 34 states out of 36 had benefitted from the housing projects of the administration, stating that virtually all states had benefitted from the road projects executed by the Buhari’s administration.
Fashola added: “No state would say it has not benefitted from the Buhari administration in the area of roads construction. We are building houses in 34 States except two where we are yet to get land. We are also constructing 90 substations across the country.
“The next level is to complete the Infrastructural projects that are on-going across the country. If PDP could not build Infrastructural projects in 16 years, do you want them to come and stop the projects. Buhari will finish the projects. That is the next level of change.
“PDP abandoned 800 containers which contained power equipments at port without being used for 10 years, but Buhari administration has been able to retrieve 610 and used for the mini grids you see across the state. Recently, I was in Ejigbo to inaugurate one of the sub stations”
“When we came into power in 2015, electricity generation was 4,000 megawatts and we have been able to add another 3,000 megawatts to it. We now have 7,000 megawatts. Buhari is not slow, his results are faster and quicker.
“2019 is a choice between moving forward and going backward. Nigerians should make a choice of moving to the next level of change.”
Fashola stated that PDP could not be trusted with the prudent management of the country’s resources.
“You don’t sack a good employee. If PDP performed well before 2015, they wouldn’t have been voted out in 2015.
“Since I became a minister, the president has never interfered in what I do. He has never lobbied me for contract and I can assure you that it is like that with other minister. The oil revenue that the former government took advantaged of what did they use it for,?” he declared.
He also urged party members to appeal to aggrieved members to shelve aside their grievances in order to win the coming election.
“I urge you to vote massively for this government. Because the former government must not come back. We can get 6 million votes from Lagos for Buhari. It’s achievable, we have done it before and we can do it again.”
He also assured the people that the presidency would return to the Southwest if Buhari wins the 2019 presidential election.
He noted that the ongoing Lagos -Ibadan Rail line to be completed by January 2019, is one of the ongoing projects by President Buhari administration in the South West.
Fashola explained that some of the aims includes: To further enhance ease of doing business, convenient means of transportation, opening wider markets for sales of farm produce
“To benefit traders the more as it will be easier to move their goods through train than using vehicles, to reduce travel time to less than 45 minutes from Lagos to Ibadan, creation of job oppoturnities, and once completed, it would be a big boost to the Inland container Depots (ICDs) scattered in the six-geographical parts of the country.”
Fashola, who initially, endorsed the APC’s candidacy of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Dr. Femi Hamzat as Governor and deputy Governor Lagos State, respectively, in 2019 poll, subsequently, inaugurated mobilization committee for the actualization of aims and objectives of the group.
In his comment, Hazmat, urged party faithful to go to their various communities and mobilise voters to collect their Permanent Voters Cards, PVC’s, so as to cast their votes for all APC candidates in the forthcoming 2015 general elections.
Hamzat assured that the rail transportation system would be given more attention so as to decongest road transportation, particularly, in Lagos State
Those in attendance at the inaugural ceremony, among others were: Senator representing Lagos East, Gbenga Ashafa, Former Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa, Former Special Adviser on Political and Legislative Matters, Hon. Oyinlomo Danmole, Former Chief of Staff to Fashola, Chief Lanre Babalola and Senior Special Assistant to the President on Sustainable Development Goals, SDGs, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire.