September 7, 2022

Ex-Minister tackles Tinubu’s campaign team over Oriental Hotel claim

By Gabriel Olawale

LAGOS—FORMER Minister of Communication, Maj. Gen. Tajudeen Olanrewaju (retd), yesterday, faulted the claim by the Presidential campaign team of the All Progressives Congress, APC, that the parcel of land on which Oriental Hotel is located along the Lekki-Epe Expressway, was a dump site describing the claim as blatant lies.

The APC Presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, in a documentary packaged by his campaign team, capturing his achievements as Lagos State Governor, had said: “I brought private investors, hospitality- they created the boat club, the Civic Center that is of great value to many people today-that was a refuse dump.

“Nobody would easily remember that Oriental Hotel was a refuse dump— a mile of refuse along that corridor. It took several months of escalating and a great investment for those investors to take the risk. The majority of those assets they claim are mine are not mine.”

But faulting the claim, the former Minister, in a statement, said that the part of the land upon which Oriental Hotel is located was allocated to a company called Kembu by the Federal Government.

The statement reads: “I will not indulge myself in the ownership of the Oriental Hotel located along the Lekki Road axis. But it would be of interest to the public that the part of the land upon which the property is located was allocated to a company called Kembu by the Federal Government. 

“I acknowledge an intimate relationship with this company. I’m still in possession of the Certificate of Occupancy issued to Kembu by the federal government. It is the lack of respect for the law by the lagos State authority that deprived Kembu of the property. It is simply a land grab. 

“It is a law long gazetted by the federal government that 100 meters to the shore line is a federal controlled asset. This still subsists. 

He explained further that the Maroko land improvement Scheme was a project started and completed by Brig. Gen. Raji Rasaki and further improved by Military Administrators who took control of the State after his administration.

According to him, it was the first civilian governor of the state, late Lateef Jakande, who had actually opened up the Lekki peninsula “when he broke through the forests and the swamps with his road-building crew, erecting first class roads from Ozumba Mbadiwe to the fringes of Epe, thereby opening up the Eastern corridor of Lagos state. Gbolahan Mudashiru, the military Administrator who succeeded him, pushed the construction to Epe.

He said: “Of course, as the governor of the State from 1999 to 2007, the administration of Bola Tinubu added one lane to the existing two and erected a toll gate to generate revenues.

“The general upgrades that attend the continuous service improvement on the Lekki & Eastern Corridor is a combined effort, which has evolved over time and leaders at every stage of their engagement have added value to the Lekki peninsula.”