WHY TINUBU MUST GET CREDIT FOR LAGOS TRANSFORMATION, BY SANWO-OLU
The contention over the role of All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in the wave of infrastructural transformation being witnessed in Lagos State in the last two decades may now be put to rest.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday, set the record straight, saying Tinubu was the brain behind the development master plan being implemented by successive administrations in Lagos, which has elevated governance in the State. This, Sanwo-Olu said, is a fact that could not be denied by anyone who worked closely with the former Lagos Governor from 1999 to 2007.
Sanwo-Olu was the special guest at Your View, a broadly watched show on Television Continental (TVC), where he spoke about his Government’s achievements, his re-election, family values and relationship with the APC presidential candidate.
Lagos is widely believed to be the model for good governance, infrastructure renewal and innovation. The State recently made history as the first sub-national entity in Africa to complete modern intra-city rail infrastructure without federal budgetary allocation – feat widely applauded.
Sanwo-Olu said Tinubu could not be deprived of the credit for the reforms that set the direction for the infrastructural programmes delivered by his successors to transform Lagos to one of the biggest economies in Africa. The Governor, who said his working relationship with Tinubu began in 2002, emphasised that he was a living witness to development of Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LASEEDS) under the leadership of Tinubu.
The LASEEDS document, Sanwo-Olu said, was harmonised with a 10-point agenda document and became the precursor to the Lagos State Development Master Plan (LSDP) that originated from the Lagos Economic Summit (Ehingbeti) initiated by the Tinubu administration.
He said: “With all sense of humility, I joined the Tinubu government over 20 years ago. I was General Manager in my bank before I joined Tinubu in November 2002. From the very first day of my appointment, I was in Tinubu’s cabinet and I saw things first hand. I am a living witness to the development vision put forward by Tinubu. It’s not something we should be blabbing about; it’s a fact we all know. Under the leadership of Tinubu, we set up documents called LASEEDS and SEEDS, which are economic development blueprints for Lagos. We also had what we called a 10-point agenda, which laid the foundation for revenue generation drive, transportation reform and public infrastructure renewal.
“LASEEDS and SEEDS documents were working blueprint for transformation in Lagos. We set up the Ehingbeti Economic Summit to run year on year, where we collate inputs from the private sector and put them in flesh of public documents and generate a working paper we could implement. I was the Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, so I was part of those that developed the documents. Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA), for example, did not just come out of the space; Tinubu set up LAMATA with the World Bank in 2002. I was part of the first set of personnel that worked in LAMATA, which is one of the best transportation agencies in the world.
“That’s how the blueprint was developed and we had a 20-year development plan for it, which former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola improved on. He expunged some items and replaced them based on the realities of the period. Former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode did similar thing. Our Government is doing same, because there is continuity. We’re able to see the challenges of previous governments and we decided on those things we can take quickly. Tinubu deserves the credit because he is the one that was able to bake the first retinue of very intelligent people that worked with him to develop implementable blueprint.”
Sanwo-Olu dismissed the speculation in certain quarters that Tinubu had been running Lagos by proxy, noting that the former Governor had since moved to the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) in the last six years where he had been contributing his quota to national development and building the ruling party.
The Governor, however, said Tinubu’s experience in governance qualified him as the right person from whom advice is sought regularly for direction.
“Tinubu is a father and a man that I respect personally. I cannot take that away. Critics always want to say anything, but are we keeping our eyes on the ball? Yes. Are we doing the things Lagosians want us to do? Yes,” the Governor said.
On why Lagosians should trust him with another mandate in the coming general election, Sanwo-Olu said: “One of the strongest points of a leader is for people to underrate you. You don’t have to be in people’s faces to get your tasks done. All you have to do is to roll up your sleeves and get the job done. Check out my background, integrity is what I live by. As a treasurer in a bank, my word is always my bond. If I give commitments, I keep to those commitments.
“It is not about me alone. It is about our future and the legacy we should be leaving behind. We have kept faith with all the things we said we would do under the THEMES agenda. With all sense of responsibility, we have performed and earned people’s trust. Let’s join hands and be on this train together. We can imagine what’s coming in another four years.”
‘it’s time to decide’- LP presidential candidate, Peter Obi
Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, has told Nigerians that it is time to make up their minds on whom to cast their votes for.
Obi, in tweets on Monday morning, said those sitting on the fence need to decide now who will lead them and not waste the opportunity.
Adding that the “elders” have failed us, the LP candidate said, “Those of us born after independence must now be given the opportunity to reshape the destiny of this nation.
“We are down the stretch with 12 days to go. I have a message for Nigerians, especially those that are sitting on the fence; It is DECISION TIME.Shot During
“Every nation has significant moments in their history –when a situation arises, which requires that nation to take specific steps that would mark her turning point. Nigeria is at that historical junction
“How we have done as a nation is no longer in debate. We have done poorly due to bad leadership. We must now seize this moment. We must save Nigeria now or never.
“Twelve days from now we will be called upon to make very hard choices. It won’t be about tribe or religion; it won’t be about traditional sentiments of my turn. It will be about national Interest.”
Tinubu will emerge President with our support – North West APC chair, Lukman
The National Vice Chairman (North-West) of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Salihu Moh. Lukman, has expressed confidence that the party’s presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, will win this year’s election.
According to him, the support shown by people during the APC presidential campaign rally in the North-West indicated the party’s success in the region and victory in the coming elections.
Lukman pointed out that the North West has always been the determining factor for presidential candidates to win elections in the country.
A statement issued on Sunday by Lukman explained that Kebbi State APC Presidential Rally on Saturday, February 11, 2023, concluded the phase of the APC presidential campaign rallies in all the seven states of the North-West.
He explained, “We want to thank all our people and re-affirm the commitment of our party, our leaders and all our candidates to continue to provide honest, sincere and responsive leadership. In particular, we want to thank and congratulate all our party leadership at levels in the North-West Zone for the hard work and maintaining a united front throughout this phase of the campaign. We want to also commend and appreciate all our party members and supporters for coming out in mass to all campaign rallies.”
Why Elections Will Not Hold In 240 Polling Units – INEC
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) has said that election will not hold in 240 polling units across the country, barely 12 days to the general election,
The nation’s electoral body noted that the 240 polling units, which are without registered voters, cut across 28 States of the Federation and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
The chairman of INEC, Prof. Mahmood Yakubu, who disclosed this at a meeting with Political Parties in Abuja on Monday, explained that no new registrant chose the polling units and no voter indicated interest to transfer their registration to them during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), mainly for security reasons.
According to him, “There are 240 polling units without registered voters spread across 28 States and the Federal Capital Territory (FCT).
“They range from one polling unit to 12 polling units in each State and the FCT, except Taraba and Imo States with 34 and 38 polling units respectively.
“No new registrants chose the polling units and no voters indicated interest to transfer to them during the last Continuous Voter Registration (CVR), mainly for security reasons. This means that no elections will hold in these polling units.”
He recalled that in 2021, with the support of parties and other critical stakeholders, the Commission successfully expanded voter access to polling units 25 years after the last delimitation exercise in 1996.
Buying PVCs Won’t Help Any Politician – INEC
Consequently, he said the number of polling units increased from 119,973 to the current figure of 176,846.
“At previous meetings, we also briefed you on our efforts to redistribute voters to the polling units to avoid the congestion that made voting cumbersome in many of them nationwide.
“This requires the redistribution of voters to new polling units in proximate locations. Where they are separated by distance, this must be done after consultation with the voters. This has been done by our State offices nationwide,” he said.
He said in its avowed commitment to transparency, the Commission was making available to Nigerians a comprehensive list of the polling units by name, code number, and their locations by State, Local Government and Registration Area.
With this development, he said the number of polling units where elections will hold nationwide on 25th February 2023 and 11th March 2023 is now 176,606.
“Hard copies of the list are included in your folders for this meeting. Above all, Nigerians deserve the right to know the locations of these polling units. Accordingly, the soft copy of the list has been uploaded to our website and social media platforms for public information and guidance.
“Closely related to the distribution of voters is the identification of polling units. From the feedback we received from our officials and accredited observers following the recent nationwide mock accreditation using the BVAS, it is clear that some voters could not easily identify their polling units.
“This should not happen on election day. Consequently, the Commission is advising voters to confirm the locations of their polling units through a dedicated portal on our website. In addition, all voters who have been assigned to new polling units will receive text messages from the Commission indicating their polling units.
“We have also compiled the register of such voters and our State offices will give it wide publicity, especially for those who may not have provided their telephone numbers during voter registration or those whose numbers may have changed,” he added.
Speaking further, he said voters can locate and confirm their polling units before election day by sending a regular text or WhatsApp message to a dedicated telephone number.
He said details of the simple procedure will be uploaded to INEC social media platforms shortly.
“As you are already aware, we have less than two weeks to the 2023 General Election. The Commission is finalising the issuance of 1,642,386 identification tags for the Polling and Collation Agents nominated by the 18 political parties made up of 1,574,301 Polling Agents and 68,085 Collation Agents.
“I urge the Chairmen and leaders of political parties to ensure that only agents accredited by the Commission and wearing the correct identification tags appear at polling units and collation centres during elections.
“A situation where two or more agents claim to represent a political party, resulting in commotion at polling units or collation centres, is unacceptable. Only Identification tags issued by the Commission will be recognised on election day and violators are liable to arrest and prosecution for impersonation.
“Turning to the ongoing electioneering campaigns, the Commission is concerned about violent attacks on supporters of political parties across the board, resulting in the loss of life in some cases. Let me once again appeal to Chairman and leaders of political parties to continue to call your candidates and supporters to order,” he said.
On his part, IPAC national chairman, Engr. Yabagi Yusuf Sani, reiterated the continued commitment of IPAC to the long-standing cooperation and mutually beneficial relationship between the IPAC and INEC.
He also reaffirmed the confidence of IPAC in the leadership of INEC for its consistent demonstration of diligence, uncommon zeal, and patriotism in the pursuit of the agency’s statutory mandate.
He said at it has always been in the past, IPAC and INEC will be coming away from the meeting more prepared to face the onerous historical challenge of conducting credible, transparent, and acceptable elections in 2023.
“On the basis of our evaluation that INEC has been well on track, the leadership of IPAC additionally wishes to use this occasion to commend, the efforts of INEC in confronting the extraordinary environmental challenges occasioned by naira redesign and fuel scarcity through Mr. Chairman’s visit to the relevant agencies
“Usually, Siamese twins needed to be in constant agreement to enable them to live together harmoniously. Also, it is said that a case that is discussed does not usually cause trouble.
“It is on this philosophical note that I want to thank INEC and her Commissioners for constantly calling us to rub minds together because of the Nigerian political project.
“By what we hear and read in the news, your mock accreditation exercise was a success. That is very encouraging. As we know, a mock examination cannot be taken to be the real examination whose coverage is wider and complex.
“So far, the BVAS that were used were reported to have performed perfectly. We are encouraged by this and also wish to appreciate INEC while expecting them to keep the flag of perfection flying,” he stated.
Similarly, he said the Electoral Institute conducted a train-the-trainer workshop for polling agents/collation officers recently.
He said the move is commendable but the Parties are trying to meet the challenges of lean resources to cascade the training down to other critical levels.
“The 2023 general elections seemingly will be a watershed in the history of elections in Nigeria. Today, the tide has changed, because an unknown Party could pull a surprise to the greatest chagrin of all. From this point of view, it is necessary to advise INEC to keep its date with history which must not be wasted.
“INEC should create a golden niche for herself especially the Chairman who has become the child of history, Nigerians are watching, the international community is watching and the Parties are palpitating: I, therefore call on all Nigerians of good conscience to take credible results of the election the way it is.
“At worse. Parties should resort to the law court for adjudication Today it is an abhorrence and crudity if not savagery to see States Governors denying campaign venues to political parties other than their own. This is crude, primitive, and uncivilized.”
He also admonished party leaders that have observed that the elections are conducted free, fair, and credible, the result should be accepted for the love of our country.
“Mr. Chairman, under no circumstances should this election be postponed! Having noted this, I wish to congratulate all the Parties for patting up the healthy campaigns while thanking INEC with great expectations to deliver a credible election,” he added
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