Ruling party already preparing to hand over in May, says Fashola
•’Why they want election dates postponed’
Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola has interpreted a statement credited to President Goodluck Jonathan to the effect that “the May 29 handover date is sacrosanct” to mean that the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is already conceding defeat and getting ready to quit in May this year after the elections.
“Maybe many people did not hear what the president said some days ago. But I listened and then, I could see why they want to move the election date. He said the May 29 hand over date is sacrosanct. Hand over! Don’t you get him? They are preparing to hand over. That is what is in their mind. That is not what they intended to say, but it is going on in their team. They see that it is all over,” Fashola said.
According to him, the fear of defeat in the PDP’s camp in the forthcoming elections underlies the agitations to have the election dates postponed. He said the choice of word “hand over”, though a slip on the part of Jonathan, expressed the panic in the ruling party’s camp.
Fashola, who made the comments Tuesday while giving account of his stewardship in the last 100 days, also faulted the PDP guber candidate in Lagos, Jimi Agbaje, on alleged claim that only three per cent of the state’s budget goes to primary education, which account for alleged high failure rate by Lagos pupils. The governor described the claims as “lies” and “a display of bold ignorance.”
Dignitaries that attended the event include former governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, Chief Ayo Opadokun, former deputy governor, Abiodun Ogunleye and sSenator Mamora Olorunnimbe.
Addressing the audience at the LTV 8 Blue Roof, venue of the event, Fashola said the talk about Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) might be genuine, but not sufficient excuse to cause a shift in the election schedule. The governor argued that he too was yet to be issued PVC, but he has a temporary card with which he would cast his vote on the day of the election.
“Let it be clear, the right to vote when you are 18 years is your entitlement as a citizen. It is the obligation of the government to make sure that you have a chance to exercise that right. Whether it is temporary or permanent card, your responsibility (as government) is that you ensure that we vote.
At the event, Fashola reeled out the achievements of his government in the last 100 days. He put the budget performance in the state at 77 per cent in the last quarter of 2014 and cumulative 83 per cent for the year.
Among the achievements of the state government in the health sector was the practical moves to screen and treat residents for hypertension and diabetes, cervical cancer, breast cancer, prostate cancer and eye problems. Also, limb corrective surgery was performed on 17 out of the 65 patients screened and wheel chairs were given out to those in need. Within the last 100 days, 49 of the 51 roads under the road construction and upgrade programme were completed. Besides, the construction of Ejigo market,the Oba’s palace in Ikorodu and the High/Magistrate courts in Epe, Ogba and Ikeja were completed.
The governor also reeled out his administration’s achievements in other sectors to the applause of the gathering.