Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola, SAN on Tuesday led the Lagos State All Progressives Congress (APC) state wide campaign team, including gubernatorial flagbearer, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode to the Oshodi- Isolo Local Government, promising that an APC- led Federal Government would restore professionalism to the security agencies.
The Governor, who spoke at the campaign rally held at the Ejigbo Mini Stadium, Ejigbo, added that though men of the security agencies have not been well taken care of, an APC Government will ensure that they have the requisite tools and resources that would enable them perform their constitutional roles adequately.
He reiterated that the role of the military is to protect the constitution and democracy, urging Nigerians to remain peaceful, calm, vigilant and determined so that nobody is allowed to truncate the current democratic dispensation.
According to the Governor, the residents should remain calm but vigilant in the face of several recent acts of the government at the centre, like denying the Independent National Electoral Commission of the needed security cover to conduct the now rescheduled elections and resorting to deployment of military trucks and soldiers to the residence of the national leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu every night.
Governor Fashola said the APC and its leaders will not be intimidated by such panicky measures, noting that the votes of the people of Lagos and Nigeria will speak for them on what their decision is.
He said, for the first time, Nigerians have the unique opportunity of changing a government that they believe has not performed up to satisfaction through the ballot system, unlike in the past, when such changes were effected only through military take-overs.
Governor Fashola said Nigerians must be resolute about the decision to change the government at the centre, adding that this is the time for all Nigerians to be courageous but quietly stubborn.
He stressed that this can be achieved by ensuring that they remain calm and peaceful, but that they should ensure that they use the power of the ballot on March 28 and April 11 to demonstrate that it is stronger.
He added that what the present crop of leaders have not realized is that the democracy they are enjoying now is the same one that late business mogul, Chief MKO Abiola, struggled and died for, noting that those, who did not participate in the struggle, are the ones now enjoying it.
He urged all the youths to resist the temptation to collect money in exchange for their Permanent Voters Cards but be insistent on voting for APC, which represents a new Nigeria and new beginning.
He recalled that when the President came to plead with the people of Lagos in 2007 that he had no shoes and that they should vote for him, he did not bring soldiers to harass them but that after getting 1.2million votes from Lagos, he has now resorted to using the military to harass them.
The Governor emphasized that after getting 1.2 million votes from Lagos, there is nothing tangible on ground for the people of Lagos to show for their support to the Peoples Democratic Party Presidential candidate in 2011, adding that from all indications, the President and his party have a dislike for the people of Lagos.
He, however, stated that no leader can divide Nigerians, who have freely chosen Lagos as their home, because the people have always lived together peacefully and that they have inter-married.
He said the Peoples Democratic Party -led Federal Government has been lying to Nigerians on several issues including corruption, security and roads, adding that the PDP recently claimed that it has constructed 25,000 kilometres of roads round the country.
He said what this means is that for Lagos to London which is a distance of 5,025 kilometres, the 25,000 kilometres which the Federal Government claimed to have constructed is five times the size, and that if divided by the 36 states, it means over 600 kilometres of roads have been constructed by the Federal Government in each of the States, which is a ruse.
Governor Fashola added that it becomes very puzzling that the same Federal Government that claims to have constructed 25,000 kilometres of roads has never budgeted up to 40 percent for capital expenditure in the annual budgets.
He said the Federal Government also at one point in time claimed that the Chibok girls were never abducted and later recanted that they have been traced to the forest but when they were asked to produce them, they could not.
According to the Governor, President Jonathan himself has admitted when he came to Lagos that his generation has failed adding however that in reality it was an individual failure because he has simply not done well as the President of the country.
An indicator of this failure, the Governor said was the fact that every manufacturer is paying 75 percent more than he is supposed to spend on electricity due to the ineptitude of the PDP which has made it impossible for the artisans to break even.
Fashola added that the PDP is keeping the people in poverty through its inability to fix the power sector, adding that for those in the productive sector, it has made the cost of production very expensive.
Still on the economic front, he reiterated that today, the Naira has been devalued to the extent that one US Dollar exchanges for N210 which has made business unprofitable for entrepreneurs who deal in imported items.
Urging the people not to be disillusioned about the six weeks shift in the election because it was only the date that has been shifted and not the destiny of the people, Fashola added that the next Presidential election in Nigeria is not about someone or a candidate being one’s brother and kinsman but about hunger, security, the economy and employment.
Addressing the rally earlier, the APC Gubernatorial candidate, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said the incoming administration would provide more high capacity buses to ply all the roads in the State.
He added that the administration would also continue the construction of more inner city roads in Oshodi Isolo Local Government and also provide street lights for the roads in the area.
He said he would upgrade the Ejigbo Mini Stadium into a stadium towards promoting sports and also ensure the integration of hospitality, tourism and entertainment.
Mr Ambode urged the people to vote en masse for General Muhammadu Buhari of the APC in the Presidential elections of April 28 and Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on April 11, 2015, adding that in Lagos it is about an irreversible journey of progress and prosperity of Lagos where everyone would be prosperous.
Also addressing the rally, Fuji Music star, Alhaji Wasiu Ayinde Marshal (KWAM 1) urged the residents of Oshodi Isolo Local Government to massively vote for all the candidates of the APC in the general elections.
He recalled that when in 2007, Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN was brought before the people as the successor to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the people accepted him wholeheartedly and voted for him, adding that today, all residents of Lagos are happy for the decision they took then.
He said this time around, a new candidate has been brought before and that he is giving them the assurance that just as Fashola did not disappoint them, Akinwunmi Ambode would not disappoint them if given the mandate to rule Lagos.
The APC State Chairman, Otunba Henry Ajomale also presented the party flags to the candidates of the party for the various elective offices including Hon Solomon Adeola Olamilekan for the Senate, Mr Muyiwa Olabimtan and Hakeem Muniru for the House of Representatives and Mr Ladi Ajomale and Mr Steven Ogundipe for the House of Assembly.
The rally attracted dignitaries including the First Lady, Dame Emmanuella Abimbola Fashola, the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope- Adefulire, the wife of the gubernatorial candidate, Mrs Bolanle Ambode and running mate to Mr Akin Ambode, Dr (Mrs) Ranti Adebule and several party leaders.