APC Denies Allegations Of Political Vendetta In Lagos | Independent Newspapers Limited
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APC Denies Allegations Of Political Vendetta In Lagos

Posted: Mar 1, 2016 at 5:30 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Ejikeme Omenazu, Lagos

Hon. Abiodun Salami, Assistant Publicity Secretary of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, has denied allegations that the Lagos State government has been discriminatory in its provision of infrastructure and appointment of non-indigenes into the state’s public service.

Speaking exclusively with Independent in Lagos, the APC assistant spokesperson maintained that the Akinwunmi Ambode administration, like its predecessors, cares for all Lagosians, irrespective of their states’ of origin.

There have been allegations of political vendetta and discrimination by some sections of Lagos residents, especially non-indigenes who accuse the government of not considering their people for political appointments.

Some also accuse the government of demolishing some markets, especially those occupied by people seen as supporters of the opposition parties, while workers of government agencies are also accused of illegally extorting money from traders in form of levies.

He stated that in its offer of political appointments, the government always puts round pegs in round holes, while several non-indigenes have been offered juicy positions in the government. He was worried that people just see political appointments as limited to the positions of commissioners.

Salami cited the former Commissioner for Budgets and Planning, Ben Akabueze, who he stressed, is an Igbo and occupied that position for several years and has recently been appointed the Special Adviser to President Muhammadu Buhari on Budgets.

He also listed Joe Igbokwe, an engineer, who he stressed has been the APC Publicity Secretary for several years, and was until recently the General Manager of Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA).

“He (Igbokwe) is now the Chairman of Wharf Landing Fee Collecting Authority, Apapa. By his position, he is in charge of the agency collecting all the fees in Apapa Wharf. We also have many Hausa people in positions in government here.

“But people seem to concentrate on the appointment as commissioners. But, some people are general managers. Versatility is important in government. We put round pegs in round holes,” he added.

On the alleged conversion of some markets in the state, especially Ladipo spare parts market, and some others in Isolo and Agege, into estates for political reasons, Salami maintained that every space in Lagos has been earmarked for one project or the other.

“If you turn a place to a market and a local government gives you a temporary approval, when government wants to carry out its project at the place, it will certainly come in. For instance, Ladipo spare parts market is a shanty and everywhere is being turned into market.

“That is not right. People have to stay in shops. Note that markets bring in more money than estates. Government does not want to take anyone away from his place. People are always reading political meanings to actions of government. There is nothing like political vendetta in Lagos”, Salami stressed.

He described the APC as a caring party, hence it has continued to win all elections in the state, adding that “we not only sympathise with Lagosians, we empathise with them. We care for them. We feel what they feel. We know that Lagosians cannot seek less, except the APC as a party.”

On the planned local government election in the second quarter of the year, Salami stated that the APC has been planning ahead pending when the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) will release the schedule, adding that his party will always come tops as has always been the case in Lagos.

According to him, “We have been mobilising our people as it is our responsibility to do and as directed by the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC). LASIEC is the regulatory agency for the council election in Lagos State.

“We are waiting for their direction. Until they are clear as to when the election will hold, we are preparing, just like the Boys’ Scouts, to win the election genuinely in Lagos as we have always been doing.”

He did not agree with the view that the assertion that incumbent Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has not been as active as his predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, stressing that the state runs a continuity administration, which, he noted, has been visible.

Salami stated: “Through Asiwaju (former Lagos State governor and APC National Leader, Bola Tinubu) there is a blueprint for Lagos. The blueprint has been guiding every other government. Governor Fashola acted on the blueprint.

“The blueprint was prepared by experts. Ambode is also following the blueprint. For the next 40 years, we have a development plan for all successive governments. We are strategists. We know who we need at any time.

“If Ambode is leaving in the eight years, we will also get a leader who will key into the blueprint. We know the type of governor Lagos needs at any given time. That is why it seems Ambode is mild.”