APC Members Responsible For PDP’s Victory In Lagos – Salami | Independent Newspapers Limited
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APC Members Responsible For PDP’s Victory In Lagos – Salami

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Posted: Mar 4, 2016 at 6:35 am   /   by   /   comments (1)

Hon. Abiodun Salami is the Assistant Publicity Secretary, All Progressives Congress (APC), Lagos State chapter.  In this interview with Ejikeme Omenazu, he speaks on the readiness of his party for the Local Government election billed to hold in the second quarter of this year and the allegation that the state government has been carrying out political vendetta against the opposition. Excerpts:

How has it been in Lagos APC since after the 2015 general elections?
The party has been performing well. Although there were some hiccups at the national level, these have been resolved and everything is now normal. We are progressing as a Progressive party that we are.

The Local Government election is billed to hold in Lagos in the second quarter of this year. How ready is the APC for the election?
I don’t  know the source of your information that the local government election will hold at the second quarter of this year. But as a party, we are prepared. 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.

What preparations are being made by the party for the impending council election?
We want to keep that to our chest as a party. You do not expect us to publicise our preparations and our strategies. We do not want our opponents to take advantage of us. However, we are mobilising our members and our coordinators.

With the performance of the PDP in the last general elections by winning some seats in the Lagos Assembly and the House of Representatives coupled with its impressive scores in the governorship and Presidential elections in the state, is APC not worried about the threat posed to it by the PDP in the LG poll?
It is something that calls for us to be worried as a party. But, we understand the game and what went wrong during the last general elections. We have resolved all these issues and we are waiting for them this time around. It was our people that caused that upset by the PDP and they won those seats at the State House of Assembly and the House of Representatives. We have put our house in order. PDP knows that it was not of their making that they won those seats. Lagos belongs to APC.
One factor that makes APC to be winning in Lagos is 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 for less, except the APC as a party.
A section of the Lagos populace is of the view that Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is not as active as the former Governor Babatunde Fashola. How would you react to this assertion?
It depends on the perspective from which you are looking at it. Individuals differ    . But ours is a continuity government and continuity has been visible. 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.
Some markets in the state, especially Ladipo spare parts market, and some others in Isolo and Agege are allegedly being turned to housing estates and people are reading political meanings to this. Don’t you think that these allegations are well founded?
I am not aware of that. For instance, this APC office complex is designated for something. There is a development plan in Lagos. There are certain things each place is designated for. 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.
Some people are complaining that the Akinwunmi Ambode administration has not been fair to non-indigenes unlike the Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola regimes.  How would you react to this accusation?
People see the appointment of commissioners as the ultimate. Commissioners are not all the appointments government makes. For instance, look at Ben Akabueze. He was the Lagos State Commissioner for Budget and Planning for several years. He is an Igbo in Lagos APC. Now, he has recently been appointed the Special Adviser to President Buhari on Budget. Engineer Joe Igbokwe has been the APC Publicity Secretary for years and has also being in the Lagos State government. Until recently, he was the General Manager of Lagos State Infrastructure Maintenance and Regulatory Agency (LASIMRA). He 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.
President Muhammadu Buhari has been accused as been one-sided in his anti-corruption crusade. How do you see this criticism?
I feel Nigerians do not face reality. A party had been in the saddle for 16 years at the centre. Whatever thing that happened, they will be called to question. If it was APC that was in their position, the same thing would have happened. All the lootings and maladministration at the national level were done by the PDP. If PDP had won Lagos, may be APC would have been called to question. They would have done the same if they had won Lagos. Now, let them carry their responsibility. APC is a Progressive party. We cannot be unfair to people in our actions.