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BATTLE OF LAGOS: PDP fires first shot

Posted by By TAIWO AMODU on 2007/01/29 | Views: 661 |

BATTLE OF LAGOS: PDP fires first shot


The deputy national chairman (South) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Yinka Omilani, has explained the choice of Lagos State for the flag off of the party presidential campaign.

• Why we chose Lagos – Odey, Omilani, Obanikoro
• It’ll be spectacular –Babatope

The deputy national chairman (South) of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Senator Yinka Omilani, has explained the choice of Lagos State for the flag off of the party presidential campaign.

At the event scheduled for Tafawa Balewa Square today, President Obasanjo is expected to present the party presidential flagbearer, Alhaji Umaru Yar’Adua and his running mate, Chief Goodluck Jonathan. He will equally present the party gubernatorial candidates in the south-west , to the party loyalists.

Speaking with Saturday Sun in a telephone interview, the PDP chieftain disclosed that Lagos State was chosen because of its strategic importance in the country.

“The choice of Lagos is obvious. The South-West is the engineering power house of Nigeria. If anything goes wrong in Lagos, it affects everybody. Lagos is also part of the South-West, the home base, of President Olusegun Obasanjo”.

Omilani also declared that today’s event at the Tafawa Balewa square will witness a tumultuous presence of the party supporters, across the country.
“We’re going to ensure that everything stands still in Lagos. The whole of Nigeria will be in Lagos, to show that the Peoples Democratic Party is the largest in Nigeria and Africa.

Speaking in the same vein, former Transport Minister, and a Peoples Democratic Party chieftain, Chief Ebenezer Babatope, declared that the event will be spectacular, the first of its kind in the country and enjoined Nigerians to come to the Tafawa Balewa square, to witness the event. ‘It’ll be a big event, delegates are expected from across the country.’

John Odey, National Publicity Secretary of the party, equally spoke on the choice of Lagos.
“We chose Lagos, because it’s a commercial nerve centre and former capital of Nigeria. It’s a state after our heart like other states of Nigeria. We will capture Lagos and do things better for the people. Lagos has to connect with the federal to leverage better. With all the potentials, Lagos administration isn’t getting it right. PDP will do better,’ Odey submitted.

Speaking to select editors on a build up to today’s launch, the Lagos State governorship flagbearer of the party, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, said that the choice of Lagos is strategic.
He said that apart from being the melting pot of the South-West politics, Lagos is the only state in the geo-political zone currently not under PDP rule, adding that it has been victim of “nearly eight years of misrule and rudderless leadership”.

He said the blueprint which a select group of intellectuals and development experts put together to serve as guide for the Senator Bola Tiunbu administration, on the request of the governor, was discarded as soon as the governor came to power.

For the period he was commissioner, Obanikoro said he kept asking for a copy of that blueprint but was never given, adding that government had been run on an adhoc basis.
“That is why the promised fourth Mainland Bridge has yet to take off. That is why the airport he promised to site at Epe has yet to take off. That is why there is not one block standing at the site of the proposed housing project at Lekki for which billions of naira was borrowed from City Express… I have also just been told that even Tinubu did not read the blueprint himself”.

Coming hard of the Tinubu government. Koro said that the last seven years have been seven years of failed promises, pledging that his administration would restore Lagos.
He said his major focus would be on education, housing, roads and environment renewal, especially as it pertains to waste management.

“We will stop the culture of turning every open space into a dump site…, we are going to discontinue this practice of trying to micro-manage waste management by government which has failed so far… we have an expert on standby who will resume with us on May 29. His brief will not only be to clean up Lagos, but to also turn the waste to wealth in real terms, not just mouthing it. He has done it in other parts of Africa and, being a Lagosian himself, is ready to replicate it in his place.”

Obanikoro continued: “This government (Tinubu) only rehabilitated about 450 of over 1600 primary schools in the state, that is a total failure… That is not saying anything about our secondary schools… Our state university is only still allowed to operate because of the general decline in education standards. But it has been neglected, denied funding and is at zero on research grants when compared to other state universities. Its engineering department is an apology”.

According to the PDP guber candidate, “the problems of Lagos have multiplied over the last seven years… we cannot tackle all at the same time. But within over first six months in office we would take on schools, roads, environment and waste management. We will also revisit the independent power project and I can assure you, it would not be like the ENRON thing,” Obanikoro promised.

He said the PDP’s coming to Lagos is a confirmation of its determination to rescue Lagos and restore it to its lost glory. We are not only sure that Yar’Adua will sweep Lagos, but that the PDP will form the next government in Alausa.

After the carnival in Lagos today, the PDP train is expected to shift to the South-east where its directorate of mobilization and operation in the zone has put structures in place to roll off on February 3.
Late into Wednesday night and up until the early hours of Thursday, the group was still meeting to put finishing touches to the launch of the campaign in the South-east.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.