25th April, 2011
Motorcycle operators, owners, motor mechanics and technicians under the aegis of their separate associations which are affiliated to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) in Lagos State on Friday endorsed the candidature of Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) as the Governor in the April Governorship election.
The groups included the Motorcycle Operators of Lagos State (MOALS), Amalgamation of Commercial Motorcycles Riders Association of Nigeria (ACOMORAN), Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (ANACOWA), National Automotive Technician Association (NATA) and Motor Mechanics and Technicians Association of Nigeria (MOPTAN).
They all gathered at the Lagos State Television (LTV8) Blueroof hall, Agidingbi to appraise the good works being done by the Governor and unanimously declared that he deserves a second term in office.
While speaking, the Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Lagos, Alhaji Rafiu Olohunwa said the greatest beneficiaries of the transformation strides of Governor Fashola in Lagos State are transporters and motor technicians.
Alhaji Olohunwa said considering the vigour with which the Governor has built new roads and rehabilitated others in the last four years, transporters and motor mechanics have been greatly empowered.
He described the Governor as a very intelligent and God fearing leader who is irrevocably committed to bettering the lot of the average resident of Lagos.
Noting that there is no area or sector that has not felt the impact of the transformational leadership of Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) since he was sworn in, Alhaji Olohunwa added that free education is provided to pupils whose parents are from diverse parts of the country, with free textbooks also provided for the use of such pupils.
The NURTW Chairman said collectively all members of the various unions and associations with affiliation to the NURTW have taken a position which is that come Tuesday, April 26, the members will turn out en mass to vote for Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) and other candidates of the ACN to continue the transformation already started.
While pledging the endorsement of the members of the Motorcycle Owners and Riders Association (ANACOWA), the President, Comrade Ade Ikuesan said the association is ready to provide one million votes for the Governor on Tuesday because the aggregates of their families will all express their support through the ballot box.
Comrade Ikuesan said the present ACN government in Lagos State has touched the lives of the average residents in Lagos positively since it came to power.
In his address, the Chairman of the Motor Mechanics and Technicians Association of Nigeria (MOPTAN) Mr Moruf Arowolo expressed the appreciation of the members of his association to the Governor for being a compassionate and listening leader.
He said the MOPTAN members willingly met and took a position that out of the many people who are aspiring to be the Governor of Lagos State, Governor Fashola stands and towers above them all in terms of his performance.
While responding to the public display of support by the groups, the Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) expressed his appreciation to the groups for supporting the A.C.N and its candidates.
He applauded their commitment to the party, saying he is certain that with their support, the ACN will overcome the enemy on Tuesday with their massive support at the polls.
Governor Fashola gave a commitment to the Okada riders that contrary to widespread disinformation going round in the state, the State Government will not ban the operation of okadas in the state.
He explained that what the state government has been doing with the operators of commercial motorcycles is to engage the operators on how they can carry out their business in a way that ensure that they are alive to enjoy the proceeds of such endeavour.
He said just as the decisions on how to regulate the operations of okadas for their safety was taken at an interactive session with the government, if the riders have issues or suggestions on the way forward it can be brought to the attention of the state so that it can be looked into.
Governor Fashola reiterated that part of the proceeds of the regulation process is the riders’ card which has assisted in separating criminals who masqueraded as motorcycle operators and those who eke out a living through okada business.
He reminded everyone that Okada business has been banned outright in Akwa Ibom, Rivers, Cross River states which are all states being governed by the PDP and the Federal Capital territory.
The Governor said it is very funny that the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Dr Ade Dosunmu has failed to address issues about what he intends to do for Lagosians when voted into power rather he has mischievously concentrated on what Governor Fashola will do or not.
Governor Fashola said the PDP is not happy with the collaboration that exists between the state government and okada riders and has been devising means of creating discord to have a leeway in the coming elections.
He promised that an ACN government if re-elected will provide more dividends that will include affordable housing units for the members of the various unions.
The governor who expressed his concern about the high number of voided votes recorded during the presidential election enlightened the members that they should be very careful in the process of thumb printing at the polling booth.
He said because of the watery nature of the ink being used by INEC, the ballot papers should not be folded after thumb printing by the voters but it should be carefully dropped in the ballot box without getting the ballot paper smeared which may render it void.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa said the Okada riders and motor mechanics constitute some of those who have benefitted most from the people oriented programmes of the Governor.
He added that the gathering was initially meant to be an occasion for the okada riders to show their support but was expanded to include the motor mechanics association who haves also expressed their preference for the candidature of Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) next Tuesday.
The endorsement ceremony also attracted the State Chairman of the Action Congress of Nigeria, Otunba Henry Ajomale, the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Mr Seyi Coker and thousands of motorcycle operators, owners, motor mechanics and technicians who all intermittently sang in appreciation of the Governor’s sterling performance since assumption of office.