13th September, 2011
Â As the October 22 date for the local government election in Lagos State approaches, the tempo of political activities at the grassroots level has increased with local government chairmanship and councillorship aspirants under the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria jostling to upstage one another. In this interview with P.M.NEWS, spokesman of the Lagos Mainland Stakeholders Forum, Dr. Babatunde Sulaimon Larinde, former Chairman of Lagos Mainland Local Government called for a level playground for the aspirants. Excerpt:
The local government election scheduled for 22 October is around the corner, are you satisfied with the preparations made by the leadership of the party so far?
We are satisfied with the arrangements so far and infact, we commend our chairman, Chief Henry Ajomale and the National Leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu for the painstaking measures taken to ensure a level playing field for all the aspirants. The guidelines issued out for the election are fair to all.
The screening of chairmanship and councillorship aspirants is ongoing, what is your observation so far? Have members of the screening committee been fair to all the aspirants?
So far, they have been fair to all the aspirants. Members of the committee are doing an excellent job. My advise to them is to look into all the petitions written against some of the aspirants and investigate them very well. Aspirants found to have dubious credentials or whose candidature will lead to the party’s defeat should be excluded.
What is the situation in Lagos Mainland and Yaba?
The reason we are here today is to register our protest against the aspirations of the current chairmen of Lagos Mainland Local Government, Hon. Oladele Adekanye and Yaba Local Council Development Area, LCDA, Hon. Jide Jimoh.
Residents of Lagos Mainland and Yaba are not happy with the two chairmen for what they referred to as their inefficiency in the last three years in office and they want a change.
As a leader in the area what efforts did you and your colleagues make to put them in line?
We tried to call them to order but they remained adamant, especially Jide Jimoh of Yaba LCDA. At a meeting called by Hon. Wale Oshun to broker peace between him and councillors, he abused all of us, including Hon. Oshun. Oshun asked him to apologise to us, he refused and said he would rather die than apologise to us.
Apart from this, he has not done anything. Most of the projects he claimed he executed were done by Governor Babatunde Fashola. He did not make any provision for potable water in the area.
The schools he claimed he rehabilitated were poorly done and at outrageous cost. We also learnt that he renovated the hall inside the council secretariat for an unimaginable amount. We want our able leader, Asiwaju Tinubu to investigate these allegations very well. Another reason why we donâ€™t want these chairmen is that Jide Jimoh has spent eight years in the House of Assembly without living in Lagos Mainland. He has no abode in Lagos Mainland. Again, he has been the Yaba LCDA chairman for the past three years and he cannot point to any job that he successfully executed. Most of the jobs he claimed to have executed were the ones done by his predecessor, Hon. Rasheed Shabi or executed by the state government. I challenge him to show us what he has done in the three years he spent in office. This is why we are pleading with our leader, Asiwaju Tinubu not to field Hon. Jide Jimoh again to represent us at Yaba. Moreover, he is very close to Hon. Bashiru Bolarinwa who took our mandate to Kwara. He suffered us in Lagos Mainland by taking all our constituency allowance to Kwara State, particularly his local government, to contest election against us under the PDP. We donâ€™t want this to happen again. Jide Jimoh and Hon. Adekanye from the Lagos mainland are stooges of Hon. Bashiru Bolarinwa.
Weâ€™ve reported this matter to Hon. Oshun several times, particularly their meeting at Mcculum Street where Hon. Oshun has his office. These people meet there regularly. Oshun, Bolarinwa, Lado and Jide Jimoh meet at Mcculum in an office used by Bolarinwa and presently being used by Hon. Oshun.
But these chairmen you say people donâ€™t want again have come out to say that they rehabilitated classrooms and repair roads for residents of their areas. What do you have to say to this?
Most of the projects they claimed they executed are only on papers or on the so-called websites they created to deceive the people. Is it the websites that will tell the people what he has done or to invite them to come to Ebute Metta to see what is on ground. Jimoh is using the website to deceive the people. What is put on the website is not what is on the ground and the amount spent on the projects.
Our appeal to Ajomale and Governor Fashola is to come to our aid and ensure that these people did not come back.