23rd February, 2015
Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has accused President Goodluck Jonathan of distributing dollars during the five days he spent in Lagos.
He said during those five days, the president was holding meetings with different groups in order to win their favour and splashed dollars on them.
The governor spoke after inspecting projects in Lekki area of Lagos, southwest Nigeria, on Sunday.
During the five days, Jonathan reached out to different groups such as traditional rulers, cooperative societies, market women and others in his bid to garner support for his ambition which might be one of the reasons for the postponement of the elections from February to 28 March and 11 April.
The governor was reacting to a statement credited to Jonathan that he would liberate Lagosians from bondage.
He asked the president to attempt to spend the five days he spent in Lagos at Chibok in Borno State.
“I want to assume that he did not make a statement that he would deliver Lagos residents from bondage. The question to ask Mr. President is whether he had come to free them from bondage.
“He was here for five days meeting with different people and groups, distributing money in dollars. It is an un-presidential statement made in an act of desperation. That means he lived in bondage in five days if he had come into the state to free people. If he can live here for five days moving with patrol vehicles that we paid for, let him go and spend five days in Chibok and he will know what bondage is,” he said.
Fashola disclosed that he has bought a vault where he will be buried four years ago even as he said his administration is about to build a new cemetery in the state.
Fashola said every human being must plan for his exit, since death is inevitable, saying that most people do not always prepare for their burying place.
The governor spoke after inspecting the proposed Cemetery for both Muslims and Christians in the state, located along Lekki Epe Expressway, Lagos.
He lamented that most people could not access some of the old cemeteries where their loved ones were buried several years ago, adding that people must plan for their demise the way they plan for success while alive.
“We are going to deliver a cemetery like no other. We will manage it and make the cost competitive. There will be high density vault, there will be medium density vault and low density vault for those who really want to make a statement at their exit.
“It is truism of life everyone who comes must go. So as we are building hospital to receive new born babies, schools to teach them survival skills in life and starting businesses, we must also plan for the end and this may sound as what people don’t want to discuss. I have bought my own vault. It surprises people I paid for it about four years ago. I always tell people if you come here to life, you must plan to go. Those who don’t want to go shouldn’t come,” he stated.
On the Lagos Court of Arbitration building on Lagos Island, Fashola said that the compelling need to resolve trade disputes locally rather than travelling to London and Paris informed the siting of the centre in the state.
“This is the place for dispute resolution. It is the Lagos Arbitration centre. We could save a lot of money and create employment through this court. We lose a lot of fund to other countries in terms of arbitration. When dispute arises in the country, the preferred place is Paris, France or London, United Kingdom. And there is nothing special there.
“All we need is to create a centre that will have the necessary reputation. We have the personnel because some of the best arbitrators in the continent are Nigerians. We also have the economy for arbitration because a lot of construction, developmental and Public Private Partnership ( PPP) projects are ongoing. And disputes from there could be resolved here,” he added.
Fashola said the court would also create jobs for many residents, stating that through the initiative the state government has created a local destination for the sub-region.
“We already have the international recognition for this. All that is left is to complete the project. We have received some arbitration funds also. And the next three weeks, the building will be ready for commissioning. We have at least 11 rooms here,” he said.