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Ahead of the commencement of electioneering for the 2023 general election, a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, Olutoyin Ayinde, has described as immature the ongoing squabble among members of the APC in Lagos over the contributions of the presidential candidate of the party, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, to the economic development of the state.
Ayinde stated this while reacting to the row over Tinubu’s achievements in Lagos among members of the party.
The Executive Director, South-West for Tinubu-Shettima 2023, Wole Badmus, had while speaking during an interview with Channels Television on Wednesday said the APC presidential candidate governed Lagos at a time when the state was at the brink of collapse, a claim a former director-general of the Lagos State Sports Commission, Babatunde Bank-Anthony, who was an appointee of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, described as false and impossible.
Tinubu was the Lagos State governor from 1999 to 2007 and was succeeded by Babatunde Fashola (SAN) who governed for eight years. Ambode was elected in 2015 and was succeeded by Babajide Sanwo-Olu in 2019, after losing his second-term bid to an internal division within the APC in Lagos.
However, Ayinde, who served as the commissioner for physical planning and urban development during the administration of Fashola, said the arguments over who among the former governors should take glory for the the successes recorded in the state showed that some members of the state chapter of the APC had shifted their attention away from the party’s priority.
“I think that the debate was unnecessary. In fact, when I saw the two people debating yesterday (Wednesday), I had to call the publicity secretary and asked, ‘How did we get here?’ When we should be talking about how to convince people, and win people to vote we are arguing. Government is a continuum; as somebody starts something, another will finish it,” he said.
“The Lasu-Idimu Road was started by Asiwaju and was completed by BRF (Babatunde Raji Fashola). Who takes the glory? BRF. Did he start it? No. BRF started the blue line. Did he finish it? No. Did (former governor Akinwunmi) Ambode finish it? No. If (Governor Babajide) Sanwo-Olu completes it, who takes the glory? Sanwo-Olu. Did he start it? No. It is totally immature to have such a debate.
“Everybody plays their role. I mentioned earlier how the breakdown in infrastructure made Lagos Island inaccessible and then Asiwaju came in and opened up everything and infrastructure came in. So everybody is just playing their roles and Asiwaju played his role. BRF came and played his role. Ambode also has played his role. Sanwo-Olu is currently playing his,” he added. Ayinde said the focus of the party ahead of the commencement of electioneering on September 28 should be on consolidating its achievements in Lagos as no one could take away from Lagos the glory it has.
He added, “No one can take away the size of the economy. Lagos’ economy is bigger than the economy of some countries so that is enough to showcase and then try to tell people that we can do this further. Some states are already copying Lagos, especially in revenue generation so you can’t take that away from Lagos. Lagos is the leader in terms of economic development.”
Efforts to speak with the leadership of the APC in the state on the matter were unsuccessful as of the time of filing the report. The state Chairman, Ojelabu Cornelius, did not respond to calls and a message sent to him by our correspondent.