James Faleke, Kogi State APC Deputy Gubernatorial Candidate; The Man And His Many Achievements

James Abiodun Faleke was born on 25th of December, 1959 in Ekinrin Adde, Ijumu Local Government of the old Kabba province, a Yoruba speaking area of Kogi State of Nigeria, where he had his Primary and Secondary School Education.

While in Secondary School at the prestigious Abdulazeez Atta Memorial College, Okene, a School that has produced  a number of  leaders in the Country, he distinguished himself  in the  school curriculum activities; it is worthy of note that he was the House Captain of the largest House “OHIMEGE HOUSE”, where he excelled as a leader.

Thereafter he got admission into Kaduna Polytechnic in Kaduna State, where he obtained Higher National Diploma in Purchasing and Supply Management with Upper Credit in 1986. He received Best Student Award.

James Abiodun Faleke was involved in sporting activities in all schools he attended, and he played for the schools at the state and national levels. For instance, he was the playmaker of the school’s volleyball team and the Captain of the Table Tennis and Handball Teams as well as a strong member (Striker) of the School Football Team. He was in the Volleyball Team that represented the Higher Institution at the NIPOGA games in 1985 and he won several medals for the Institution.

Hon. James Abiodun Faleke was posted to Lagos State for his NYSC program   in 1986/1987 Service Year, at the joint Orientation Camp held in Ibadan for the Four States of   Lagos, Oyo, Ogun and Ondo, where Hon. James Abiodun Faleke emerged as the Parade Commander for the entire NYSC members of the Four States. This function he performed creditably well to the admiration of all and was thus recommended for an award  by the camp Commandant, which later saw to his Posting to the National Orthopedic Hospital, Igbobi  for his primary assignment.

NYSC COMMUNITY SERVICE

He had his community development Service in Ikeja LGA and was also a group leader.  As part of his service to the community, he constructed dustbins to assist with waste collection and management in Ikeja LGA during his Service in 1987, and thus got a letter of commendation from the Local Government. Ever since then he has not relented in his service to the community.

As it is often believed that every good work earns its own reward, Hon. Faleke later became an elected Chairman in Ojodu LCDA of Ikeja Local Government Area.

PROFESSIONAL / EDUCATIONAL ADVANCEMENT

In pursuance of his educational and Professional Career, Hon. James Abiodun Faleke has a Master Degree in Business Administration, (MBA) with Management as his field of specialization from Imo State University, Owerri Imo State.

In 1992, he sat and passed the Professional examination of the Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply, (CIPS) London. He was thus awarded the full Professional Membership of M.C.I.P.S to be used after his name. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Public Administration (FIPA).

EMPLOYMENT HISTORY

From 1986 to date,   James Abiodun Faleke has worked in different management capacities of procurement, clearing and forwarding, warehousing, distribution and construction. In 1986/87  he worked as the Purchasing Expediter in National Orthopedic Hospital in Lagos State, he also worked as a Material Manager at Kayo Foods Limited Ilupeju in Lagos State, he then furthered his employment career as a Purchasing, Clearing and Distribution Manager and Commercial Manager  in Tate Industries PLC,  Purchasing Manager  in Air Liquid PLC, Purchasing Manager in Aluminum Manufacturing Company of Nigeria (ALUMCO) PLC, and finally worked as a Commercial Manager at Crown Agents Ltd. in year 2000 to 2003.

POLITICAL OFFICES HELD:-

NATIONAL ASSEMBLY.

In 2011, he emerged as a federal legislator representing Ikeja Federal Constituency in the House of Representatives. He was duly re-elected in March 2015. 

ACTIVITIES:

Ø CHAIRMAN-House Committee on Anti-Corruption, National Ethics and Values.

Ø Member House Committee on Public Procurement.

Ø Member House Committee on Millennium Development (MDG).

Ø Member House Committee on Interior.

Ø Member House Committee on Public Accounts.

Ø Member House Committee on Science and Technology.

Ø Member House Committee on Petroleum Subsidy Probe.

The Public resultant benefits are as follows:

v Creation of public awareness.

v Exposure of monumental fraud in the petroleum sector.

v The establishment of the SURE –P by the Federal Government.

v Creation of employment opportunities for Nigerian Youths.

v Increase in Federal Allocation to States and Local Government Areas.

LEGISLATIVE MATTERS & DUTIES

LEGISLATIVE BILL SPONSOR SHIP/ MOTIONS:

1. N.Y.S.C. ACT Amendment Bill: To provide Life Assurance coverage for NYSC members.

2. Legal backing for newly created 9 Federal Universities.

3. Prohibition on the sale and use of Military uniforms.

4. The construction of pedestrian bridges at Berger and Onilekere bus-stop, Ikeja Federal Constituency.

5. The construction of Lagos Ibadan Expressway.

6. The replacement of Soldiers with Civil Defence Corps at NYSC camps.

7. The need to put on holds the re-introduction of Toll gate on Federal roads.

8. Motion on the need to clamp down over 1,400 Illegal border routes to curb insurgence.

 LOCAL GOVERNMENT:

James Abiodun Faleke was the Pioneer Executive Secretary of Ojodu Local Government Development Area from November 2003 to April 2004.

Elected Executive Chairman of Ojodu Local Government Development Area from 2004 to 2011(Two-Terms).

Chairman, Conference 57, body of Local Government Chairmen in Lags State. (ALGON), 2006 to 2011.

Member, Lagos State Electoral Reform Committee.

Member, Governor’s Advisory Committee, Lagos State.

In December 2014 to April 2015 James Abiodun Faleke was the Lagos State Campaign Coordinator for Buhari/ Osinbajo Campaign Group.

AWARDS

In recognition of James Abiodun Faleke’s educational achievements philanthropic gestures, people and result – oriented services to humanity within and outside his political constituency , he received several worthy Awards from Corporate bodies , NGOs, various communities , the media, students and so on.

AN OVERVIEW OF THE AWARDS ARE AS FOLLOWS


  1. BEST STUDENT AWARD

Purchasing and Supply Management 1984/86 Best Student Kaduna Polytechnic, Kaduna state.

2. Lagos State N.Y.S.C MERIT AWARD. 1986/87 service year.

3. HONOURARY FELLOW AWARD. By the Bible Society of Nigeria, Ojodu

4. LEADERSHIP AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE, 1994: By the Leadership Trust Organization an NGO.

5. MERIT AWARD OF EXCELLENCE: By Okun Youth Solidarity Front (O.Y.S.F); 2004.

6. PIONEER EXECUTIVE CHAIRMAN: Odo –Eran Plank and Building Materials Association.

7. CLEANEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AWARD: 1st Runner up in the 3rd Quarter, 15th of September, 2005.

8. CLEANEST LOCAL GOVERNMENT AWARD IN LAGOS 2005.

9. INDEPENDENT NEWSPAPER AWARD: Excellence in Local Government Administration 2005.

10. BEST CHAIRMAN IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT: By Harmony Media Communication Meritorious Award.

11. OUTSTANDING CHAIRMAN OF THE YEAR 2007: By Daily Independence Newspaper.

12. AWARD OF EXCELLENCE FOR COMMUNITY DEVELOPMENT, 8TH Dec., 2007. By Video Rental Operators Association of Nigeria, Ikeja Central Zone.

13. AWARD FOR VALUABLE CONTRIBUTION TOWARDS STUDENTS DEVELOPMENT. By National Association Polytechnic Accountancy Students (N.A.P.A.S)

14. HEERLINK GROUP AS PARTNERS IN PROGRESS

15. AGUDA YOUTH DEVELOPMENT ASSOCIATION AWARD OF GRAND MOTIVATIORS FOR HIS CONTIBUTION TOWARDS DEVELOPMENT OF AGUDA ,27th DEC., 2008

16. AWARD OF EXCELLENCE PERFORMANCE: By Nigerian Union of Tailors. 2009.

17. Committee of Police and Friends, Area G Chapter in area of Combating of the order of Community Policing Excellence Award 2009.

18. BEST CHAIRMAN IN HUMAN DEVELOPMENT AWARD 2009. By Harmony Media.

19. PANEL AWARDFOR EXCELLENCE IN GRASSROOTS ADMINISTRATION. For his contribution as on if the architects of a new Lagos. 18th Dec., 2009.

20. AIT In conjunction with GOLDEN PICTURES Communications Ltd., Merit Award for his Selfless service to humanity 2009.

21. LEADERSHIP SUMMIT EXCELLENCE AWARD 2009, for outstanding efforts and contribution to the Socio- Economic Development generally.

22. All Christian Leader & Ministers Forum , Ojodu Chapter, A.C.L.M.F MERIT AWARD in recognition of your activities in Ojodu Local Government Development Area and Lagos State In general.

23. AWARD FOR OUSTANDING CONTRIBUTION TO YOUTH DEVELOPMENT. By National Youth Council of Nigeria, South- West Zone.

24. GOLD AWARD OF EXCELLENCE in recognition of contribution to the development and growth of L.C.D.A and support for LASU MBA. 13th March 2010.

25. DISTINGUISH AWARD OF EXECUTIVE by Nigerian Society of Engineers (Lagos Branch) for outstanding contributions towards sustaining the  upliftment of the Nigerian Society of Engineers and project execution in Ojodu LCDA. 1st April, 2010.

26. PERFORMANCE AWARD for outstanding performance in grassroots government in Lagos State. April 19th, 2010.

27. Officer and soldiers of the Formation: Brig. Gen. JAO OCHQGA DSS PSC FEWN MSC command 9, Brigade Nigeria Army, Ikeja.

28. Nigerian Union of Journalist (Lagos State Council), Best Local Government on Infrastructure in Lagos. 2010.

29. RECOGNITION AWARD Chartered Institute of Purchasing and Supply Management of Nigeria, June 2010.

30. GRASSROOTS DEVELOPER AWARD by Celestial Landlord Association, Power line, Oke- Ira Dec., 12th 2010.

31. EXCELLENCE AWARD: By Core Media Ltd., Dec., 2010.

James Abiodun Faleke is happily married with children, and is currently Prince Abubakar Audu’s running mate for the upcoming Kogi state gubernatorial election.

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Bayelsa Gubernatorial Poll: Tinubu Moves Against Spoilers, Urges Sylva To Contest

The former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress (APC) National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu has called on Chief Timipre Sylva to contest the December 5, 2015 Governorship election in Bayelsa State.

Tinubu also charged Bayelsans to ensure that Sylva becomes the next governor of the state in view of placing the state on the right path.

“I want him to contest the governorship election because of his proven leadership qualities and our belief that he can bring change to the state” he said.

Tinubu who met Sylva at his Abuja home not only endorsed him as the party’s consensus candidate for the December 5, 2015 governorship election but commended him for his contributions to the development of the party in Nigeria, particularly Bayelsa State.

“It is time for Bayelsans to unite and support a person who can effectively enhance unity, provide opportunities for all and lead the people in a different direction”

He expressed total and unreserved support for Sylva’s aspiration to clinch the party’s ticket and governorship seat.

He mandated APC leaders and members in Bayelsa State to support his choice.

“If you want change, if you’re unhappy with the direction of Bayelsa State, then you must join the governorship race and change the state for the people”.

Tinubu, who also described Sylva as an agent of change, is pushing for the former governor of Bayelsa State, Chief Timipre Sylva, to occupy the governorship position.

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Validity Of Akwa Ibom APC Gubernatorial Candidacy: The Facts And The Lies, By Inibehe Effiong

The social and mainstream media has been saturated by series of malicious, false and concocted stories by paid and unpaid agents and hireling of Mr. Udom Emmanuel, Sen. Godswill Akpabio and the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Akwa Ibom State alleging that Engr. Benedict Ukpong the deputy gubernatorial candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Akwa Ibom State did not resigned or disengaged from the public service before the election as required by law, and as such, that the joint candidacy of the APC gubernatorial candidate Umana Okon Umana and his running mate is invalid.

However, contrary to these malicious reports aimed at diverting attention from the monumental setbacks suffered so far at the Tribunal by those sponsoring these lies, I wish to present to the public documentary evidence that of a truth Mr. Ukpong had legally and effectively disengaged from his employment at the Federal Capital Development Authority (FCDA) based on the outcome of my independent investigation.

For emphasis, Section 182 (1) (g) of the Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 (as amended) requires that a person seeking to contest election to the Office of governor and deputy governor should retire, withdraw or resign at least thirty (30) days before the date of the election.

Mr. Ukpong on 22nd December, 2014 submitted his letter of application for voluntary retirement to the Executive Secretary of the FCDA which was duly received and documented. Please find attached the letter of application.

On 14th January, 2015 an unconditional approval was given by the Office of the Director of Finance and Administration of the FCDA for Mr. Benedict Ukpong to voluntarily retire from service effective 22nd December, 2014. Please find attached the letter of approval. The implication is that he had retired and disengaged from service as required by law more than ninety (90) before the April 11, 2015 gubernatorial election.

However, the FCDA erroneously continued to credit his account with salaries after his retirement. Mr. Ukpong who does not believe in reaping where one didn’t sow retrieved and subsequently returned same to the FCDA. A copy of the official receipt issued upon return is available and also in my possession.

We all know that such official slip is a regular occurrence in our public service with its well known bureaucratic pitfalls. In any case, public servants do not pay themselves. They have no control over their salaries. There have been countless cases where people receive more or less than what they are lawfully entitled to which is usually rectified subsequently. I know individuals that have experienced this in the past.

Also, it is humbly submitted that even if the funds wrongly credited by the FCDA in his bank account were not returned by him it would still not affect his legal qualification for election. At worse, it would have only raised a moral question. But Mr. Ukpong went further to fulfill all righteousness by returning it despite the fact that the FCDA has not paid him his retirement benefits. Some Nigerians would have simply kept the money.

It is trite that qualification for election is a pre-election matter which can only be litigated at the High Court. Even if it can be raised at the Tribunal, the right party that ought to raise it is the Petitioner(s) by virtue of Section 138 (1) (a) of the Electoral Act 2010 (as amended). And if for want of argument as in this instance the Respondents decide to canvass it at the Tribunal it has to be part of their Reply to the Petitioner’s petition. Neither Udom, INEC nor PDP raised this issue in their Reply(ies). They cannot smuggle it in by Motion.

We all know that those sponsoring these reports have been having consternation at happenings at the Tribunal. In order to diffuse the effects of the consternation, they ran to their ‘Abobaku’ for this childish propaganda just to divert attention from what is going on at the Tribunal.

Since the commencement of the proceedings at the Akwa Ibom State Governorship Election Tribunal, Mr. Udom Emmanuel, the PDP and their agents have been chasing shadows; resorting to one propaganda or the other. They have tactically evaded any demand to defend their so-called “victory” at the Tribunal. There is nothing they haven’t done to frustrate the petition. But in all, they have failed and will continue to fail.

That was how they concocted falsehood that our President, Muhammadu Buhari, didn’t have the necessary educational certificates to contest for the presidency. In the end, they failed woefully and Buhari won. Since they haven’t learnt lessons, history will repeat itself.

Inibehe Effiong

Email: inibehe.effiong?

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The Akwa Ibom Gubernatorial Election Petition Tribunal: Summary Report For Thursday

THE AKWA IBOM STATE GUBERNATORIAL ELECTION PETITION TRIBUNAL

HOLDING AT FCT HIGH COURT 8, MAITAMA, ABUJA

 PETTITION NO: EPT/AK/GOV/1/2015.

SUMMARY REPORT ON PROCEEDINGS OF THURSDAY, 20th AUGUST, 2015.

  1. PRESIDING OFFICER(S):

Umar J. (as chairman) leading a three man panel of judges.

  

  1. LEGAL REPRESENTATION:

                      The Petitioners (Umana and APC) were represented by Chief Wole Olanipekun, SAN with Mr. Dayo Akinlaja, SAN, Senator Ita Enang & 12 others; the 1st Respondent(Udom) was represented Chief Asiwaju Awolomo with Mr. Paul Usoro, SAN, Offiong Offiong, SAN & 8 others, while the 2nd Respondent(PDP) Adekunle Oyesonya, SAN & 3 others and INEC (3rd & 4th respondents) were represented by Tobechukwu Nweke and 1 other. The 5th Respondent (NPF) had no representation.

 

III.                MATTER FOR THE DAY: Continuation of hearing.

It was another ‘points-scoring’ day for the Petitioners against the Respondents at the proceedings of the Tribunal today; firstly the Tribunal delivered ruling granting the Application of the Petitioners to call additional witnesses (expert witness) and file their additional witness statements on oath. Granting the application, which was opposed by the respondents, the Tribunal held as follows: 1. That the application is for maintenance and sustenance of the petition pursuant to its earlier order, 2. The Petitioners did not violate any provision of the law by the application as against the contentions of the respondents, 3. That the issue was therefore resolved in favour of the Petitions and in the interest of justice, which demands that justice is not only done but seem manifestly to have been done. The objections of the respondents were discountenanced.

As if the above victory was not enough, the Petitioners scored yet another point when counsel to PDP, Chief Asiwaju Awolomo, SAN tried to stop the presentation of bundle of INEC documents (which were compiled from the joint inspection that was previously carried out by all parties) by counsel to the Petitioners, Chief Wole Olanipekun, on the ground that it does not form the record of the court. In this regard PDP’S position was overruled by the Tribunal.  Petitioners, through their counsel, applied that the bundle of all the INEC documents which emanated from a joint inspection by the parties be admitted and marked as exhibit. The application was again granted and the bundle of the documents was admitted and marked as Exhibit 13.

The proceedings was not without some comic moments as Chief Olanipekun told the Tribunal that Chief Awolomo’s father was a customary court judge; Chief Awolomo retorted that it was his wife, not father, that was a customary court judge.

The Respondents’ tale of woos continued as they were thrown into an utter confusion when they discovered that the witness (PW48) sought to be called was the 1st Petitioner, Chief Umana Umana; the counsel to PDP had earlier hinted that they were not ready to cross-examine any expert witness today if called by the Petitioners. In a bid to put their seemingly ‘fallen apart’ house together, the respondents asked for a 10 minute break to enable them study the additional witness statements on oath of Chief Umana Umana. The application was granted and the Tribunal took a break.

At the resumption of proceedings the Petitioners sought to move on with the testimony of Chief Umana Umana as PW48 but the confusion in the house of the respondents seemed not to have settled as counsel to PDP asked for an adjournment to tomorrow to enable them study the documents sought to be tendered through the 1st petitioner, Chief Umana Umana. The application was vehemently objected to by the counsel to the Petitioners as it would amount to wasting the number of days allotted to them by the Tribunal to conclude their case. Consequently the application for adjournment by PDP was rejected by the Tribunal. The Petitioners were asked to proceed with the testimony of Chief Umana Umana. At this point someone said that the Petitioners had scored a ‘hatrick’ against the respondents.

The Petitioners proceeded and tendered several damaging documents to the Respondents’ case. Some of the documents tendered by the Petitioners and admitted by the Tribunal included INEC Forms EC8A, EC8B, EC8C from some polling units in some local government area of the state; Death certificates and warrant of burial issued by corona; copies of photographs of victims of election violence during the period of the election by challenged; Various Petitions written by either the Chief Umana or APC before and after the elections; Newspaper reports and press statement; Police certificates, etc.

The Petitioners also sought to play a video clip but at this point the PDP seemed to have had enough as their counsel applied that copy of the video be made available to them to first go through it before it would be played tomorrow. The petitioners at this point obliged them and the 1st Petitioner even volunteered to personally make the video available to them.

It is left to be seen whether the respondents will be able to redeem themselves tomorrow, through cross-examination, from the ‘tight corner’ the petitioners seemed to have boxed them into. The intrigue continues as the Matter was then adjourned to tomorrow, 21st August, 2015 for continuation of hearing

 

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Obanikoro Sets Agenda For Son’s Gubernatorial Ambition Come 2023

The Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Musiliu Obanikoro has initiated moves for his son’s gubernatoral ambition come 2023 with the #Vision2023 hashtag on social media. The agenda which is been pushed by his boys in the PDP, @MrAyedee & @DemolaOlarenwaju is one that is already gathering momentum.

Although so many are signing up for what they think is a genuine cause under the hashtag #IamNexGenPDP, little do they know its actually an agenda by the former Ambassador to Ghana who has been at loggerheads with the party leaders in Lagos State.

Investigation further revealed that the agenda is scheduled to kick off with a youth mega summit after the May 29th inauguration with the sole purpose of putting Obanikoro in the driver seat in Lagos so he can impose his son on the party as the guber candidate come 2023 after Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has completed his 2nd term under the APC.

A source who doesn’t want his identity revealed from the Eko Initiative, the group that promoted the agenda of the immediate governorship candidacy of the PDP in Lagos, Mr. Jimi Agbaje said they are aware of the plans of the former ambassador & are consulting widely with other leaders to make sure the party hierarchy is not hijacked by Obanikoro.

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Fashola’s Address To Lagosians On The April 11 2015 Gubernatorial Elections

Dear Lagosians,

First let me thank you all for turning out to vote on the 28th March 2015 and for doing so peacefully to make history by electing the All Progressives Congress candidates in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Once again, I must address you as we approach Saturday’s elections, when you will be electing a Governor who will continue after me and consolidate on the progress we have built together.

You will also be electing members of the State House of Assembly who will make laws on your behalf to assist the Governor and his team in the Executive arm.

Although your votes will be cast for one political party or the other, let me remind you that you will actually be voting for your wellbeing, security, prosperity and future.

You will also be voting for the future of your children. You will be choosing candidates and a party that you will entrust your lives to.

Think hard, think clearly, think deeply. Ask yourselves a few questions.

Who has shown a better record and example of protecting and securing you between the political parties?

Which of the parties cares more when disasters happen?

What is the record of the parties as it relates to the promises they have made to you in the past?

Which of the parties do you see regularly and which one do you see once in a while?

Which of the parties do you see when your life or property is threatened by epidemics like Ebola or by unfortunate accidents like plane crashes?

Which of the parties is showing that you can become home-owners without knowing anybody?

Which party has responsibility for providing electricity for you, and which one is taking up the responsibility to light up your streets and communities at night?

Which of them cares more about your children and their safety?

Indeed ask yourself; which of the parties threatened you with thugs on that sad Monday of March 16th and which is seeking to protect you by supporting the police; with patrol vehicles, fuel and other equipment?

Ask yourself when last you saw the Federal Fire Service in Lagos. The proud men and women of the Lagos State Fire Service have taken over admirably.

Ask yourself who should be supporting the police and who is actually doing it?

Dear Lagosians, your choice of who to vote for will be easy if you answer these questions within yourself honestly.

Indeed, you have clear choices to make between parties that use your resources to develop your society and community on the one hand, and the party that chooses to bring money to you for distribution when election beckons.

So you can choose between schools for your children, hospitals for your community, roads for your transportation or in the alternative, you can choose to have these services monetized once in four years.

Remember, that choices have consequences and your vote will decide the choice that shapes your lives.

Dear Lagosians, it is tempting to take the right and opportunity to vote for granted. It is tempting to think that it is too much trouble.

I agree that the process can be made much easier. But it is no excuse to refuse to vote.

Out of 5.8 million registered voters and 3.8 million PVC collections, only about 1.5 million turned out to vote, on the 28th March 2015.

Think of all the pain, the effort, the sleepless nights it took to get the PVCs to you. Think of the best way to show that the effort was not wasted or in vain.

It seems to me that the best way is to have all these 3.8 Million voters come out to vote.

By refusing to vote, you surrender decision making to a few and you will be bound by the consequences of your choices.

By refusing to vote, you do a great disservice to many who have lived before you, who fought very hard at great personal costs to themselves, to earn you this right.

By refusing to vote, you dishonour the sacrifice of patriots before you who fought for the right to vote.

Remember that when they were fighting for the right to vote, they were not fighting for yesterday, they were fighting for today and tomorrow.

They have handed today to you and I, can we secure tomorrow for the next generation?

Remember that since the capital of Nigeria was moved from Lagos 24 years ago in December 1991, Lagos has been abandoned by the Federal Government.

Ask yourself when the last major new road in Lagos was built by the Federal Government. It was the 3rd Mainland Bridge completed in 1990.

The assets the Federal Government left behind almost became a burden but for our resilience to maintain them. Today the Federal Government is owing Lagos N51 Billion which remains unpaid.

This is not in accord with the spirit of the promise made to Lagos when the Federal Government first declared Abuja as the capital in 1976.

The Head-of-State at the time, the late Gen Murtala Muhammed, said then and I quote him:

“…Lagos will, in the foreseeable future, remain the nation’s commercial capital and one of its nerve centres. But in terms of servicing the present infrastructure alone the committed amount of money and effort required will be such that Lagos State will not be ready to cope.

(But we have coped at great sacrifice)

“It will even be unfair to expect the state to bear this heavy burden on its own. It is therefore necessary for the Federal Government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be expanded.

“There is need in the circumstances for the Federal Government to maintain a special defence and security arrangement in Lagos which will henceforth be designated a special area. These arrangements will be carefully worked out and written into the new constitution. Kaduna and Port Harcourt are to be accorded similar status and designated as Special Areas…”

Sadly, no Federal Government and indeed not the PDP Government has done anything to redeem that promise for the 16 years it was in power or to protect Lagos.

Instead of assisting Lagos, they attacked her. If you remember FERMA, in 2006, the same PDP seized your Local Government money and resisted the attempt to bring Government closer to you by creating more local Governments.

On Monday 16th March 2015, the same PDP continued in their tradition of assaulting Lagos. Their supporters took over a major road in Lagos and threatened your peace and security.

On Wednesday 18th March 2015, the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari came to Lagos and said Lagos will receive compensation for the role she has played in maintaining Federal Government Assets.

Yesterday on Tuesday the 7th of April 2015, he was here in Lagos in his first political engagement since he became President-Elect and he reiterated his commitment to support Lagos.

This is what I will vote for. This is what I urge you to think about as you vote on Saturday.

This is the place that every Nigerian calls his home. It is the home of displaced people. It is the place where the homeless arrive and are made welcome.

It is the place where generations of Nigerians have arrived without knowing anybody but have, through the opportunities and inclusion, become somebody.

This is the place where the Late Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya and Owelle Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe consummated the handshake across the Niger and played politics without bitterness.

Tell those who try to divide us that our greatest strength has always been our diversity.

Tell them that you feel safe here, and that I have continuously assured you of your safety as the basis of our mutual co-existence.

Tell them that our waterways have been assets of prosperity and sustenance, for transport, recreation and fishing and they will remain so.

Let nobody now attempt to re-write that history for you.

When they reel out false statistics about Lagos, please ask them the statistics about the places they governed for 16 years.

When they reel out statistics, please remind them that those statistics don’t stand in isolation, they are the burden of a whole nation and many parts of West Africa that Lagos state bears.

When they promise you heaven and earth, remember their broken promises on power, security and many more.

Ask them to show you a plan, if they can produce one, which is doubtful, ask them whether they have implemented it elsewhere.

Tell them that you have seen the Lagos Development plan for 2012 – 2025, that the Lagos Light Rail Project, the Adiyan Water Works Phase II of 75 Million gallons a day, the solar power for all schools and many more which are part of the plans for you and your children and which are already being implemented.

Tell them that you will vote to keep a plan that you can see, that is already working, instead of a plan that you have not seen.

Ask them what happened to Vision 20:20, to the 7-Point Agenda and to Transformation.

Tell them that your bird in hand will not be traded for a dozen unseen birds in the bush.

Tell them that this election is not about money, tell them that it is not about ethnicity and it is not about religion.

Tell them that this election is about the place you call your home, the place you earn your living and the place where your investments are the safest.

Tell them that you will not play ethnic or religious politics with your survival. Tell them that you will not vote with anger.

Tell them that you will vote with common sense and for experience.

Tell them that you have seen Lagos survive without Federal support, and you wish to see her flourish with Federal support.

That will be the most historic thing you will have done, putting Lagos in the centre with your votes.

History and tomorrow beckons. Don’t turn your backs.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Governor of Lagos State.

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