Former Lagos State Governor, Senator Bola Tinubu, beat a hasty retreat and stormed the Government House, Ikeja, Lagos, on Thursday, to debunk the recent allegation that he is at loggerheads with his successor
, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over cabinet reshuffle. He visited the governor at the Alausa Government House and declared that he had no problem with “my godson.”
In a warm embrace with the governor, Tinubu declared that nothing could bring dispute between him and Fashola, describing the report of the allegation as a naked lie and plan by the opposition party in the state to derail the present administration.
“I want you to tell Lagos people to be sure that this unity is unbreakable; this common conviction, common focus for the good benefit of Lagos State and democratic Nigeria is unshakeable and indivisible. Anytime you hear such stories, throw them to the garbage,” he said.
I had earlier reported that there was a frosty relationship between Tinubu and Fashola over cabinet reshuffle. It was learnt that the battle is over the 2011 governorship race in the Centre of Excellence.
A source reported: “Tinubu had already pencilled down Environment Commissioner, Muiz Banire, to replace the governor in 2011 but those loyal to the governor kicked against this unilateral move. “Last week, Fashola indirectly announced that he would soon dissolve the state Executive Council but Tinubu’s loyalists openly told him that he had no such power, an action which further deepened the crisis between the duo.
“Since then, Fashola has been avoiding Tinubu like a plague and he is already strategising on how to fight his godfather in the battle ahead.”
Apparently jolted by Fashola’s confrontational attitude, the former governor declared yesterday that all was well.
Tinubu described the allegation as rumour, adding, “the story is not true. It is a fabrication coming from the PDP the enemy of progress of the country.
According to him; “this governor has been on a flying start and doing a marvelous job, unequal in the country and you have seen the transformation, radical development of Lagos State that is being effective and highly progressive.”
“You’ve seen me here today. Is there any sign of discord? I just, once in a while, drop in to really talk or review. I don’t like coming often to disturb or distract him. But all that is a lie. It is a fabrication coming from the PDP and enemies of progress of the country. This governor has been on a flying start when he started and he is doing a marvellous job, unequalled in the country.
“You can see the transformation, radical development of Lagos State and he is very effective and focused. We have a division of responsibility here. I am a politician and you have a serious focused governor who as a technocrat is doing his job. There’s no doubt there would be discussions; there’s no doubt there would be debate. We have developed that relationship over the years in the cabinet. We didn’t establish a cabinet of robots, no master-servant relationship ever since 1999”.
According to him, unity, solidarity and brotherhood would be a threat to party opponents, adding: “What perceived opponents failed to achieve through the front door, they have tried to achieve through the back door.”
“If they don’t spread bad rumours and false accusations, they don’t earn their daily bread. But if the name of Fashola and Bola Tinubu will provide food for some people, yes, they will use it. But they just have to respect it and be honest with some integrity. We have to debate issues but not to the point of breaking our jaws and we don’t owe an explanation for that,” he added.
Tinubu’s peace move is a result of the realisation that Lagosians are ready to do anything for Fashola even if he switches to another political party in what observers have termed the battle for 2011.
Lagosians have come to view Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) as a trained legal mind with unusual dextrousnesses and elegant ability to leave his mark in Lagos. A commentator observes: Fashola represents the “light” of an ideal democracy and good, effiecient leadership/governen ce we desire in Nigeria.
On the other hand, Lagos indigenes have come to understand ‘another Tinubu’: a rapacious individual solely concerned with primitive accumulation of wealth and unparalled greed.
I am scandalised that one individual has landed assets of total worth of about 1.5 trillion Naira on Lekki axis, Park-view in Ikoyi, Banana Island and other choice locations in Lagos; A situation in which 80% percent of juicy contracts are nominated by and awarded to the allies of the ex-Governor Tinubu and a situation in which a tax consultant linked to the ex-Governor pockets about 5 billion Naira monthly as commissions on IGR collected for and on behalf of Lagos State.
Real alsoTension grows between Fashola and Tinubu