Two chieftains of the All the Progressives Congress on Wednesday had heated disagreement over the governor who “built” post-military Lagos State.
The two members of the ruling party, Tunde Bank-Anthony and Wole Badmus, featured as guests on Channels Television’s Sunrise Daily programme.
While Bank-Anthony said APC’s 2023 presidential candidate and former Lagos governor, Bola Tinubu, cannot take the glory for the achievements of his successors, Badmus insisted that Tinubu transformed Lagos with his masterplan that successive governors in the state built upon.
Like other parts of the country, the administration of Lagos was taken over by a democratically elected government after years of military rule. Tinubu was Lagos governor from May 1999 to May 2007 when he handed over to Babatunde Fashola – now Minister of Works and Housing. Fashola served for two terms of eight years and was handed over to Akinwunmi Ambode in 2015.
However, Ambode’s second-term ambition in 2019 was truncated as a result of intra-party squabbles. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu later took over in 2019 and won APC’s ticket for re-election in next year’s election.
As the 2023 election draws closer, Tinubu’s supporters have been using Lagos as a base for campaigning for their candidate. Lagos, a cosmopolitan city with about 20 million eclectic people, is the economic hub of Nigeria. The state generates the highest internally generated revenue (IGR) annually amongst the 36 states in the country. According to the National Bureau of Statistics, Lagos’ IGR for the first half of 2021 was N267.23bn, far ahead of the Federal Capital Territory with N69.07bn and Rivers State with N57.32bn.
Speaking on Channels Television’s breakfast programme on Wednesday, Bank-Anthony, the spokesman for the Concerned Lagosians group, cautioned Tinubu’s supporters not to ascribe the current development strides of Lagos solely to Tinubu.
“The people that succeeded Asiwaju (Tinubu), BRF succeeded him and his eight years was more visible than Bola Tinubu’s eight years…He (Tinubu) cannot claim glory for what they did; it’s not possible,” Bank-Anthony said.
“I read something not too long ago, the chairman of the party in Lagos said Ambode did not follow the blueprint of Lagos. What is the blueprint of Lagos? It should be online for people to see,” he added.
He also said Ambode was a performing governor who was yanked off for “personal reason”.
However, Badmus, the Executive Director of the South-West Grand Alliance For Tinubu-Shettima 2023, disagreed with Bank-Anthony, saying Tinubu transformed Lagos with his “blueprint”.
“Nobody is claiming that Tinubu is the founder of Lagos. Nobody is saying that Tinubu is the person that discovered Lagos; what we are saying is that Tinubu became governor at a time when Lagos was the brink of collapse. He became governor at a time that the infrastructural decay in Lagos was unprecedented,” Badmus said.
“We are not saying that Tinubu brought Lagos; what we are saying is that Tinubu transformed Lagos and people must face that reality.
“Tinubu already laid the foundation for the Fashola government to improve upon. Fashola laid the foundation for the Ambode to improve upon. This is a simple political deduction…Asiwaju’s investments in Lagos is glaring for everyone to see,” Badmus added.