The absence of National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and his successor, now Minister of Works, Housing and Power, Mr. Babatunde Fashola and others at the commissioning of projects in Lagos by President Muhammadu Buhari is yet to be convincingly explained, going by The Guardian investigations.
Last Wednesday, President Buhari commissioned the reconstructed Lagos International Airport, Oshodi Transport Interchange, 820 mass transit buses, ultramodern 170-bed Obstetrics and Gynaecology Specialist Hospital. But the absence of Tinubu and others has continued to warrant probe.
Although the former governor’s spokesman, Mr. Tunde Rahman, explained that his boss was not in the country when the event held, while Fashola was allegedly not invited by the incumbent governor and host, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, further issues yet to be clarified include, whether they were properly invited and given enough notice, among others.
It is clear that Ambode may have decided to take the glory for his achievements by getting the projects commissioned before his exit on May 29. It would be recalled that the issue of reconstruction of the Lagos International Airport Road has been substantially politicised since 2007, when Tinubu used the reconstruction to campaign for Fashola, when he accused the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) government of deliberately denying Lagos State right to reconstruct the road, being a Federal road.
The reconstruction was again raised in 2011, when Fashola, sought second term and blackmailed PDP government and promised to reconstruct the road, but nothing was done till he left office.The issue also came up during 2015 election campaign, when APC promised the reconstruction as one of its priorities after taking control of Federal Government, but nothing was done, until Ambode made a bold move. It became a dispute between Ambode and Fashola, when he needed Fashola as Minister of Works to give right of way.
It was also gathered that Ambode’s rush to commission Oshodi Interchange project was not unconnected with the fact that the plan to transform Oshodi had been conceived since Tinubu’s time and the final success could be ascribed anonymously to the continuity tradition in the state. It was Fashola that first took the bold step of evacuating and ridding Oshodi of hoodlums.
During his time, the former governor started reconstruction of roads in Oshodi, some of the achievements he bequeathed to Ambode in 2015. But no sooner had the incumbent assumed office than he started massive reformation of Oshodi in a manner feared to undermine contributions of predecessor’s.
The Guardian also gathered that there was more to the absence of both former governors than their terse explanations. A source explained that Buhari couldn’t have abandoned Ambode in his present ordeal, following the governor’s contributions to his reelection funding. “What Ambode did for Buhari is just like what the Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi did in 2015. Indeed, Lagos may end up having two ministerial slots in the next Federal Executive Council (FEC), and it is obvious Ambode will get one.”