Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, says the state has always been doing well as an opposition state.Agbaje said this in a statement while reacting to claims by the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who said that Lagos would perform better if it was aligned to the centre.
Agbaje had also said during a governorship debate (before President Goodluck Jonathan’s defeat), that Lagos would experience better development if it was aligned with the centre. The APC had since last week been using it to campaign against him.
However, on Sunday, Agbaje said Lagos had always been in the opposition since the Second Republic when the Unity Party of Nigeria under the leadership of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, transformed the state.
He noted that during the short-lived Third Republic, Lagos belonged to the National Republican Convention of Sir. Michael Otedola and in the Fourth Republic, it was under the leadership of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and then Governor Babatunde Fashola who had been in the opposition until the APC won the presidential election last week.
Agbaje said, “What I know, however, is that Lagos has always made progress in spite of being in the opposition. In fact, if my memory serves me well, Lagos and the Federal Government have never been in the same party. Our development as a state is as a result of our ingenuity, tenacity and drive as a people and it is clear that Lagosians can see through this total botch of logic.
“In 1979 up till 1983, L.K Jakande’s achievements were under the UPN even though President Shagari was in the NPN. In 1992, Governor Otedola was in the NRC and the Social Democratic Party-led the Federal Government before the June 12 annulment. In 1999, Tinubu was in the AD while the Federal Government was in the PDP.
“From 2007-2011, Governor Fashola was in the Action Congress of Nigeria while President Umaru Yar’adua was in the PDP. Under Yar’Adua, the Federal Government released withheld funds to Lagos that had been blocked by his predecessor (Olusegun Obasanjo) despite being in a different party from Fashola. Our edge as a state has always been about our collective ability to stay ahead of the curve without favour from the Federal Government.”
Agbaje said the people of Lagos had nothing to fear if they remained in the opposition because the President-elect, Muhammadu Buhari, had promised that he would not run a vindictive government.
The PDP governorship candidate said since the APC was demanding for change, change must also come to Lagos next Saturday.