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Lagos senatorial districts under godfather’s control — Gbadamosi

The candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party for the Lagos-East senatorial district bye-election, Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, speaks with OLALEYE ALUKO on his
aspiration and programmes, among other issues

Lagos State is believed to be a stronghold of the All Progressives Congress, how do you hope to convince the electorate that you are the best candidate for the job?

Consistency is very key, consistency is everything in life. As a human being, one must be consistent in one’s dealings. In my 50 years on earth, I would have been nothing if not for the consistency in business, politics and social life. I have remained constant and I think that most people that know me will tell you that there are things I will do and there are things I will not do.  Consistency does tend to build trust. I admit it that not everyone knows me but I believe that most of the people that know me know that I am consistent in my quest for a better season for Nigerians at large and Lagosians in particular. This is because I believe that we have no business with poverty and that message is what I will be pushing out to Lagosians in the coming weeks and I know that they will understand my message and identify with it.

It is important because nobody came to watch Eko Bridge in Lagos – everybody came to make something of themselves, and that is how it is across the country. My position is that those hopes, programmes and aspirations must be allowed to flourish and they are not flourishing under the government of (Asiwaju Bola) Tinubu in the last 21 years.

You mentioned that we have had a party in power in Lagos in the past 21 years. How do you plan to weather this storm of dominance?

I will send my message of prosperity to all Lagosians and anything that will stand in the way of my message, I will fight it. That is what I hope to do and that is the message I am passing across to Lagosians. Any federal law that stands in the way of the interests of Lagosians, I will fight it. One of such was the fire brigade regulation that came out recently, that everyone should go to their banks and re-register, even though we have the Bank Verification Number regime. I will fight regulations such as this when I get into the Senate. You should note it that all the senators representing Lagos, even though Lagos is a commercial nerve centre of the country, are silent on it.  Lagos has the highest number of bank customers and if you doubt it, just look at the number of bank branches in the state. So any law relating to the bank, business or economic policies will definitely affect Lagos most especially. So, this is one of the issues I will be looking into.

What programmes in critical sectors such as health and education are you going to embark on in your senatorial district?

Look at it this way; as a senator, there is little one can do in terms of these issues. This is because you must do a budget to work with. Regardless of that, we will be nudging the government and pushing them vigorously to ensure that these sectors receive the attention from the federal level particularly. The provision has to be as adequate as possible.

On healthcare, the Federal Government is responsible for some health institutions in Lagos, but there are none in Lagos-East – not one – which I plan to represent. So, I will be pushing for federal health institutions to be sited in the Lagos-East district, considering the amount of contributions of Lagos-East to the national economy. Considering our population and our contribution to the national wealth, we must benefit. A labourer must be paid his wages.

Looking at the last representation, what would you itemise as the shortcomings of the senator that represented the district?

A very serious failing that captures it all is the fact that, with due respect to late Senator Osinowo, there was no representation whatsoever. There was none. Everything that happened as far as senatorial districts in Lagos were concerned since 1999 had been at the whims and caprices of the dictator at Bourdillon. The senators are not their own men. They are at the will of the emperor. The emperor that calls himself the leader of all democrats – not even limiting himself to Nigeria; he said all democrats; how deluded can one be?

Are you saying that if you win this bye-election, you would not be under any godfather; because the PDP also has godfathers in Lagos?

We don’t have godfathers in PDP; what we have are leaders and we have elders. That is what we have in the PDP. Of course, whatever it is that one is doing, one has to take advice from the elders, because the man who considers himself the wisest is the most foolish man on the earth. So, we will take advice from the people, we will listen to our leaders and they will not do anything contrary to what our people desire. Our leaders have no desire to own the whole world.

How confident are you that the Independent National Electoral Commission will ensure transparency and fairness in the bye-election?

I cannot speculate about what INEC can do or will do until the time of the election. So, I want to adopt a wait-and-see attitude. We will not take any promises from them. I will wait until the elections are done before we will pass judgment on whatever the electoral commission has done.

You did say that there was no representation for Lagos-East in the Senate. If you are elected, how do you hope to bridge this gap?

First of all, in terms of areas where the Federal Government ought to assume responsibility, I will bring it to their attention. For example, we can talk in terms of road infrastructure, considering the fact that Lagos-East actually produced the first Grade A road in Nigeria which was the Ikorodu Road in 1947 and in 1953.

The neglect that Lagos-East suffered in the hands of the Federal Government borders on the criminal neglect in terms of the maintenance of that little road infrastructure that we have and that must change. So, I will be liaising very closely with the Federal Ministry of Works so that we can work together to bring Lagos to the pride of place that we are supposed to be.
Bibiyobra: Sunday, 4 October 2020 at 10/04/2020 10:19:00 am


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