Fight To Finish: Tinubu, Ambode, APC Bigwigs Shun Fashola’s Book Launch
Several leaders of the All Progressives Congress were absent at the launch of three books written in honour of the immediate past Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, in Lagos, on Tuesday
Similarly, most of the members of Fashola’s cabinet as well as his two former deputy governors, Mrs. Sarah Sosan and Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire and members of the State Executive Committee of the APC were absent at the launch of the three books titled: “In Bold Print,” “The Lagos Blowdown” and ‘The Great Leap” authored by Fashola’s media aide, Mr. Hakeem Bello; and Mr. Dapo Adeniyi.
Although the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, sent a representative, Prof. Tunde Samuel, the book launch was in sharp contrast with that of the immediate past Governor of Rivers State, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi.
At Amaechi’s book launch which held three months ago in Lagos, Tinubu, Governor Ibikunle Amosun (Ogun), Governor Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Governor Samuel Lalong (Plateau), Governor Akinwunmi Ambode (Lagos), APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun; Chief Bisi Akande, former Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti State, and many others were physically present.
The absence of former governors and leaders of the party renewed speculations that all was not well between Fashola and his former boss, Tinubu.
It was learnt the APC leaders that shunned the launch of the three books chronicling the stewardship of Fashola as governor, did so to show support to Tinubu.
Fashola, who is rumoured to be favoured by President Muhammadu Buhari to become a minister, became an object of condemnation recently when the Public Procurement Agency of the state government revealed that N78.3m was spent on the upgrade of Fashola’s website, tundefashola.com.
While delivering his address, Fashola called for proper preparation for the next population census which takes place next year.
Fashola said despite the efforts made by the state government to ensure that the population figure credited to Lagos was accurate, what was eventually released by the National Population Commission was embarrassing.
According to him, the figure conflicted even with the process the commission adopted.
He said, “The NPC told us they were going to enumerate houses before the counting. They came up with about 4.5 million houses, which we took for households, since they were residential homes. Yet, at the end, they came up with nine million as Lagos State population. Does it mean that there are only two people – maybe a father and mother – in each house?
“As we thus plan to begin another census, the onus is upon us to get it right in 2016. Data are very important in nation building. Efficiency, especially in governance, is determined by the knowledge of how many people need services. Without an accurate census figure, it means we are not determined to go the way of efficient service delivery.”
Various dignitaries, including co-founder of Guaranty Trust Bank, Mr. Fola Adeola, who was the chairman; a former Deputy Governor of the state, Alhaja Latifat Okunu; as well as scholar and popular columnist, Prof. Olatunji Dare, lauded Fashola’s achievements when he was in office.