The Peoples Democratic Party Lagos gubernatorial candidate, Jimi Agbaje posted on his Facebook page this morning a response to Governor Fashola's comments that his company only paid his taxes after he was publicly called out.
The Honourable Governor B.R. Fashola (SAN) has lied again and I think it's time to address his repeated blunder.
With regards to my taxes, there is no truth in this latest piece of misinformation that the Honourable Governor has been peddling. Following the repudiation of his initial allegations about JAYKAY PHARMACEUTICALS unpaid taxes, he has lied again, giving the impression that my company has gone to pay money supposedly owed to the government.
JAYKAY PHARMACEUTICALS has not paid a kobo since the day the Honourable Governor launched his initial attack. We stick to the facts contained in its initial publication, which encapsulated the company's reaction to the Governor’s initial falsehood. To now insinuate that I have gone behind the curtains to pay N500,000 is clearly political silly season, for lack of a better phrase, and quite frankly, beneath your person.
It's understandable that we've both had our differences in course of this election season, but when the Honorable Governor goes about launching unbridled, flat-out-false attacks at me about something as important as taxes, you leave me no choice but to call you out, Sir.
When I got into this race, I decided to make it about the issues. My opponents, not so much. They talked about me being inexperienced and at some point they said I was too old to govern and we responded with BOLD IDEAS intended to put Lagos on a new trajectory - one that is NOT based on the Jagaban's tax-and-spend economics but on a framework that would radically push us to new economic frontiers for some of the most under-developed regions of the state like Epe and Ikorodu. They ridiculed our ideas around government-enabled free wifi hotspots across the city - an idea targeted at widening the reach of a world of knowledge that the Internet offers to our young and aspiring populace - especially in areas of low penetration. They called it bold ignorance and out of touch with reality yet they quickly went on to implement wifi Internet-enabled buses a couple of weeks after. As much as we're glad that our BOLD IDEAS inspire you as much as they do us, one must begin to question the seriousness of the opposition in Lagos to make this election about the issues.
How ever you cut or dissect our success as a state over the last 16-years, the fact is that Lagos in the Economic intelligence Unit (EIU) is still ranked 137th out of 140 cities listed in the liveability index. This means that if you take 140 cities worldwide where people consider good to live in, Lagos is the fourth worst place to live in. Apart from this, a World Bank survey shows that of the 36 states in Nigeria, Lagos is still the worst state in terms of the ease of securing Building Permits. It is still on record too that the party the Honourable Governor represents has delivered less than 5,000 housing units till date. It is still on record that more students in Lagos fail WAEC than those who pass. Even when we consider corruption, we are aware that Honourable Governor Fashola is yet to challenge anyone for corruption at the state level. Or is he saying Lagos is 100 percent corruption-free? Yet he goes about castigating the Federal Government. He should walk his talk and lead by example – expose and prosecute high-ranking corrupt officials in his government and the state civil service. The corruption in the Lekki Toll Plaza will be made public in due cause.
Clearly, we still have a lot of work to do as a State but the Honourable Governor Babatunde Fashola has set out to exploit the commanding heights he occupies in the seat of government to bully us. And quite frankly, we shall stand up to bullies.
I think what Lagosians should begin to ask is what is driving the Honourable Governor Fashola’s violent outbursts? What has he got to hide? Other than lay the facts bare to enable the public form an informed opinion.
I refuse to be baited into his self-declared verbal warfare. My politics and campaign will be issues-based and no roforofo badmouthing from anyone, no matter how highly placed, will steer me away from development-based politicking.
There are more pressing issues, more important conversations to have and more problems to solve. And the people of Lagos are wondering if their leaders get it. The teachers, the students, the blacksmiths, the bankers, the taxi-man, the small-business owners, they all hope that their leaders understand that the outcome of this election and the future of this state is bigger than any one personality or party. Whatever we do or commit to doing determines whether they have food to put on their tables; whether they can own homes, pay salaries or that their children can go to schools of their choice. They deserve better. The people definitely deserve better.
However the Lagos gubernatorial candidate of PDP, Jimi Agbaje has been endorsed by the Igbo traditional rulers and leaders in Lagos State.