• Friday, June 21, 2024
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#BoJuBoJu @ Lagos (2)

Lagos state government

It is self-evident that part of the land in question is Crown Land. The Chief J.K. Randle Memorial Hall was on a leasehold and only the Federal Government can dispose of it or alienate it. A State government cannot encroach on Federal Government property without consequences. If the Federal Government were to trespass on State Government property, there would be an uproar.

In any case, President MuhammaduBuhari had magnanimously released the President’s vast Guest House and former residence of the Governor-General on the Marina to the State government. The State government is at liberty to use it as a centre for whatever purpose.

It is less than five hundred metres away from the J.K. Randle Centre. This is all very strange.

The evidence at our disposal suggests that all this mess was the handiwork of the previous Governor. It is the same story with the newly built Bus Terminal at Oshodi which has become a white elephant. A complete waste of public funds which should have been spent judiciously on priority projects such as schools, hospitals, roads etc.

We are also going to look into compensation paid to the Trustees of Chief J.K. Randle Memorial Hall; and why a lawyer was immediately paid a hefty N15,000,000 (fifteen million naira) with “alacrity”. It is all so fishy.

We smell a rat. Just let the law follow its course. Corruption is fighting back.”

Read Also: #BoJuBoJu @ Lagos

The Nigerian Institute of Architects has raised an alarm to the effect that its regulations make it mandatory for projects of the magnitude of the J.K. Randle Centre to be advertised. This would be followed by a transparent selection process which would be properly documented with regard to short-listed firms and the selection of the eventual winner.

It was the Society of Environmental Consultants which demanded a copy of the project’s Environmental Impact Analysis. The environmentalists are particularly concerned about the consequences for traffic not only in the immediate vicinity but the entire Lagos Island when major events which would attract large crowds are going on simultaneously in an already congested area – Island Club; Mobolaji Johnson Stadium; MUSON Centre; The Museum; City Mall etc. It could paralyse the traffic in Lagos entirely. Other issues relate to COVID-19 and environmental pollution. Global Best Practice requires that the J.K. Randle Centre must be carbon neutral.

The Nigerian Bar Association did not pull any punches:

“Our position is clear and consistent. Whenever there are grave allegations against the government especially in matters pertaining to law and order, we insist on carrying out a thorough investigation first and it is only thereafter that we shall make our position known. We must not be seen to be hasty in pronouncing judgement. Regardless, if it turns out that the government is the aggressor in this matter, it should give us cause for serious concern. After all, it is the government itself that is the ultimate guarantor of law and order. The government cannot afford to flout its own laws. It must respect private property. Otherwise, the consequences would be chaos and anarchy.”

As for the Nigerian Economic Society, it approached the matter from a somewhat different perspective:

“We are talking about allocation of scarce resources. At a time when the entire country – both Federal and State – is weighed down with huge debts and debt servicing is consuming about 98 per cent of our revenue, how do you justify using public funds for a project which the private sector or the J.K. Randle family could handle with their own resources (plus a token contribution from the government)? There is hunger all over the country. No jobs; no security; no housing; no nothing !!”

As for the Nigerian Association of Witches and Wizards, their grouse is that from time immemorial Onikan where the J.K. Randle Centre is located has been their sacred ground. This is not the time for the government to provoke their wrath. Dire consequences will follow. Otherwise, they would carry out their threat to summon the ghosts of members of the J.K. Randle family (going back four generations) to come and drive off the intruders. It is common knowledge amongst Lagosians that Onikan was and remains the exclusive preserve of extra-terrestrial beings known as “Anjonu”. They allowed Dr. J.K. Randle to build the “Love Garden” and the public Swimming Pool on their territory only because he did not charge the public any money.

The Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN) has issued a cryptic statement:

“We shall discuss the matter at our next Council Meeting. For now, all we can confirm is that Bashorun J.K. Randle served as our President in 2003/2004.

It was during his tenure that he as President handed Mr.AkinwunmiAmbode (who later became Governor of Lagos State) his membership certificate. Bashorun Randle has been practising as a chartered accountant for fifty-two years.”

As for the Commodore of the Lagos Motor Boat Club who is an old boy of St. Gregory’s College, he confirmed that he learnt of the following report on CNN:

“Last night at the Lagos Motor Boat Club, Awolowo Road, Ikoyi Trustees of leading colleges – King’s College; St. Gregory’s College; Barewa College; and Igbobi College urged Bashorun J.K. Randle to either pay the government ransom for the release of J K Randle Centre, Onikan which had been “kidnapped” by the government or engage the services of Yoruba freedom fighters – Chief Sunday Igboho or Aare Gani Adams !!

Both Professor Theo Ogunbiyi (Trustee of St. Gregory’s College and ex-University of Oxford) and Bashorun J. K. Randle (Trustee of King’s College) confirmed that the advice is consistent with the tradition of these great schools for wicked and irreverent good humour.”