Fashola distances self from solving power issue within 6 months
Babatunde Fashola, the minister of works and housing, has distanced himself from widely circulated promises that in 2015, during the campaign of the then-presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Muhammadu Buhari, they would solve the power issue in the country within six months of taking over power.
Fashola, who is a dogged believer in the Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the presidential candidate of the APC philosophy, denied ever making such promises and insisted that people stop associating him with such shameful characters.
As a guest on “The 2023 Verdict” programme of Channels TV, which aired on Monday, the former Lagos State governor said, “One of the things I said is that we would electrify Nigeria in six months.”
He insisted that the lie of the current government’s promise to solve the power problem in six months was allowed to run until he asked his media team to put the truth in the public space.
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“It is a lie that I allowed to run until the day I asked my media men to play the tape back, and since then that lie has gone. Don’t say things that I didn’t say,” he added.
In the heat of the argument with the anchor, he asked, “Can you possibly remember all your daily and nightly interviews? That is illogically impossible. So don’t ask me to do the impossible. But if you give the context and date, I will tell you what I said. But I know that in my nature the way I speak, I don’t use words like stone, am not even a violent person. I don’t use those kinds of words, and that is not part of my vocabulary.”
On Tinubu being the candidate to beat, Fashola said that Nigerians should choose competence and years of experience over promises.
“Again, clearly, if you look at his record in his previous public service, whether when he was a senator or had experience as governor of Lagos State, many of his policies have gained widespread acceptance across Nigeria, even in opposition states.
“Ten opposition states have passed the Public of Office Defenders Law. His state has expanded its initiative to assist people who did not have access to justice and could not afford lawyers.
“To improve advertising and revenue for local governments, 15 states have passed similar laws.” LASTMA, his own state traffic management policy, has led to the passage of such laws in 16 states. Judicial reforms: three judges and three extras earn N50,000. It has become a national revolution. “And I keep asking if the opposition and his own party have embraced an idea in government, which is what we want him to do,” he said.
When asked about his current capacity, Fashola defended his principal by saying, “He has run the hardest campaign, the toughest fought primaries, and even after that, he was the one going to embrace people he defeated, and that shows his leadership quality. This is nation-building.”