Friday, 5 October 2018

Lagosians Are Tired Of APC..Guber Aspirant Babatunde Gbadamosi

Babatunde Gbadamosi is a chieftain of the Action Democratic Party (ADP) in Lagos State. In this interview with New Telegraph, he speaks on state of governance in the state, his governorship aspiration and 2019 general elections

How prepared is your party, the Action Democratic Party (ADP), for the forthcoming 2019 general elections?

As far as I understand, all the necessary things are being put in place to ensure that we have a smooth, competitive, fair and equitable primary, which will happen in October. The party is set and everything is in place.

We are a new party and the process of building the party has been very tortous. The fact is that Lagosians are fed up of the status quo. They are also fed up of the former opposition party, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP). The facts remains that Lagosians are tired of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) and they are also tired of PDP as an opposition party and they will like to see a complete change in the order of things in Lagos.

Why did you say Lagosians are tired of the APC and PDP?

If you are a Lagosian and you have live in Lagos for about five years, obviously you can see that there is hunger in the land. People are completely dissatisfied in what they have as government today in Lagos and this is because the APC has failed to positively impact on the resident of the state. They have not been able to touch people’s life positively, considering the enormous resources that Lagos has.

How do you see the present state of political development in Lagos State and the power tussle in the ruling party?

It is an intra party struggle within the APC. It is none of our business and I will tell Lagosians not to worry about whatever happens in that party. It doesn’t concern them; it doesn’t affect them. The most important thing that everybody should put their eyes on is who get power after the election. So, it is not about who the APC present. I know that people will like to think that whatever happens in APC is going to affect Lagos State; I tell you that this time around, that is not going to be the case.

Do you see the opposition parties benefitting from the ongoing internal wrangling in the APC?

Obviously, that is what we hope for. We are in a state where there is historical precedence of a situation where a party that was more or else perceived as the ruling party tore themselves apart. We are not going into the mechanism of that but the fact remains that the argument in the APC is not about the people; it is about who get the spoils of war and they consider the people as part of their spoils. So, it is up to the people to decide that they no longer want to be seen as slaves. They want to have their freedom and the opportunity to have their freedom has presented itself now.

Why did you think so?

APC is a construct that was put together mainly to rescue power from the PDP and nothing else. They had no plan; they had no manifesto and ideals. They simply bonded together to take power. Now that power has been bestowed upon them, you could see the internal contest both at the federal and state levels for access to party and power. And for those who that access is not coming, obviously they are very angry. And those who have cornered the largesse are doing everything they can do to put others under. It is not just the generality of Lagosians that are suffering from the generality of minds of the few in power; it is also people within their own party that are subjecting to the internal dictatorship. I think it is very obvious that people are fed up and they want it to come to an end.

You said people are tired of the ruling party in Lagos State but since 1999, no party in the state have been able to challenge the ruling party. Do you see APC returning in 2019 or will your party take over affairs of power?

If Lagosians are to be believed, I seriously doubt that APC will be able to win with free and fair election in Lagos. And the key is free and fair. We know that they are going to try to rig. We know that they are expert in rigging election and they considered themselves to be above the law. This time around things are going to be substantially different and no matter how much state power anyone can will to decide who get what; in the final analysis, the will of the people will eventually prevail.

Do you think ADP had what it takes to win Lagos in 2019 elections?

The plan is for ADP to take over from this incompetent APC. Their incompetence is now legendary and in the 21st Century, they can’t complete the Epe Expressway after about 12 years of going to and fro on that road aimlessly. The original road was built in three years by Lateef Jakande administration. They have not been able to supply Lagosians with water and they are taxing Lagosians for having the ingenuity to sink borehole for themselves. They see everything as an opportunity to seek rent. And it is only a matter of time that they will start charging us for the amount of air that we actually breathe in.

Lagosians knows a lot about them and they know that while in office they have converted public properties into private ownership over the years. Lagosians have watched them spending huge amount of money on tiny projects knowing of course that most of the money spent on projects are not actually going for projects but going into personal pockets. Lagosians have watched the flittering away of the patrimony of Lagos by taking over property and land that belong to Lagosians and turning them into private business enterprises. Lagosians have seen their patrimony disappeared over time. They have also seen the tax burden increased over time and they have also seen complete lack of attention to public infrastructure and utility by the same party that is talking about people. Lagosians are fed up; they are very sad and unhappy about the choices they have made in the past. They are full of regrets and they want a change.

This is the third time that you are declaring your interest to run for governorship, why are you keen on governing Lagos State?

I am a Lagosian. I have nowhere to go; I have no place to run to. I cannot run to Ilesha or run to Iragbiji and I cannot run to Ado-Ekiti, neither can I run to Ilaje if things come to head in Lagos. I can only run to Ikorodu and that is in Lagos. So, it behooves on me knowing that we can actually do better.

Did you think you have what it takes to bring positive change to Lagos if you win the 2019 governorship election?

I know that I have more than what it takes to take Lagos to the next level and beyond. You will not see me building substandard bus shelters and calling them ultra-modern bus shelters. You will not see me building sub-standard roads and calling them ultramodern roads. What I plan to do is to radically improve infrastructure in Lagos; establishing functional, durable, long lasting power networks throughout Lagos that will stand the test of time so that we can begin to enjoy 24hours power in Lagos. Even if it is not in the whole of Lagos, we must have it in some parts of Lagos. I assure you that in 18 months, we will have 24 hours water supply within 18 months. We need to deal with sanitation issues in Lagos State. We also need to address the hygiene issues.

Your party, ADP is relatively new, do you think your party has a viable structure to defeat the ruling party that has been in power for 19 years?

There is no doubt about the fact that politics have been monetized heavily. There is no doubt that party politics is now a merchandise of a thing; people go where they can get money. But in ADP, we are people of conviction. We are people who believe in what we preach and we are not merely preaching it just for the opportunity to seize power and then cynically turned our backs on people. That is not the plan.

I think people are beginning to recognise that and because of that a lot of people are gravitating towards our party and because they are gravitating toward the party, electoral structure that we need to win an election is coming slowly together and by December majority of the entire structures that we need in Lagos State to win an election, will be in place. And when that is done, by the time we hit February next year, I think Lagosians would be welcoming a new government in office.

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