Tuesday, 27 October 2015

Fashola Opens Up... READ What Fashola Says About His Role In Buhari’s Cabinet

Babatunde Fashola, one of the ministerial nominees, has revealed that President Muhammadu Buhari already knows the positions ministerial nominees will hold.

The ex-governor of Lagos state speaking to All Africa noted that top priorities for the Buhari-led administration are security and the economy.

He said: “The president is clearly focused on security. We have seen some results, and it will get better.

“Dealing with the criminals who now terrorize parts of our country in a faceless manner poses challenges for our security apparatus, who were trained to deal with conventional opponents rather than these unconventional methods where soft targets are their victims. And government really, with all its best intentions, can’t be in every home and every corner of our society.”

When asked which ministerial post he may hold, Fahola said only President Buhari can tell.

“He nominated us, so he would have a very clear idea what role he wants each of us to play. I believe he must have had deep reflection on who will be in what position,” he said.

The former governor was also speaking on his dismissals of people from Lagos while in office: “I think it isn’t appropriate to classify it as an expulsion. It wasn’t. We had citizens who had no address and probably migrated from God-knows-where to our state.”

“They were living as destitutes. Some had psychiatric problems. Some had other health issues. We rehabilitated them. When they got rehabilitated, they had to leave because it cost a lot of tax-payer money to keep feeding them on a daily basis, year-in, year-out. In some cases, they said they wanted to go home”

“And as I said during the screening, we didn’t know where home was except for where they told us. We wrote three letters to their home governments. None of them was acknowledged. We had to do something.

“As I said during the screening, we took them to the boundary of the state they called home, in the belief that they would be able to reintegrate themselves back to their communities. Perhaps we could have done a little more. But we were not assisted by their state governments.”

Answering to accusations that he spent 78 million naira on a website and N200 million on boreholes, Fashola restated that the reports were false.

“Specifically to the boreholes, it never happened. But I have chosen not to continue to defend myself on the pages of newspapers because that is not the place to resolve allegations of criminal wrongdoing. You do it in a court of law.

“These are institutions of state who have the authority to ask me to answer. As far as the website is concerned, first of all it was I, as governor, who insisted that every procurement be published on our state website,” Fashola noted.

“So if we had anything to hide, it would stand logic upside down to be publicizing our wrongdoing ourselves. And as I said during the senate screening, as governor I headed a network of institutions.

“There is also an independent procurement agency that validates procurements. All I did as governor was to sign off and approve expenditure after the procurement agency approved.

“I wasn’t elected with any limitations of powers of expenditure. It was I as governor who set limits on what I could do and what procurement agencies do.”

During the screening two weeks ago Fashola gave an impressive performance, as he showed a mastery of the subjects they spoke on and was lucid in his delivery.

Fashola held the Senate spellbound for an hour, answering questions on several issues including accusations that he spent N78 million on his website and almost N200 million on the construction of boreholes at the Lagos state government house when he was the governor.