This is Lagos' riposte to Maku's comments about Governor Fashola benefiting from Federal Government infrastructure. Keep an eye on this one folks.
MAKU – WHY THIS IGNOBLE VENTURE
We read with a sense of pity the story credited to the Hon. Minister of Information, Mr. Labaran Maku, denying the verifiable achievements of His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, the Governor of Lagos State.
On one hand we feel great pity that Mr. Maku has within a short time lost touch with the ethics of Journalism which emphasizes accuracy, objectivity and facts. On the other hand, we pity the country if the man with the status of Hon. Minister of Information can descend so low as to misinform the world with such impunity.
Although his reason for such inflammatory remarks is still hard to discern, he would have done himself and the nation much good by limiting himself to his brief rather than dabbling into issues he knows next to nothing about.
In an assignment such as Ministerial briefing, as Lagos State had just done while marking the 6th anniversary of His Excellency, all Mr. Maku would have done in his remarks was to concentrate more on the achievements of the Federal government if there is any and if there was nothing to report ( as is clear from his vituperation) he could still have done himself a world of good by keeping quiet (as journalism dictates) than exposing himself to such ridicule through the unguarded statement credited to him.
One is, however not perturbed by his behaviour since it has become his stock in trade going by the way of his earlier outburst on the National Assembly for which he later had to apologize when the House cautioned him.
We believe that if Mr. Maku had taken time to research into some of Fashola’s performance in the areas of Power, Agriculture, Transportation, Housing, Health care delivery, Education, Sport, etc for which the government has received many accolades even from PDP leaders, his submission would have been better moderated as a communicator.
The issue of Environmental Sanitation raised by him betrays his understanding of the pedestal for good governance in any society. It becomes apparent that the Hon. Minister was befuddled by the state of development in Lagos, the nation’s former capital that had been left to “rot away” but which the BRF administration is taking to higher heights.
That the BRT buses run on federal government roads is quite laughable. One may wish to ask that since the capital moved to Abuja, who has been maintaining most of the infrastructure left behind by the Federal Government. The questions are why has the Lagos – Ibadan road become daunting to the federal government and why has the federal government failed to replicate the BRT system in Abuja or all over the country.
Perhaps Mr. Maku should have taken a trip to Lagos to see the on-going transformation in the landscape of the State through the expansion of the Lagos –Badagry expressway into a 10-Lane highway with Light rail and BRT lanes, the 39km Eti-Osa -Lekki - Epe Express road, the recently commissioned cable -stayed bridge linking Lekki and Ikoyi communities, the on-going expansion of Mile 12-Ikorodu road, the greater attention to water transportation, the infrastructural facilities being provided all over Lagos and several other people-oriented programmes, before concluding erroneously that Fashola has not done anything in Lagos.
Recently His Excellency, President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan was hosted alongside the former US President, Mr. Bill Clinton at the commissioning of the Eko Atlantic City where President Jonathan pledged that the Federal Government will replicate the project in other parts of the country and yet Fashola has done nothing.
The Hon. Minister should know that democracy is not about playing politics with facts. Also journalism does not approve of people giving judgment based on personal interests. The fact that we did not allow Maku to take credit for our project in Lagos in the name of “Good Governance Tour” does give him the latitude to attempt to discredit a performing governor who continues to receive accolades from across the nation and internationally.
Fashola is working, Lagos is working.
LATEEF ADEREMI IBIROGBA
HON. COMMSSIONER FOR INFORMATION AND STRATEGY
JUNE 4, 2013.