Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola has challenged President Goodluck Jonathan to use the dollars he is using to bribe the electorate for votes, to pay petroleum marketers to end the ongoing nationwide fuel scarcity.
Fashola, who spoke at the official handing over the Maidan-Aina-Agiliti network of roads and bridge in the Kosofe Local Government Area of Lagos, southwest Nigeria on Tuesday, said Jonathan should showcase his achievement rather than bribing people with dollars to get their votes.
According to Fashola, it is demeaning, insulting and degrading for a president who had made promises and did not fulfil them to now turn around and be sharing dollars, saying that sharing dollars could not account for the poor records of the president since he took over office six years ago.
The governor said anybody who collected Jonathan’s dollars is only mortgaging his or her future, adding that it were better if Jonathan spent the dollars in paying the marketers who refused to import petroleum products because they were being owed by the Federal Government.
Fashola said he is a happy man because the new roads and bridge had brought prosperity to all the people in the area, with the traders commuting easily with their wares and landlords also enjoying an increase in rate of properties due to the new roads.
He stated that for him, a government must stand for something or it will fall for everything, stressing that for him, the project represents the value of democracy where voters can hold politicians responsible for the promises made to them.
“Any politician who makes you promises and comes back after four years without fulfilling those promises and is promising you that he would do more, must be voted out. Any politician who cannot make definitive positive impact in your life within his first term of office will not do anything during the second term.
“In the second term, he is not accountable to you anymore. This is the only time you can hold him, when he is seeking re-election. In this campaign, the PDP presidential candidate can make all sorts of promises but for me as a citizen, this issue is no longer about promises. The issue is about his record of performance.
“It is not about what I will do because I cannot change him if he doesn’t do anything in the next four years. This is the only time I have to hold him to account and I will vote to change him,” he said.
He argued that if Nigerians vote to change Jonathan, for the first time in the history of Nigeria, the citizens would have changed a government that had disappointed them, adding that all his life, it was the military that always changed governments that performed below expectation.
“This is the first time that you have the opportunity to change a government that has not fulfilled its promises and that is what democracy is all about. It is not about whether he is my brother or handsome. Politicians are not voted to be handsome but to be improving the life of the people, not about where he comes from. The President has not offended me as a person but as a citizen he has not done his job, he has not given me electricity; he has not managed this economy well.
“The dollar is getting stronger and my local currency is getting weaker. So if I have to buy anything imported I have to pay more. So that is not personal or religious, it is just that his best is not good enough. So I want to change him. If we change him, the message we will send to politicians is that no politician will come to you again and tell lies,” he stated.
Noting that the best politics is good policies and development and not about sharing dollars or rice around as the president is currently doing, the governor said if the Nigerian economy is in good shape, it would be possible for every resident to be able to afford rice and kerosene that were being shared by the politicians that had just come to town to sway voters to support them.
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