Asiwaju Bola Tinubu: Fashola and I can’t be jittery over EFCC probe

Monday, April 26, 2010

Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu
Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, yesterday reacted to a report by the Nigerian Tribune on the reported probe of the government by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

He said neither he nor his successor, Mr Babatunde Fashola has cause to panic.

The Nigerian Tribune yesterday carried on its front page a local story headlined, N20billion scam: Panic in Tinubu, Fashola camps.

But Asiwaju Tinubu dismissed any notion of panic, insisting there was no need for such.

A statement by Olakunle Abimbola, the former governor’s Chief Press Secretary said: "Staying on the alleged EFCC probe, Asiwaju Tinubu said the fact was that Lagos State, among other states in the federation, had acquitted itself well, both during his tenure as governor; and the continued rapid development being witnessed under Governor Fashola.

"I can’t be jittery over any alleged EFCC probe. I know I served my state well and laid a solid foundation for the renewal of Lagos, ensured prudence in resource management and put in place control mechanisms to ensure transparency and acceptability.

"That was how we were able to attain financial independence for Lagos by shoring up internally generated revenue (IGR) in this state," he said.

The former governor decried what he called "the lack of logic" in the story which claimed he engineered the Fashola investigations and, at the same time, got jittery by it.

"In one breath, the story claimed I engineered the Fashola probe. In another, it claimed I got panicky because the contractor also had relationship with my administration. May be Nigerian Tribune acts before it thinks. But I certainly don’t. So, how could I possibly sponsor a probe, only to later realise that same probe would hurt me too? This is a clear effort to cause disaffection between the governor and myself, which is the main project of PDP. But I can assure you the attempt would fall flat on its face."

The former governor said the bogey of EFCC was not new, adding that whenever his opponents run out of ideas, they always seize upon the EFCC bogey.

But he stressed that five years in office and three years after leaving office, his opponents still could not hit upon other tactics than the EFCC probe scare, adding that he was not particularly perturbed by the EFCC or any other investigating agency.

He said none of such agencies could manufacture any allegation of crime against him since the crime does not exist in the first palce.

He accused the Nigerian Tribune and Nigerian Compass of procuring the PDP political mischief.

"We know the PDP has procured some sections of the media to make Tinubu their permanent target. While the pedestrian approach of Nigerian Compass is understandable, it is unfortunate that Nigerian Tribune, a newspaper that our revered sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, founded to promote the truth and progressive thinking, has become a willing tool in the hands of reactionaries. How Chief Awolowo would weep in his grave!

"Once again, Nigerian Tribune has taken refuge in the realm of fiction and fantasy. Ordinarily, one would not want to disturb them in their political hallucinations but for the fact that those who are gullible and not so discerning could fall for their fiction."

He added that before the opposition PDP in Lagos, with the media megaphones embark further on their plot to cause disaffection between himself and his successor, they should think of the ruin the PDP has made of the South West states it control, not to talk of most parts of the country.

"The progress of Lagos State has been demonstrated and can been seen by all. But can we say the same of PDP-controlled states in the South West and Nigeria in general? These shameless insinuations are fired by political intrigues. But they would not deter us for insisting on what is right for our people," Asiwaju Tinubu declared.

"Let me restate categorically that I have become a consistent target of these newspapers, which use my name derogatorily to market their publications. They have thrown professionalism to the winds, practising journalism of falsehood, which has done Nigerian journalism no credit," Tinubu said.


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