Politics

Lagos not in bondage, Fashola tells Jonathan

Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State yesterday reacted to President Goodluck Jonathan’s statement that victory for the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP in the forthcoming elections would free Lagos residents from oppression, saying “Lagos is not in bondage.”

Meantime, Fashola stunned a gathering in Lekki axis of the state when he said he bought his own vault where he will be buried after his demise four years ago.

The governor while reacting to the Presidents statement said “It is an un-presidential statement made in an act of desperation.”

It will be recalled that Jonathan made the statement during a meeting with leaders of market women groups, “Iyalojas”, in Lagos.

According to him, “the question to ask him (Jonathan) is that if he had come to free residents of Lagos from bondage and he lived here for five days meeting with people and distributing money in dollars. That means he lived in bondage in five days while trying to free people.

“If he can live here for five days moving with patrol vehicles that we paid for, let him go and spend five days in Chibok and he will know what bondage is,” he added.

On his vault

The governor said death is a necessary end that will come when it will come, saying there is need for people to prepare for it.

According to him “we are here to inspect a cemetery , we often don’t like to talk about but there is a need for it because the population continue to expand and the Lekki Sub- region is growing very fast.

“If you look at it the Ikoyi Cemetry, the Abari and all of that are more tha a 100 years old and they were built by colonialists and left behind for us and when you look at the way they have also managed them , many families cannot even visit the vaults where their loved ones are resting.

“We have this strategic partnership now with private sector and they are going to deliver a cemetery like no other. They will manage it and make the cost also competitive. There will be high, medium and low density vaults for people who really want to make a statement at their exit .

“It is the truism of life everyone who comes must go so as we are building hospitals , roads , schools imbibing survival strategy we must also plan for the end .

“This sounds as something people don’t want to discuss. I have bought my vault . It surprises people. I paid for it four years ago . As I always tell people if you come here for life you must plan to go. Those who don’t want to go should not come.”

ON Court of Arbitration

Fashola said the first West African Court of Arbitration would be ready next month (March).

He noted that the compelling need to resolve trade disputes locally rather than travelling abroad informed the sitting of the center in Lagos.

The governor lamented that the country and other West African countries “lose a lot of funds to other countries in terms of arbitration. For instance, whenever any dispute arise in the country, the preferred place is either Paris, France or London, United Kingdom. And there is nothing special there.

“All we need is to create a centre that will have the necessary reputation. We have the personnels because some of the best arbitrators in the continent are Nigerians.

“We already have the international recognition for this. All that is left is to complete the project. We have received some arbitration funds also. And the next three weeks, the building will be ready for commissioning. We have atleast 11 rooms here.”

“Also, we have the economic for the arbitration because a lot of construction, developmental and Public Private Partnership,( PPP) projects are ongoing. And dispute from there could be resolved here.

“With this (Lagos Arbitration centre); We would save a lot of money and create employment,” the governor added.

Fashola explained that through the initiative the state government has created a local destination for the sub-region, saying the court will be the destination for arbitration for West Africa.

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