Thursday, May 27, 2010


We are concerned citizens of Lagos State who are sufficiently bothered about recent developments in the state which were brought to public awareness by the publication titled “The True Face of Lagos”.
This publication has presented His Excellency, the Governor of Lagos with a rare opportunity to be accountable to the people of Lagos. He should ride high on this to endear himself to the people of Lagos State.
We now call on him to explain on a point-by-point basis these serious allegations of financial recklessness, mis-management, abuse of office and other gross constitutional violations levelled against him.
We hereby identify certain specific allegations which we expect His Excellency to respond to and which should also be of concern to agencies such as Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), ICPC and Special Fraud Unit of the Nigerian Police.
1. Allegation of Contract Inflation:
N1.5b demolition of the Bank of Industry
N7.7b cost of 2 kilometres portion of Funsho Williams Road (Western Avenue)
N1.8b Gbagada General Hospital road construction
N10b LASU-IBA road project
N5.2b City Hall rehabilitation project
N5b helicopter deal
N1.5b sand filling of Badagry Marina

2. Allegation of Financial Recklessness and Mismanagement
N250m give away to the Rotimi Akeredolu led exco of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA)
N420m to hire private security for six (6) months
N135m to fuel 225 vehicles within 6 months
N290m to send text messages and make phone calls within six (6) months
N1.5b of unappropriated funds for demolition of Oshodi
N183m for press coverage for six (6) months
N600m paid in two (2) years for Christmas decorations
N2b spent on subventions, grants and donation to faceless organisations
N100m to do soap opera
$62m (N10b) CCTV project
N30m per trip for the governor’s wife for six (6) trips per year

3. DEUX Projects and Dr. Tunji Olowolafe
There are several serious allegations on this company and this person which the public deserve explanation
Who is Tunji Olowolafe?
What is the relationship between him and Governor Fashola and ex-governor Bola Tinubu?
We are aware that Olowolafe’s relationship with Lagos state government predated this present administration. For instance in 2005, Olowolafe solely handled all rehabilitation and building projects at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH)
In 2005-2006, the Cooky County Hospital in Chicaga, Illionis, USA donated a set of equipment to the Lagos State government free of charge. Despite these equipment being given free of charge, Lagos State government still went ahead and paid Dr. Tunji Olowolafe for them
Why should Lagos State government have to pay Dr. Tunji Olowolafe for equipments donated free of charge by the Cook County Hospital, Chicago, lll, USA.
The entire maintenance and management of equipment was solely concessioned to Olowolafe’s company by the Tinubu administration at an annual payment of N850m paid upfront.
The development of Tejuosho and Oluwole markets are also concessioned to companies jointly owned by Dr. Tunji Olowolafe and ex-governor Bola Tinubu.
The on-going construction of the Children’s Hospital in Gbaja, Surulere is being executed by Tunji Olowolafe

4. Lekki Concession Company (LCC) and Asset Resources Management (ARM)
LCC is the company to which the Lekki-Epe construction was concessioned for 30 years in 2006. Dr. Tunji Olowolafe is the Chairman of LCC.
The construction company handling the Lekki-Epe Expressway is HITECH
HITECH is owned by the Chagouris and ex-governor Bola Tinubu is the Chairman.
What has become of large hectres of land concessioned to ARM and Olowolafe at Lekki corridor as part of the concession for 4th mainland bridge?
Why is the project taking so long and what are the conditions of the concession and what happened to the coastal road which is the main project of the concession? Why has the concession not been cancelled?
The Maiyegun Scheme sold to Olowolafe and his cronies without any independent valuation and the N5.3b purportedly paid untraceable.
The land (Layeni’s compound) adjacent to the demolished BOI building was acquired in the public interest but resold to Olowolafe and his friends.

5. Land Matters
Governor Fashola should explain to the public the indiscremante and reckless acquisition of public land for private use. Some of these are:
o Royal Gardens Estate which was original earmarked for a general hospital to serve the people of Eti-Osa now given away to Bola Tinubu’s family.
o Hecters of land belonging to several communities. Sirinwon, Igbekodo, Apakin etc in Ibeju Lekki local government given away by Ex-governor Bola Tinubu to his crony, Ibukun Fakeye to develop a golf course and housing estate. In addition N5b was raised from the coffers of Lagos State for the take-off of the project.
o The Eko Akete Project for which N4.7b was raised from the bank and lost. The scheme was later transferred to C&C owned by the Chagouris
o Hecters of land of Lagos State Fisheries office bequeathed to one Prince Dipo Eludoyin.
o Fishery landing jetty at Badore where the Ilubirin fishermen were to be relocated.
o Ogudu foreshore given to Prince Dipo Eludoyin.
o Parkview foreshore reclaimed now owned by ex-governor Bola Tinubu
o Former Strabag yard at Alausa now owned by Bola Tinubu
o The Oriental Hotel on Lekki-Epe Expressway and the extension of multi-storey car park beside it owned by ex-governor Bola Tinubu
o Multi-level recreation centre by Mobil in Oniru Estate on Lekki-Epe Expressway owned by Bola Tinubu, Olowolafe and ARM
o Over N5b expended on the bar beach shore line project and no further work has been done by the concessionaire to develop the Atlantic City project which was claimed to have been over subscribed. The N5b will soon become a complete waste given the temporary nature of the shoreline protection.
It is so obvious that the land bureau is riddled with corruption of the most unimaginable level. No wonder one of the Executives of Land Use and Allocation, Committee celebrated publicly his first billion naira mark and the Permanent Secretary (Lands) – Mr. Gbenga Ashafa throwing three (3) extensively lavish parties in the space of one (1) year attended by both Governor Raji Fashola and ex-governor Bola Tinubu.
6. Other Issues
Bus Assembly Company to be set up at Ilara, Epe in conjunction with Marcopolo of Brazil which millions of dollars was paid to a consultant known only to ex-governor Bola Tinubu in 2006
Over N2b paid from the state coffers to people known only to ex-governor Bola Tinubu to build bus maintenance facilities at Cappa, Oshodi in 2006 of which nothing has been done till date
Billions of naira had been paid not once, not twice on the development of Oyingbo market for which no appreciable level of work has been done. The evidence is there for the public to see.
Because of the prohibitive cost of development of various markets by Shylock Contractors, market stalls have gone beyond the reach of our market women. No wonder our streets are littered with traders.
In conclusion, when President Yar’Adua declared his assets at the beginning of his administration and the governor of Lagos State did not follow suit, we wondered why, given his background and exposure. But when we revisited the governorship candidates debate during the 2007 governorship election on the issue of corruption in Alausa, Governor Fashla’s response then was that he had not noticed any stealing or pilfering in Alausa and if anyone noticed it, they can point it out.

The allegations above are pointers for Governor Fashola to react to now.
We commend the prompt action of the Lagos State House of Assembly in setting up the administrative panel to look into the allegation by the writers of “The True Face of Lagos”. We urge the Assembly to make the panel’s work to be all inclusive taking cognisances of all matters of concern here above catalogued.
The good people of Lagos State should be made to benefit from the actions resulting from the Assembly’s finding.
We are waiting and watching.


TEL: 08088662074

Tuesday, May 11, 2010


As soon as Babangida spoke on Hausa BBC radio, my telephones cell and land were bombarded with calls and people were screaming on top of their voices; a common phenomenon with Nigerians in diaspora and at home. It was Abati Vanguard that first carried the news. They were all mad as hell to hear that their children or brothers and sisters are not capable of ruling Nigeria at the apex of government. The Internet was on fire with vicious comments.

However, a story must be told with the memory of our late sage Papa Awolowo. During one of his numerous blunt challenges and tête-à-tête chat, Papa reminded his young followers that when he came into politics, he met the likes of Alakijas and Fanikayodes as the elders of the Yourbas.

As soon as these elders started to listen to many theories of Papa Awolowo on how to move the nation in the right direction, they were impressed and promptly demurred for Papa Awo to take up the mantle of leadership. Here were the Yoruba elders who saw raw and smart intelligence with courage in a young man and decided to embrace him to assume the role of a leader among culturally unbending elders who don’t normally tolerate affront.

So, IBB told the BBC interviewer that the young ones are not capable of taking over the mantle of leadership in Nigeria for now. What is new? Papa Awolowo once called the youth lazy drones that shy away from confronting their elders to contest elections on the same party platform. Papa went further to say that the youths sleep too much, are sexually liberated and neglect their home works. He once threatened to expose the young philanderers to their wives when they could not discipline themselves on campaign trails. Who else is capable of challenging the young ones other than fathers and the elders?

IBB might have short himself in the foot during that Hausa language interview; but who else should be in the position to say these things after creating the controversial new breed, old breed politicians that populated the polity today and the new breed politicians are running amuck and acting like vampires sucking blood out of their collogues’ veins, carting money across land and ocean to buy houses in Dubai, Ghana and South Africa.

If one is to advise, let the youth search their souls, reject the do or die affair in politics, sanitize the polity and create environment for good governance, put in place institutions that would destroy politics of money which prevents true representation of the people. If individuals could contest and win election without spending so much personal money that is currently preventing many to enter races for local, state and federal, Nigeria would move forward.

It might not have been politically servy to say what IBB said, but the truth always hurt and is always bitter to swallow. When my in-fatigable friend, the die hard Awoist, comrade Bari Salau contested the presidency and triumphed his first leg from Teju Pedro, Obanikoro ward in shomolu local government, we all dubbed him Fela Ransom Kuti of shomolu’s politics. Bari Salau won his ward and local government elections for the presidency.

He proceeded to the state where he conceded the little marathon experiment against those Ghana-must- go money baggers. This was the same election IBB finally annulled. Had Abiola been the president of Nigeria, then perhaps Alhaji Bari Salau could have been one of Abiola’s ministers because of his courage and his Obama’s “audacity of hope” approach.

Alhaji Bari Salau went all the way to Abuja as delegate and managed to add ‘President Contestant with Option A4’ to his political portfolio not necessarily because of his wealth but for his courage and high stake effort. Bari treaded where his elders never had courage to tread. As a political scientist and consultant today, we do know where he belongs in Nigeria political field, but he robustly continues to add humor and political ideas to this blog site. We all belong to IBB generation but our votes alone can not send IBB back to Aso Rock; we need all the young generation votes too, hence efforts on clarification of IBB’s utterances that set the internet on fire.

O.R. Almaroof, DDS
New York, U.S.A.

Thursday, May 6, 2010


Now that President Y’aradua is dead one wonders what is next for Nigeria. I believe that PDP is still under the presidential rotational system which was a kind of gentle man’s agreement within the party members which will allow a candidate from the North to hold on to the presidential position for another term. I have always considered the rotational system as undemocratic to say the least. This system will obviously exclude President Goodluck from contesting next year election and put Babangida, the former ‘military president’ – oxymoron to say the least - on a good footing to lead PDP for the next election.

Some people are already suggesting that President Goodluck should assume an overseer position over the next year election in order to prevent chaos or tampering with the constitution. I, of course, disagree. I believe that the rotational system should be eradicated and Nigeria should be opened to a true democratic environment where new young political faces from all over Nigeria should have the chance to take Nigeria away from people like Babangida. May be we will have someone like Obama. I think it is high time Nigerians stop recycling their old politicians who have brought nothing but disgrace and shame to Nigeria since independence.

In fact, I think any person who has led Nigeria in the executive capacity under military regime should be banned from contesting for any executive position in today’s Nigeria politics. What can they really do for Nigeria under a democratic system that they could not have done as military dictators? They should be banned!!!

I would think that the issue of selecting the vice presidential candidate in any rational and well thinking nation would be based on the compatibility of political issues and ideas between the presidential candidate and his/her choice for vice presidential position for the sake of continuity in political agenda and promises made to the voters and not based on political convenience. It is only in Nigeria where a president would appoint a political enemy to be his vice president because it is politically convenient. That is why People like Obasanjo - a military dictator turned politician – appointed Atiku as his vice president and the late President Y’aradua – a brother of another military dictator – appointed the present President Goodluck as his vice president. What kind of thinking is that? This will suggest that these presidential candidates are not interested in the betterment of Nigeria in the first place. They are only interested in power. Pure and simple. Nigeria cannot be better off without political continuity.

Finally, my condolences go to the family of the late president Umaru Y’aradua. He was a good young man who, according to some people, started as the ex-president Obasanjo’s puppet but later came to his own by having enough guts to dare to have some bone of contention with Obasanjo. Though, like his predecessors, the so dubbed ‘Baba Go Slow’ was unable to rescue Nigeria economy from the strong clutch of oil and small elite through diversification. I believe he would have been a better president had fate given him good health and more time. May God help and bless Nigeria.

Shina Akanni