The Lagos State chapter of the Peoples’ Democratic Party has accused the immediate past governor of the state, Raji Babatunde Fashola, of frittering away over N32 billion being funds received from the Subsidy Reinvestment and Empowerment Programme [SURE-P].
In a statement issued in Lagos on Sunday by the state’s Publicity Secretary, Mr. Taofik Gani, the PDP urged Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to probe his predecessor.
According to PDP, “Mr. Fashola deliberately embarked on projects that were not feasible in the next 20 years”.
“He got loans to complete such projects within eight years only to mismanage and or divert such loans. Under Fashola, the SURE P funds well over N32 billion meant for the state could not only reflect in any project and was not accounted for.
“The local and foreign debts of about N1 trillion is there for Lagosians to pay through over-taxation.”
The Lagos PDP’s claims came amidst a public backlash over Mr. Fashola’s expenditures during his tenure, including a N78 million website upgrade contract.
Last week, a civil society group petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission over the former governor’s “wasteful expenditures” during his eight years as government.
The PDP said although it was not behind the recent calls for Mr. Fashola’s investigation, it was supportive of their position that the former governor ran an elitist government.
“Indeed, several times during his administration, we had shouted that the governor was running a propagandist government and that the state was being plunged into avoidable local and foreign debts,” Mr. Gani said.
“The PDP has consequently supported and charged Ambode to probe his predecessor. The incumbent governor must speak out now. Anything short of a categorical statement as to whether Fashola is clean or not is a disservice to the state.
“Lagosians want to know what the new occupier of the office met, especially the actual amount of loan collected.”
The party also stated that it would continue to “blow the whistle” and provide a vibrant opposition to any signs of misgovernance by the ruling All Progressives Congress.
“We shall not relent in doing this constructive opposition. It does not matter whether it coincides with efforts of other groups or interests in the state,” said Mr. Gani.
“We shall commend when appropriate and condemn when inevitable in good faith for good governance and expected growth of Lagos State,” the statement concluded.