A former Governor of Enugu State, Senator Chimaroke Nnamani, and the African Democratic Congress (ADC), yesterday, rolled out different versions regarding the development of Lagos State.
Nnamani said the All Progressives Congress (APC) presidential candidate, Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s, reforms and mentorship as Governor of Lagos State from 1999 to 2007 transformed the state.
He described Tinubu as a great mentor who had guided numerous mentees from various states from political boyhood to political adulthood in his capacity as a political mentor.
The former governor, in a statement issued in Abuja, said that Tinubu had repeatedly proven himself to be a professional politician and the greatest political leader and mentor who built the necessary bridges, paid his dues and nurtured political heavyweights.
Nnamani, who currently chairs the Senate Committee on Cooperation and Integration in Africa/NEPAD, said Nigeria’s current dispensation called for ready and experienced hands like Tinubu to lead the nation to greater heights.
He further said that Tinubu, whom he described as “city boy”, substantially enhanced the lives of individuals who resided in Lagos State with his visionary reforms in the health, school, justice, works, and infrastructure sectors.
He emphasised that, “Tinubu has guided numerous mentees from various states from political boyhood to political adulthood in his capacity as a political mentor. A trait transformational leaders like Tinubu and the class of 1999 governors have. Tinubu mentees have gone on to hold various leadership positions in Nigeria.”
However, the ADC argued that Lagos State was built by a former Governor, Lateef Jakande, popularly known as Baba Kekere, and former Military Administrators (MILADS), Generals Mobolaji Johnson and Buba Marwa.
The state’s Chairman of ADC, George Ashiru, said the three former leaders made significant contributions to the development of the state more than what had been achieved by successive governors led by Tinubu.
Ashiru, who said that Lagos enjoyed special attention from successive federal governments since the days of colonialism due to its political and economic potentials, stressed that Jakande, Johnson and Marwa established its structures and infrastructure without unduly exploiting the state and creating a dynasty out of it.
He said, “General Mobolaji Johnson also added impetus to the creation of many administrative structures in what has become the Lagos of today. We cannot forget Baba Kekere in the 2nd Republic.
“Governor Jakande has been adjudged probably the best Governor Lagos has ever had. His cheap housing programmes, over 30,000 housing units and free education at primary and secondary levels. Lest we forget, it was Governor Lateef Jakande that established the Lagos State University (LASU) in 1983. He established the Nigerian Institute of Journalism (NIJ) in Lagos State, and over 20 health centres and general hospitals were built under his administration.”
By Abiodun Alade (Lagos) & Abdullateef Salau (Abuja)