“Fashola, where is your conscience?” – Lanre Basamta @basamta

Published:21 Nov, 2012

“Fashola, where is your conscience?” – Lanre Basamta @basamta

One upon a time, there were leaders…

Once upon a time there was a leadership with intelligence; a government with conscience and an oligarchy with a human face

Once upon a time, there were governors who could be appealed to. Men and women who truly cared for their people, and not only the privileged class

Men and women who had blood pumping in their veins, and sound ideas flowing through their mind

Once upon a time, governments listened to the people

But now, NOT ANYMORE!

******************************

Or?

*****************************

How can anyone explain the Lagos State Government ban on commercial motorcycle operations in Lagos?

How can anyone help me understand a government that deliberately sends almost ten thousand youths, yeah 10,000 into the unemployment market because of one abject policy move?

How can one explain the dubious duplicity of governor Fashola, who exploited the Okada Riders for his elections and how now left them in a lurch by his policy?

How is it logical or sane for a government of the people and for the people, to so decide to hurt and malign the same people in this manner?

*****************************

To start with, the constitution of Nigeria guarantees free movement of persons and goods from one place to another

The same constitution allows for one to employ free and fair means to convey himself in the fulfillment of his aspirations and intentions of movement

How then did Governor Fashola convince the state Assembly otherwise?

How did the Assembly sef sat down to decide and argue against the continuous existence of Okada-particularly on the 475 major roads?

******************************

I remember vividly the government of Senator Bola Tinunbu and the first tenure of Fashola,

I remember them always lamenting that they couldn’t afford to maintain federal roads as it isn’t part of their terms of reference

Why then have they decided to play lords over these roads?

Why have they decided to receive what should have belonged to Cesar and even God at the same time?

How is it that Fashola-a man once believed to be a people’s person now turn around and stab them in the back?

****************************

Listen to the government’s lame claims

****************************

  • The government opined that Okada riders accounts for most accident on Lagos roads
  • They also claim that criminals explore the easy mobility mechanism of Okoda by using it as getaway vehicles
  • Finally, the government claimed that Okada riders willfully disobey traffic law-hence the ban

***************************

My response:

***************************

To start with, the opinion that Okada accounts for the most accidents on Lagos roads is very unsubstantiated and highly prejudicial

Some of the most reportedly tragic and ghastly accidents on Lagos roads over the years have involved tanker Drivers, ‘Danfo’-commercial buses, reckless private drivers and of course the perennial bad road

No doubts Okada contributes their fair share. But really where is the fact?

Where are the facts claiming that okada causes more accidents than other means of transportation?

Where are the incontrovertible evidences to back up this lame claim that’s Okada are the biggest impediments to safety on our roads?

Is it because the Riders are often poor and can’t seem to articulate their own positions?

Is it because their unions are so fragmented, and their leaders not quite literate enough to mount the right propaganda against this evil of government?

Infact, even if Okada were the most reckless means of transportation, does that now warrant a ban?

When Airplanes were falling off the skies in 2005, and ‘Molues’ (rickety commercial Mass transit buses) were killing en-masse in the 90s, did we response to such social malaise with a ban?

Even as tanker drivers and ‘Danfos’ cause untold hardship right now, does Fashola has the guts or grit to open his mouth and announce a ban on their activities?

**************************

On government’s claim that criminals use Okada as escape mechanism each time they perpetuate their act,

What a lame excuse! What a weak and blatantly spineless argument

The real thieves don’t use okada, am sure we all know that!

The dare-devil armed robbers, who rob in teams with assorted weaponry, would not belittle themselves on bikes

They might spy on bikes, but they generally need good strong vehicles to negotiate their way on Lagos’ treacherous roads

I agree that many small time miscreants use motorcycle to rob

Infact, I will agree that some low tech, moderately organized gangs adopt Okada for their raid and assault

But for Christ sake, we have been around from the days of ‘Shina Rambo’ and other notoriously effective armed robbers

We have either witnessed or been informed about getaway patterns for a regular robbery day in Lagos

Which one of the scenarios has been more repetitive? The okada getaway line or the armored convoyed vehicles including saloon cars, buses and even speed boats?

Why cant the governor not ban those other means of transportation?

Why doesn’t he, in the interest of safety- as claimed, ban commercial buses, private cars and commercial boats because he wants to keep Lagos safe?

****************************

And finally to the disobedience of traffic law…

You help me ask please. Don’t Danfo drivers disobey the same laws?

Haven’t LASTMA apprehended more private offenders and Danfo driver than Okada riders driving against one way?

Which groups of road users in Lagos are more reckless than Orile tanker drivers or Tin Can containers drivers?

Are okada riders really more reckless than even BRT drivers?

Do they disobey more rules than pedestrians crossing at Ojota or Palmgrove on Ikorodu roads?

Are Okada riders as crazy as government officials and the military that blare their sirens and offend other road users with their impunity and recklessness?

**************************

The truth is not very hard to come by

Governor Fashola has chosen to ban okada because they are the most defenseless and helpless road users in Lagos

Governor Fashola and his government have chosen to ban Okada on the major roads because he doesn’t understand the real feeling of Lagosians

Governor Fashola banned Okada because he doesn’t appreciate the augmented role of the motorcycles as a means of transport

He announced the ban because he doesn’t care about sending 10,000 jobless youths into the labour market

He announced the ban because he really hasn’t completely dissociated himself from the military mentality of banning everything that does not align with his sanctimonious position of Right against Wrong

And I am sad

****************************

I am sad because I voted for him

I am sad because a man-once of the people has turned against them

I am sad because his enforcement team has even gone beyond the 475 roads and have began to harass and arrest young men who go about trying to eke a decent and fair living

I am sad because government across many states of this country have chosen to adopt this crass and conscienceless policy across board

I am sad because day by day, the promised hope appears farther than ever

I am truly sad that the poor and wretched of our land always keep suffering for the ignominy of our heartless oligarchy

*****************************

Yeah I drive daily in Lagos, but yet I fear for the many who cannot afford vehicles

I worry for the many families whose fathers have been deprived of jobs

I worry for the many children that would be sent out of school because of the inability of their parents to pay school fees

I worry endlessly for the many Lagosians who have to trek many miles each day just to achieve very simple tasks

I worry and am saddened at the defiance of a government who has chosen to be deaf to our needs, blind to our fears and dead to our wants

***************************

Fashola, where is your conscience?

 

Lanre Basamta

www.facebook.com/basamta

basamta@yahoo.com

Twitter: @basamta

  • Deji D.

    How I wish Fashola himself could see, read and absorb this!!!

Related Posts

Recent Posts

Army Acquires Vehicles To Enhance Communication

The Nigerian Army has acquired six vehicles to enhance communication in its fight against insurgency in the North-East. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), reports that the vehicles were inaugurated by the Chief of Army Staff (COAS), Lt.-Gen. Tukur Buratai, during his visit to Lagos on Wednesday. Buratai said the vehicles, procured by the Army Signal Corps, would be deployed to help in prosecuting the fight against insurgency in the North- East. ``We are still pursuing the terrorists and we will continue...

FG Constitutes Committee To Address Demands Of Organised Labour

The Federal Government on Wednesday constituted a 16-man committee to address issues that necessitated the three-day strike called by the Nigerian Labour Congress (NLC) after the fuel pump price hike. Mr Babachir Lawal, the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), stated this in Abuja after a meeting of the Federal Government delegation with the organised labour. He said that the meeting was called to work out modalities on ways to resolve the issues raised by the organised labour. ``I am...

Former PDP NWC Members Endorse Constitution of Makarfi-led Caretaker Committee

Members of the immediate past National Working Committee (NWC) of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) have endorsed their dissolution and other decisions taken at the party’s National Convention held in Port Harcourt. This is contained in a statement jointly signed by the immediate past Deputy National Chairman of the party, Uche Secondus and six others. The statement stated that in the absence of the then National Chairman of the Party, Sen. Ali Modu Sheriff, Secondus presided over the...

Agunloye Advises FG To Fight Corruption In Power Sector

Former Minister of Power and Steel, Dr Olu Agunloye, on Wednesday advised the Federal Government to address corruption in the power sector. Agunloye gave the advice during a chat with newsmen in Abuja. He had purchased Expression of Interest and Nomination forms for the Ondo gubernatorial election on the platform of Social Democratic Party (SDP). According to him, electricity generation is not rocket science and tackling corruption in the sector will ensure stable power supply across the country. ``When I was minister of...

FAAC: FG Recovers N1.5 bn, Shares N281.5bn To 3 Tiers Of Government

The Minister of Finance, Mrs Kemi Adeosun, said in Abuja on Wednesday that N1.5 billion, being excess bank charges, was recovered and paid into the Federation Account. Adeosun announced this while addressing newsmen on the outcome of the Federation Accounts Allocation Committee (FAAC) meeting. She said this was done by a consortium of consultants for the Federation Account and that the money was proposed for distribution. She also said that N281.5 billion was shared among the federal, states and local governments as...

Army Renews Call On Boko Haram Fighters To Surrender

The Nigerian Army on Wednesday renewed calls on repentant Boko Haram fighters wishing to surrender to do so without wasting more time. Maj.-Gen. Lucky Irabor, the Theater Commander, Operation Lafiya Dole, made the call while speaking at the foundation laying ceremony of the Nigerian Army Officers Wives Association (NAOWA) Nursery School and a Day Care Centre at the Maimalari Barracks, Maiduguri. Irabor said that those who failed to surrender would pay the price for being stubborn. He added that ``I will like...

5 Herdsmen Arrested Over Enugu Massacre

The Police Force Head­quarters in Abuja, have announced the arrest of the masterminds and perpetrators of Nimbo community in Uzo-Uwani Local Government Area of Enugu State on April, 25, 2016. The attack led to the death of several persons and destruction of prop­erty valued at millions of naira The attackers compris­ing a five-member-gang were arrested by op­eratives of the Inspector General of Police (IGP) Intelligence Response Team (IRT). The suspects were found with one...

Economy In Volatile Situation- Buhari

Nigeria’s economy is currently in a volatile situation due to the crash in oil prices, President Muhammadu Buhari has said. The president’s remark came at a time when oil price yesterday rose to nearly $50 a barrel, even though Nigerian will earn less from the boom due to drop in production in recent times.  Buhari spoke yesterday at the Aso Rock Villa in Abuja at a farewell audience with Iranian Ambassador to Nigeria,...

Reps Order Halt Of Refineries Privatization

The House of Representatives Committee on Privatization and Commercialization has directed the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to stop its planned privatization of the nation’s refineries or joint investment ventures with some multinationals. The committee’s chairman, Hon. Ahmed Yerima (APC, Bauchi), who gave the order yesterday in Abuja during an interactive session with the managements of the NNPC and Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) on the planned privatization of three  refineries in the country, said the...

$200 Billion Loot: EFCC Raids Dubai Firm’s Office In Abuja

As part of the ongoing probe of the laundering of over $200billion loot in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) by former political office holders, operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission ( EFCC) yesterday stormed the office of a Dubai property firm, The First Group Company,  in Abuja. The company is also being investigated for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians by luring them to invest in real estate in Dubai. A prominent Nigerian lost about...

Dana Air Pilots Go On Strike, Passengers Stranded

Dana Air pilots have gone on strike in protest of the non-payment of their salaries, grounding the airline’s operations and leaving hundreds of passengers stranded nationwide. “The strike started this morning and passengers that were supposed to travel this morning are stranded,” a source at the airport said. According to the source, the airline had continued to sell tickets to passengers earlier today in the hope that the dispute would be resolved.

Edo Govt Withdraws Letter On Appointment Of Oba Of Benin

The Edo State Government has withdrawn a letter earlier issued on its approval on the appointment of the new Oba of Benin, saying it was issued in error. In a retraction signed by the Secretary to State Government, Prof Julius Ihonvbere, dated May 25, 2016, the government stated: “In deference to the revered age-long tradition and respect for the sensibilities of the people of the great Benin Kingdom, the Government of Edo State hereby withdraws a...

Sheriff, Makarfi Sent Out Of PDP BoT Meeting

The former Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Ali Modu Sheriff and the chairman of the Caretaker committee of the Party, Senator Ahmed Makarfi were excused out of a meeting of the board of trustees of the party which is on going in Abuja. Senator Sheriff walked into the Transcorp Hilton venue of the meeting at about 11:10 am and was followed five minutes later by senator Makarfi who also walked in to the meeting.

NLC Leader Tagged “Ghost-Worker” Gets Sacked By Kogi Govt

The Kogi State government says the state chairman of the Nigerian Labour Congress, Onuh Edoka, is a “ghost worker”, and has fired him. Mr. Edoka was one of about 9000 people sacked following a screening exercise to weed out illegal workers from the 21 local government areas of the state. Mr. Edoka, who serves as head of both the Medical Health Workers Union and the NLC in the state, said he was employed in 1989,...

Value Of Electronic Transactions Hit N48.9tr In Nigeria

Although, it is still plagued by inadequate levels of awareness, poor banking culture, lack of trust and a love for the status quo, the value of e-transactions recorded in 2015 hit N48.93 trillion, up by 11.6 per cent from 2014 in Nigeria. This disclosure was contained in a White Paper report titled “Africa on the Verge (AoV) Convergence Series”, put together by AfricaPractice, a strategy and communications consultancy firm, with offices in Nigeria and abroad. A...

Niger Delta Avengers Blow Up Oil Pipeline Again

Militants suspected to be members of the Niger Delta Avengers have blown up an underground Chevron crude oil trunk line. The trunk line is located along the Seria Creek near Abiteye, a few kilometres away from the company’s multi-billion dollars Tank Farm in Escravos, Warri South West local government area of Delta State. It was gathered that the incident, which occurred midnight, was noticed by workers in the production department when they observed drop...

NAF To Enhance Weapon System Through Collaboration

The Nigerian Air Force (NAF) on Wednesday said it had concluded arrangements to collaborate with the Centre for Space Transport and Propulsion (CSTP) to enhance its weapon delivery capability.   This is contained in a statement signed by its Director of Public Relations and Information, Group Capt. Ayodele Famuyiwa, in Abuja.   The statement said NAF was zealous about optimising indigenous capacity and willing to expand existing frontier of collaboration with research institutions in the country that possessed the potential to enhance its...

Kenyan Army Kills 21 Al-Shabaab Terrorists In Somalia

Kenya's army has killed 21 fighters from the Islamist terrorist group al-Shabaab in neighbouring Somalia, a military spokesman said on Wednesday. Army spokesman Col. David Obonyo said in a statement that the dead include junior al-Shabaab commander Salad Bart, who is believed to have been in charge of the group. According to Obonyo, Kenyan soldiers on Tuesday clashed with al-Shabaab members in the Somali town of Hawina, where the terrorists were mounting an ambush along a major road. ``No Kenyan soldiers were...

Lagos Govt. Inaugurates N457.3m Mosan Okunola Waterworks

The Lagos Water Corporation (LWC) said on Wednesday that it had inaugurated N457.3 million Mosan Okunola mini water works, located at Abesan, Alimosho Local Government Area. This is contained in a statement signed by Mr Oluwaferanmi Akinmeluye, the Controller, Media Affairs, and made available to newsmen in Lagos. According to the statement, the Commissioner for Housing, Mrs Aramide Giwanson, inaugurated the water works on behalf of Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode. ``This mini-waterworks has the capacity to meet the needs of residents of Abesan,...

INEC To Conduct Bye-Elections In Nasarawa, Kwara On May 28

The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) says it has fixed May 28 for the conduct of bye-elections in Nasarawa and Kwara. This is contained in the commission's daily bulletin issued on Wednesday in Abuja. The bye-election according to the bulletin would be conducted into Nasarawa-Toto Federal Constituency of Nasarawa State and Oke-Ero State Constituency of Kwara.   (NAN)

Kaduna Anti-Cattle Rustling Team Recovers 59,515 Animals, Arrests 59 Kidnappers

The special anti cattle rustling team set up by the Kaduna State Government about a year ago has recovered 59, 515 animals in various part of the state, the Coordinator of the team, Yakubu Soja, has said. Soja said the team was under the multi security force, known as Operation Yaki. He said at a press briefing on the one year anniversary of Gov.. Nasiru El-Rufa'i, that all the recovered animals were handed over to their original owners. The coordinator said that...