When the rumour of the death of President Muhammadu Buhari hit town, a lot of Nigerians were surprised and they were concerned that the country was not ready for such an incident at this critical period. However, a lawmaker in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Abiodun Tobun said that this is a distraction. He also speaks on other issues of interest in this interview with OLAJIDE FABAMISE.People are worried that the government is not communicating with them enough on issue of President Buhari’s health. For instance, there was a time it was rumoured that the President had died in London, where he went for vacation, people expected him to have come out to address them at least on video. What is your take on this?
This is just a way of distracting the people. The Presidenttold them, when he was going on vacation, he handed over to his vice, and he informed the National Assembly. If somebody is now spreading a rumour that the president had died, I think it is a waste of time to respond to such an allegation. If the President dies, they cannot keep him perpetually, and if he dies, his vice would continue because he handed over to him before he left for the vacation. So, why all these unnecessary rumour. Everybody goes on leave, why would that of the President become an issue. Do they want him dead, they should consider his family too. I don’t think the presidency should waste time or money to shoot a video to proof that he is still alive. If he dies, would they take over his job, the person that would take over his job is there. Why don’t they wait till the time he said he would return to the country? The government would address the nation if there is any issue. When did the issue of the president become that of the common man on the street.
The government is addressing the people on a regular basis on the state of the nation. Listen to news, you would hear what the government is doing for the masses such as the fight against Boko Haram and all that. You don’t need to wait until the President speaks. He has ministers, Special Advisers, the Vice President and others that are working with him. Government is not President, executive is not about him alone, and we have the executive, legislature and the judiciary.
The President only happens to be the head of the executive, but they have the Executive Council, where they take decisions on national issues. If there is no need for them, it would have been one man show. Nigerians are impatient, but I must commend us that we have not turned the country upside down as a nation. But there are some elements in our midst that are trying to create disharmony.
As Chairman, House Committee on Works and Infrastructure, can you comment on the on-going overhead bridge in Abule Egba area of the state?
Work is going on and they are working above schedule and they would deliver. The project started last year and they are at about 70% completion, they should deliver it this year. By the time it is completed, it would make life easy for the people living around the area. Development doesn’t come without slight discomfort; the people should bear with the government.
Work has not stopped on the project because the government has given them money to continue the project. You can see what is going on in Ajah and it is being handled by Hi-tech, the road project in Epe and Badagry are on-going, the government has appropriated funds for them. So, the people of Lagos should bear with the government.
What of the 181 roads the Governor promised to construct this year across the state and talking about the projects in Abule Egba and other places, what are the machineries for maintenance, For instance, a lot of trailers pass through Abule Egba area, how do you hope to maintain the road?
Yes, it would be done, they have requested for tender from the people, and qualified construction companies have started applying for the contracts and they are expected to complete them this year.
The road that trailers cannot pass through is not a road. The road is constructed in a way that all kinds of vehicles could pass through, but it is in the law that trailers should move at night.
On maintenance, the state government has Public Works Corporation (PWC) that maintains the roads in the state. They are capable of doing it and the contractors know that they are to maintain the project for a minimum of six months before they hand it over to the government.