By Tunji Bello
Dear Oga Tony,
I don’t dabble into various political duels going on on this platform as everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. But we must learn to separate political hatred or propaganda from facts.
Your response to Gov Sanwoolu’s interview was inaccurate and out of point particularly as relates to Tinubu.
Asiwaju Tinubu designed seven rail lines for Lagos State in 2005 and I was a member of his cabinet as well as a member of the committee that designed it including the present Governor. First was a cabinet team sent to 3 South American countries that came back and we decided through modifications that Lagos needed part of what we saw.
Out of our committee came 7 rail lines out of which Fashola who succeeded him and a member of the team at that time started the Blue line. And Sanwoolu who was also a member of the team started the Red line. The Green line is for the Lekki corridor to Epe and Epe to connect the purple line to Ikorodu.
Ordinarily, in other climes, it is the Federal Government that is supposed to foot that rail responsibility for states. But no kobo has come from FG till today as our State has been bearing the brunt. Tinubu was unable to start the project as Obasanjo seized our Local Governments funds due to more LGS creation for almost two years and we had to provide for them.
Tinubu also started the Lekki-Epe Express way and I was in the negotiating team with the consortium that financed it. A senior Lawyer in this our estate was one of the Lawyers for the consortium. Setting up the toll gate was part of the ways to be able to pay back the funds raised by the consortium.
Just like when they claimed Tinubu owned Oriental Hotel and I laughed. My ministry gave the Hong Kong owner of the Steel Company in Ogba, Ikeja and the famous owner of the former Golden Crown Chinese restaurant since the 1970s the drainage clearance to build that hotel and when they were opening it they labelled the underground restaurant thereafter Tinubu and some have repeatedly said Tinubu owned it despite the owner’s repeated claim.
Tinubu created LASTMA to solve the chaotic traffic situation in Lagos which other states have copied and I was Editor of National Concord then with Kingsley Osadolor as Editor of the Guardian as members of the founding committee that made a recommendation for setting it up in the year 2000.
Tinubu also initiated the BRT and the construction of BRT lanes. I remember when the lanes were ready in April 2007 going to meet Tinubu to let us commission it and he said to me that let us leave it for Fashola to kick start his administration.
*You see, you may not like Asiwaju and may not believe that any good can come from him, but you can not deny his purposeful leadership and neither can you deny his legacy. He is the most tolerant leader and has never looked back on accommodating other ethnic groups in his administration. He is not a perfect man and has his faults as well but you cannot deny him his rightful place in history.
–Bello, a former cabinet member in Tinubu’s administration is the current Commissioner for the Environment in Lagos and wrote the above in response to a post on his estate association WhatsApp group. He gave us permission to publish the piece