For a member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, who represents Alimosho Constituency 1, Prince Bisi Yusuf, the INEC Chairman, Professor Attahiru Jega should have resigned his appointment over the matter.
Prince Yusuf, who is also the Chairman, House Committee on Transportation, Commerce and Industry advised that Nigerians should jealously guide their democracy. He also speaks on transportation issue in the state in this interview with Oladipupo Awojobi.
People are sometimes stranded in the Bus Stop as there would be no vehicle to convey passengers, what is the collaboration between the state government and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) on transportation in Lagos?
You need to commend the Lagos State Government through the transport ministry because everyday, transportation is being improved upon in the state, you cannot talk about transportation without good roads, for instance, we are constructing roads in Ikorodu area, by the time it is completed, people of the area would be enjoying. Many roads are undergoing a lot of transformation, and by the time they are completed, people would enjoy. Even, you have to give commendation to members of the NURTW, in the past, you see them on the roads with canes fighting motorists, now they are being trained. Also, most of the government vehicles are being run in collaboration with the private sector. The people that have money have invested, it is a good business and again, what the Lagos State Government is looking at is maintenance, they would establish workshops to maintain the buses, the mechanics would be there.
Are they adding more vehicles to the fleet?
That is what I am saying; I cannot disclose that because the budget is still under consideration.
There was a time we heard that the time of operation of commercial vehicles would be reduced not considering those who work late hours, what do you say to this?
I don’t think that one is right, it is not the policy of the Lagos State Government, it is a misinterpretation of the whole thing. I met with the state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa recently and he did not tell me anything of such. I beg you, if you hear anything, go to the authority and engage in investigative journalism to come out with the fact. When you hear such a thing, see the Commissioner, he is a friend of the press. But, I don’t think they can reduce the closing time of commercial vehicles to 8pm, when you consider the condition of Lagos, definitely it cannot work. That is not what the government means.
They have just held an election in Anambra State, what do you see to the future of elections in Nigeria?
It is the more you look, the less you see, the issue is funny, but it is serious, that a whole Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), with all the resources committed to it, could not conduct election in only one state. The number of workers of INEC that worked on the election is even more than the total number of people that came out to vote. INEC could not organize the election because they have vested interest, they are an appendix of government in power. I said it recently that it is an inconclusive election and that the election did not even take place at all. It is a stage-managed election. If the Chairman of INEC, Professor Attahiru Jega could come out to admit that they compromise on the election, then why would you declare result? I have never heard of a supplementary election, is it a supplementary budget. I gave an analogy of the way the Chairman of INEC talked; he said there was compromise on the election. It is just like somebody coming to my house to put poison in my borehole, and you now say ‘Prince Bisi Yusuf, I put poison in your well, now you can start drinking the water,’ poison is poison, it has not other name. INEC cannot claim that it is only these places that are affected by these criminal malpractices that are guilty of the offence. Jega said that they have arrested his own official, definitely, the election should be cancelled. It portrays that in year 2015, Nigerians should be very vigilant. Another thing is that, the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in the election, his mother, brothers, and immediate family members could not find their names on the list and the PDP is now sending congratulatory messages to the winner of the election, it is a shame, it means they have a target and their target is the All Progressive Congress (APC). They want to demystify APC and they cannot do that, people are wiser and see, Jega said that he has no power to cancel the election, what is he trying to say.
What is the way forward, he said that it is only the court that can cancel the election?
If he has no power to cancel the election, he has power to clean his name and how can he do that. He can say that because of what happened in Anambra State, he is resigning as the Chairman of the commission. He might not be the one, but when he is surrounded by unclean people, he would be affected one way or the other. It is dangerous to continue in this manner, as far as I am concerned, there was no election in the state, it is a charade.
So, what is your advice to the political class as we move towards election year and how would you rate our democracy so far?
We should intensify the enlightenment of our people, I give kudos to the women in Anambra State, about 5,000 of them protested against the election. People should be enlightened, we should be the one to guard our own election, if it is just one man, one vote, there is no way PDP would come to power again. What have they done to justify their existence in power, is it darkness, bad roads or how many people have died along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and I will tell you that you can see our leaders in APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, General Muhammadu Buhari (rtd) and the rest, see the way they are going all over the place, it is not because of their own selfish interest, but they want to ensure that Nigeria remains Nigeria. Again, you can see the criminality of the ruling power, when they put him under house arrest even when he had the accreditation of the party to supervise election there, are they not turning to undemocratic tendency, ours is just to cry as much as possible that Nigerians take their destiny in their hands. They should not toy with the lives of the people, if you are not performing, you would be shown the way out, not by violence, but by ballot papers. In a situation where you cripple a local government that is so dominant by an opposition party and election materials did not get there on time, there shouldn’t be a supplementary election but total cancellation.
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