Chieftains of the People’s Democratic Party in Lagos State have reacted to the dispute between residents of Magodo Phase 2 Estate area of the state and judgment creditors.
The PDP candidate in the last Lagos-East Senatorial District bye-elections, Babatunde Gbadamosi, posted on his media platform recently that the governor put the cart before the horse in his handling of the disputes between the judgment creditors and the residents of the estate.
In a response to a Lagos State press statement, titled, ‘Lagos State Government Meets With Stakeholders on the Magodo Shangisga Dispute,’ where the state later proposed an amicable solution to the judgment creditors, Gbadamosi said, “This is what should have been done before, instead of needless grandstanding that dragged the office of the Executive Governor into disrepute.”
He, however, praised Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for quick and fair intervention while berating past administrations.
“Kudos to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu for this important first step towards implementing the Supreme Court Judgement and stopping the portrayal of the Lagos State Government of the last 22 years as one that habitually disobeys or circumvents unfavourable Judicial Pronouncements,” he said.
The former publicity secretary of the PDP in the state, Ganiu Taofeeq, said that the Lagos State Government has done quite well in giving support to the victims(residents) of Magodo while engaging the judgment creditors.
In a telephone chat with The PUNCH, Taofeeq expressed concern that the Governor was powerless in his role as the Chief Security Officer before the Chief Superintendent of Police who was sent by the Inspector-General of Police and the Attorney General of the Federation and Minister of Justice to carry out an assignment in a “Getaspo manner”.
“I expected the governor to test his powers as the Chief Security Officer of the state because he was advising the policeman in order to assure the safety of the residents of Magodo,” he said.
For the PDP chieftain, the powerlessness of the governor reflects the overbearing powers of the Presidency.
He said, “The PDP organised a National Conference, which the APC described as a mere gathering of political friends, so they boycotted it.
“However, we discussed far-reaching restructuring at the 2014 National Conference, and if it was implemented, Lagos and other states would have had its own state police. This grave disrespect to the governor of the most resourceful, most cosmopolitan state in the country would not have happened in the first place(sic),” Taofeeq said.
He linked the Magodo situation to “the dictatorial tendencies” of the President, General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), saying, “It is only in Nigeria where a President has all the apparatus of security under his control.
“I also think it is escapist of the President to respond to the Channels Television interview that state governors should transfer powers to the local government when powers that are vested in the President are meant to be devolved to the state governments so that the states can further devolve it to the local governments.”
Taofeeq also noted that Lagos State needs to do more in monitoring and surveying lands in the state, in order to prevent such long-held legal disputes that may cause socioeconomic challenges for both suburban and urban areas that make up the cosmopolitan nature of the state.