Governorship candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State Jimi Agbaje has replied the National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who mocked him for adopting the ‘freedom’ slogan for his 2019 aspiration.
“Pharaoh, you must let our people go,” Agbaje said, sequel to reports that quoted Tinubu as saying, on Monday, that the PDP politician should go and take up apprenticeship as a vulcaniser or tailor if he wanted freedom.
Tinubu had taken a swipe at Agbaje for saying he wants to free Lagos.
Agbaje had said he would free the state from Alphabeta Consulting, a company, which he claims receives a percentage of every dime Lagos earns in taxes and revenues.
In his reaction, on Monday, Tinubu, at the APC stakeholders’ meeting in Ikeja, said: “Those who said they wanted freedom should go and learn tailoring and vulcanising and we will do freedom for them later. He is in the contest for the third time. He will fail again.”
Tinubu said Lagos must deliver, at least, three million votes for the APC during the 2019 polls.
Regardless, Agbaje, in a statement by his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina, yesterday, said: “Apparently, the APC leader has lost touch with reality. Otherwise, he would know that, like the children of Israel, Lagosians are groaning under the taskmaster that Tinubu and his cronies have turned themselves into in this state that should rate as Nigeria’s foremost.” Recalling that the biblical Pharaoh had finally conceded liberty to the Israelites only after several vicious plagues, Agbaje said; “Lagosians would be liberated after the people have delivered an electoral disgrace to APC in 2019.
He also said the slogan mirrored the same spirit that moved Nelson Mandela to declare his long walk to freedom in an Apartheid South Africa.
Agbaje said: “We identify with our vulcanisers, tailors and all craftsmen who have the joy of duly-earned freedom after their apprenticeship. But, it is apparent that, unlike them, those who have gotten used to filthy lucre and the dividends of corruption cannot savour the joy that comes with the legitimate sweat and labour of hardworking artisans.”
He said the state must be free from the era of nepotism and corruption that saw a private firm maintaining a stranglehold on the state’s funds, contrary to world best practice.
According to him, the Freedom theme was not a coinage that he and his team plucked from the air, but, it had come from gauging the mood of Lagos and realising that the citizens nurtured a deep hunger to be liberated from the severe vicissitudes and subhuman conditions inflicted on them by the ruling clique since 1999.
Naming Tinubu as the head of a vested interest that had turned Lagos into a private enterprise, the PDP candidate blamed the ruling APC for the state’s dismal global rating in housing, security and liveability.