Romanus Okoye; with online reports
Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, has said the Land Use Charge (LUC) controversy, currently creating ripples across Lagos State, is not new.
Osinbajo stated this at the 10th Bola Tinubu Colloquium in Lagos, yesterday.
The vice president, who served as commissioner of Justice throughout Tinubu’s eight year tenure, disclosed how the then governor got angry during a discussion on the LUC.
“I recall that there was a time when the issue of the land use charge led to an argument at the guest house of the Lagos state government.
“I was there, alongside Lai Mohammed, Dele Alake, Yemi Cardoso and some other people. The argument was so tough. Some were against the introduction of the land use charge, some were for it.
“We were all arguing. At a point, the governor got angry and asked: ‘Are you the ones they voted into power?’ Later, he stormed out of the room but we did not leave,” Osinbajo said.
He said after a moment, Tinubu walked back into the room and asked: “Are you people still here?
“When Asiwaju walked back into the room, he came back with more facts and figures. My own thought is that when he left, he went to get more facts for the argument.”
Osinbajo described Tinubu as a great leader who invests in people.
President Muhammadu Buhari chaired the colloquium which had over 11 governors in attendance, including senators, ministers, captains of industry and traditional rulers.
Meanwhile, lawyers and members of the civil society defied the police as they took to the streets to protest against the LUC, yesterday.
Although the police ordered them to shelve the protest, they ignored the order and protested in various markets in Lagos.
The protest was led by the the Ikeja branch of the Nigerian Bar Association (NBA).
Other organisations that participated in the protest, included the Trade Union Congress (TUC) and Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR). They urged the people of Lagos state not to pay the LUC.
The protest started from the busy Tejuosho market, down to Ojuelegba, Ayilara and Itire Road, Agege market and Pen Cinema roundabout, also in Agege.
NBA Ikeja branch Chairman, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, described the LUC as a ‘toxic tax’ designed to impoverished the people because they want to create a mega-city.
Ogunlana said those in government in Lagos are not friends of the people and pointed out that “they have forgotten that the same people they are trying to kill voted them into office.
“When they were asking for our vote, they promised us change, they promised cheap houses, cheap transportation. But, today, they are sucking our blood.
“Lagosians, don’t be deceived, shine your eyes, LUC would lead to inflation, increase in rent, increase in cost of transportation, increase in cost of food.
“This is why we are encouraging people not to pay LUC. It must not be allowed to stay,” he said.
Ogunlana described yesterday’s protest as continuation of the sensitisation of the people and that “members of the Bar will not rest until the will of the people is done.”