A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has called on the Lagos State Government to prove that the son of an All Progressives Congress leader, Seyi Tinubu, does not own or control the Lekki tollgate.
George called on the Lagos State Government to do this by honouring Freedom of Information requests and revealing the terms of agreement between the Lekki Concession Company and the state government.
The PDP chieftain said this in a statement on Friday titled, “We Must Withdraw from the Brink”.
He said the state government must address allegations that Tinubu’s son and his former Chief of Staff, Sunday Dare, who is now the Minister of Youth and Sports Development, control the tollgate.
The PDP chieftain recalled that the state government had changed the terms of the concession years ago and paid off the LCC.
He, therefore, wondered why tolls were still being collected from Lagosians.
George said, “We are demanding that the Lagos State Government through the Freedom of Information Act publishes the names of those who are managing the Toll Gates.
“We do remember however that there was a buy-back several years ago returning the control and ownership of the Admiralty Tollgate to the Lagos State Government. The Lekki-Ikoyi Tollgate was built from scratch with taxpayers money.
“How then can anyone/company inexplicably make a legal claim to the Lekki toll gates? Again, what is the relationship between Seyi Tinubu and Lekki Concession Company?
“Equally, what is the relationship between Sunday Dare and the Lekki Concession Company? We all know that Sunday Dare until he became Minister last year was Bola Tinubu’s Man Friday. There are too many untidy, dirty, stinking intimations here. That’s why we demand that the details of the tollgate ownership should be presented to the public immediately.”
The PDP chieftain argued that since the tollgate was the epicentre of the #EndSARS protests where unarmed demonstrators were shot, the state government should demolish it and erect a monument in its stead.
He said there was nowhere in the world where a single stretch of road would have two toll plazas as is the case along the Lekki-Epe Expressway.
“George added, “In fact how much is Lagos State earning from these two tollgates per day, per month, and annually? It is alleged that an estimated N400m is collected on both tollgates everyday. If we are wrong, let them bring out their books and tell us how this humongous money is being spent.
“I have gone to this length to illustrate what could go wrong when there is a brazen interloper and a destructive tin-pot despot who has handcuffed the government of our state.
“This overbloated character is obsessed with the interests of the privileged few to the detriment of the majority of our citizens.”
George urged the Federal Government to tackle the tendencies towards nepotism and prejudicial preferences that are basically injurious to national unity.
He argued that the seemingly intractable clashes between herdsmen and farmers across the nation which are now more pronounced in the South-West can only be stopped with the outright banning of open grazing.
The PDP chieftain said the open grazing in forests, in the farms and even in the cities is wrong, archaic, deleterious to the economy itself.
He added, “The corralling and the ranching of cows are the model in Argentina, Brazil and all other beef-producing nations of the world.
“This is the time that President Muhammadu Buhari demonstrates a rallying unifying leadership to bring all our people together.
“Surely, this is not the time for ethnic or sectarian jingoism. This is the time for healing. This is the time to mend the broken places and rectify the pervasive wrongs.”
The PUNCH learnt that Dare had earlier in the week denied owning a stake in the Lagos tollgates while Tinubu’s son admitted to only controlling the advert display boards at the toll plaza.