The Lagos state Chapter of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) on Wednesday said the admission of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu that the stimulus programme instituted to cushion the effect of the coronavirus pandemic induced lockdown was “sabotaged” has proved right the party.
It would be recalled that the PDP had criticised the stimulus package, saying it was over-hyped.
The ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) however faulted the criticism, accusing the party of playing “irresponsible politics.”
But the PDP spokesman in the state, Mr. Taofiq Gani, in a statement, said having admitted that the stimulus package didn’t get to the people intended, the governor should set up a probe panel to ascertain those who sabotaged the efforts and suspend officials linked to the sabotage.
Gani said: “Our conclusion is arising from the clear, fair and responsible explanation tendered by the Governor himself that the food/reliefs distribution has actually been sabotaged by his officials.
“The admission of the governor is welcome and honourable. It shows he takes responsibility for actions. We are however demanding that the governor should act more honourable by immediately setting up a probe panel to include donors and civil societies. In the meantime, we also expect that the governor should suspend all officials, commissioners, SSA etc linked to this sabotage.”
The Lagos PDP also queried why the APC/LASG would now use 20 LGAS to distribute reliefs but 57 LCDAS/LGAS for taxation and governance.
“The few items distributed are limited to only areas of the 20 LGA secretariats,” the PDP said.
In a reaction, the APC spokesman in Lagos, Hon. Seye Oladejo, described the PDP’s statement as ill-informed, saying the saboteurs the Governor mentioned were no other people than PDP members.
“There will be no prize for guessing who the saboteurs were with the reported arrest of its latest recruit, Babatunde Gbadamosi for irresponsible contravention of the stay at home admonition of the state government.
“He and his party chose a time like this to mock the entire world by celebrating amidst mourning and apprehension,” the APC spokesman said.
The APC reiterated that the Governor had earned plaudits globally for his handling of the COVID-19 crisis in Lagos through provision of infrastructures and stimulus packages for the poor and the vulnerable.
Oladejo added: “The Lagos State Government’s response in terms of the provision of infrastructure, timely social intervention and regular communication with the people has been applauded the world over and recommended as the ideal template.
“The state government, for all avoidance of doubt, didn’t declare a statewide feast. The LASG sought to reach out to the vulnerables and the down-trodden to cushion the effect of the lock-down. The food stimulus is a continuous programme of the state government.
“The various food items were distributed through various community development associations who are no doubt best placed to identify the potential targets. The local government secretariats only served as take-off points.
“The fruitless struggle to play a credible opposition will require more than concocted data and unverifiable figures to discredit the responsible and responsive government in Lagos State.”