- Ex-Gov launches 3 books without dignitaries
Former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola, practically became a political orphan yesterday as all the All Progressives Congress, APC leaders at both the national and state levels shunned the launch of three books written in his honour.
Besides the APC leaders, the two deputy governors and all the commissioners who served in his two-term eight-year administration also refused to turn up for the event.
Even his successor, Akinwunmi Ambode was also absent while Fashola’s political godfather and APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, only sent a representative.
In fact, it was a ceremony without dignitaries as even serving APC governors and those who served alongside Fashola from the South-West were equally absent.
The development was a far contrast to the honour and treatment the APC leadership and former and serving governors of the party accorded former Rivers State Governor, Rotimi Amaechi at a similar event in Lagos a few weeks ago.
The ill-treatment of Fashola by the party has fuelled speculations that there is deep rift between Fashola and Tinubu.
Since the former governor was rumoured to be picked by President Muhammadu Buhari for the office of the Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, there has been mounting criticisms against him, especially his alleged poor performance in office.
The latest of the attacks on Fashola was the alleged fraudulent upgrade of his personal website with N78million.
While the state government claimed that it paid the amount to upgrade the website, the contractor alleged that he received a paltry N10million for the job.
Amidst this, some activists have written a petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, where they listed the series of financial offences the former governor committed while in office. All of these are seen as attempts to stop Buhari from considering Fashola for any office in his administration.
The two former deputy governors who shunned the launch of the books were Sarah Sosan and Joke Orelope-Adefulire.
APC sources said the absence of the party leaders at the event further testified to the hidden crisis in the party.
The books titled: “In Bold Print”, “The Lagos Blowdown” and “The Great Leap”, were authored by Fashola’s media aide, Mr. Hakeem Bello and Mr. Dapo Adeniyi.
Tinubu sent Prof. Tunde Samuel to represent him at the ceremony.
When Amaechi was hosted in Lagos, Tinubu, Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun State, Governors Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Nasir el-Rufai (Kaduna), Samuel Lalong (Plateau), Ambode (Lagos), APC National Chairman, Chief John Odigie-Oyegun, his predecessor, Chief Bisi Akande, former Ekiti State Governor, Kayode Fayemi were among the dignitaries in attendance.