The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Lagos State Chapter on Sunday alleged that Governor Babajide Sanwo- Olu withdrew the sum of N470m to sponsor chieftains of the All Progressives Congress (APC) to the ongoing African Cup of Nations in Egypt.
The party in a statement signed by Gani Taofik, its Publicity Secretary also called on the Lagos State House of Assembly to probe the incident, adding that the trip by the governor is a clear case of misplaced priority.
However, in a swift response, the governor in a statement by Gboyega Akosile, the Deputy Chief Press Secretary denied the allegation saying the trip was sponsored by the Federal Government which nominated as part of a five-man delegation to attend the event.
“The federal government actually sponsored the trip. Governor Sanwo-Olu is on the delegation of the federal government. The federal government usually sends a delegation to this kind of event to encourage and cheer up the team. About five of them were nominated and the governor’s name was included. He went on a national assignment and did not pay any sum to attend the event”.
“It is outrageous for the PDP to claim the governor sponsored APC chieftains to the Nations Cup? Did he also sponsor the Speaker of the House of Representatives and the governor of the Central Bank of Nigeria ( CBN) who are also there?” Akosile asked.
Accusing the governor of being insensitive to the plight of Lagosians, the PDP said while it is not against Sanwo-Olu’s visit to Egypt to cheer up the Super Eagles, spending N470m on the trip is outrageous and could have been used to carry out a lot of infrastructural projects in the state.
It said expected Sanwo- Olu to pay condolence visits to families of Lagosians who are victims of disasters which was as a result of the state’s government’s neglect and lackadaisical attitude.
“ We expect Mr. Governor to pay visits to the innocent persons who are now victims of obvious government neglect and lackadaisical attitude. The trip to Egypt for AFCON is prodigal, misappropriation and show of insensitivity to Lagosians at this time that the state witnessed disasters which include boat mishap, flooding, building collapses, fuel pipeline explosions which have led to many deaths and loss of property”.
“Whilst we are not condemning the gesture of the governor to go watch AFCON and support the Super Eagles, we are indeed disappointed and shocked that a whooping sum of N470m could be committed to the said trip”.
“ Whereas the state presently has been left unattended to by the combined neglect of the governor to: constitute the state cabinet and boards; commence repairs of potholes on roads; visit the victims of recent disasters in the hospitals and in fact to undertake their medical bills; visit the sites of such monumental disasters; visit the homes of the dead innocent victims of the disasters to condole and console”.
“The gesture by the governor in faraway Egypt is therefore lousy and reflects the governor as disillusioned, misunderstanding the priorities in governance. He should return home immediately to do the needful. This state is presently held down by his style of governance” the party said.