GOVERNORSHIP candidate of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr Jimi Agbaje, has called on the State House of Assembly and the executive arm of government to bury the hatchet and attend to the 2019 budget to save the state from the socio-economic crisis.
Reports have highlighted palpable tension between the State Assembly and the Ambode-led Executive as both trade blames over which arm was responsible for the delay in presentation and passing of the 2019 budget.
Agbaje made the appeal in a statement issued by his campaign office, the Jimi Agbaje Campaign Organisation (JACO), insisting that the two must put the state first and resolve their issues amicably.
“This state is bigger than any one person and any single interest. We cannot grind the state to a halt because chieftains within the ruling APC cannot see eye to eye.
“They must put their differences aside and move the state forward. This begins with the immediate passing of the budget,” Agbaje said.
“Clearly, Lagos has been on auto-pilot since Governor Akinwunmi Ambode failed to pick the ticket at the All Progressives Congress (APC) primaries,” Agbaje added, lamenting that things as routine as allowances, bonuses and road maintenance had suffered prompt payment with the prevailing apathy spreading to the 2019 budget which could not now be traced.
“Things as routine as allowances, bonuses and road maintenance have suffered. And now, the prevailing apathy has spread to the 2019 budget that has been reported missing somewhere between the Executive at the Alausa Roundhouse and the hallowed chambers of the Legislature,” the PDP governorship candidate said.
According to him, while the executive arm of government, through the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr Olusegun Banjo, had insisted that the document containing the budgetary estimates had been forwarded to the Assembly, the legislators insist they were yet to receive the document for deliberation.
“The unfolding drama between members of the Lagos State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council over 2019 budget has further confirmed my assertion that all is not well within the ruling APC. The bad blood generated through the outcome of the last round party primaries is still visible for all to see and our people are the worse for it,” Agbaje said.
Lamenting the toll the wrangling within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) had taken on the life and wellbeing of the people of the state, Agbaje urged all well-meaning Lagosians to urgently intervene on behalf of the people of the state whom he said were bearing the brunt of the “needless schism.”
“After having drawn the attention of the whole world to the prevailing needless war of attrition between the two arms of government without any of the two combatants sheathing their sword, I am, therefore, compelled to call on well-meaning Lagosians to prevail on the two to see the need to act in the interest of the people who they preside over,” he said.