A former Governor of Lagos State and the current Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has clarified issues relating to the citizenship of the president-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
In a one-on-one television interview with Channels TV, Fashola reacted to various questions on ranging from ethnic profiling to the person of his former principal whom he served as a Chief of Staff.
Fashola’s Reaction on the Ethnic Profiling in Lagos State During the 2023 Elections
When the anchor of Sunday Politics Seun Okinbaloye sought his opinion on how worried or disappointed he had been in the state he had governed for 8 years experiencing discrimination on certain persons tagged as aliens or non indigenes hence not allowed to vote, Fashola reacted saying:
…the elections that I love to see are elections that are carnivals and festival of ideas, debates and our colours.
He further detailed that some of these traits were seen in some primaries election across some political parties at the last election and more of these are needed where politicians will be able to engage on their deliverables citing valid reasons why they should be elected.
Fashola then cited how he had to reference the president-elect on what he had done and how many states had even done or copied such; for an instance, about 14 states were said to have copied how the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) works and about 10 also modeled the office of the public defender, 15 copying the Lagos State Signage Agency (LASAA) and so he argued that if states are copying these type of ideas from Lagos State why not give Tinubu the opportunity to run at the centre for all to see how far he can go?
On the matter of how the reports on the elections went, Fashola noted that since he wasn’t in those spaces, he annoy therefore comment fully though there where some colours and forms of festivity during the whole process.
In his words, Fashola said:
I felt we are too joined at the hip to allow disagreement over elections to fester beyond elections day. There are too many places where we are connected. I tell people for instance that if we are talking ethnic issues, my first cousin is Louis Ganiyu Okafor and I have another cousin Shola Okiki, God bless her soul so which one of them do I dislike? …some of the rhetorics went in the wrong way and I think everybody should wear the trouser of adults in the room now and bring everybody back and I think that is already taking place.
See clip of the interview below from Channels TV:
Q: What are your comments on reported cases of ethnic profiling in Lagos during the 2023 elections?
— Channels Television (@channelstv) April 16, 2023
Fashola’s Reaction to Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s Dual Citizenship Outcry
In the early hours of Sunday, pictures of a passport accredited to Bola Tinubu had surfaced online indicating he has dual citizenship which the laws of Nigeria doesn’t permit for anyone to run for the position of a president.
The anchor, Seun, wondered why here had been so many controversies about the man Bola Ahmed Tinubu from his age to education, background and name then the dual citizenship that popped up as triggered by David Hundeyin, an investigative journalist.
Fashola however claimed that all these controversies made the man interesting. He then claimed with the victory of the president-elect, Nigerians have claimed that all those issues does not matter.
For him, every time it got more difficult for Tinubu, that’s usually his path to success. There has not been an easy way or deal for him.
Recalling what transpired when Tinubu was first to be governor in 1999, the Lagos State Governor Emeritus said:
For 3 days after the primaries, we couldn’t find the state party chairman, the returning officer and Lagos was in suspense for 3 days until they found the returning officer.
Fashola however believe there may be a divine connection between Tinubu’s ordeals which could be the turning point for Nigeria as well.
Governance is not about sainthood, it is about efficiency, performance, it is about delivery.
Whether Tinubu has a dual citizenship, Fashola could not clarify but rather confirm that he (Tinubu) carries the Nigerian passport, he further said
…I know he resident abroad when he went on exile, I don’t know if they gave him American Citizenship. What does that have to do with the results of the elections?
The last time I checked, I think the Nigerian constitution allows you to have dual citizenship, isn’t it?
On this, Seun then refer him to check the constitution for an informed decision in respect of being a president before Fashola went to argue that it was rather for the place of birth but relaxed his conversation to check and confirm his claims.
I doubt that the Nigerian constitution makes you dis-entitled if you have dual citizenship because the constitution allows you to have dual citizenship.
See how Fashola spoke on the matter on Channels TV in the video below:
Q: Does Tinubu have dual citizenship?
— Channels Television (@channelstv) April 16, 2023
Fashola on APC Loss in Lagos State at the Presidential Elections
He felt while the APC were working more on the states where he tagged GOTV – Get Out The Votes, they were blindsided in Lagos (caught unaware) and the PDP that had enjoyed some form of patronage in the state suddenly disappeared.
On the position of the Labour Party criticizing the scores from the polls, Fashola objected to making comments on such since it already at the Tribunal for review but their voters didn’t turn out during the Gubernatorial elections hence the loss.