The minister of power, works and housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has come under severe criticism by the Yoruba Youth Council (YYC) over his comment campaign for President Muhammadu Buhari’s reelection in 2019 as a precondition for power to return to the southwest in 2023.
Fashola had campaigned for Buhari at a special Town Hall Meeting on infrastructure organised recently by the ministry of information and culture and the National Orientation Agency.
Fashola had disclosed that about 67 road projects were ongoing in the south-west region of the country.
He added that the projects included 19 roads in Lagos State, 14 in Oyo State, 12 in Osun State, nine in Ogun and Osun States respectively.
He further stated that besides infrastructure provided by the Buhari-led administration across the country, the Southwest would benefit more politically by voting for Buhari.
The minister who reportedly spoke in Yoruba language and with a proverb said: “Did you know that power is rotating to the Southwest after the completion of Buhari’s tenure if you vote for him in 2019?
“Your child cannot surrender her waist for edifying beads and you will use the beads to decorate another child’s waist.
“A vote for Buhari in 2019 means a return of power to the South West in 2023. I am sure you will vote wisely.”
But the YYC said it is absurd to campaign for the president’s re-election when he has not done well to deserve a second chance.
The group said in a statement signed by its national president, Mr. Eric Oluwole, that Buhari has had no solution to any of the problems confronting Nigeria as a nation.
“Our attention has been drawn to a vague promise by a former Governor of Lagos State and current Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola during the special town hall meeting organised by the ministry of information and culture and the National Orientation Agency recently, advising Yorubas especially the youths to vote for the incumbent president Mr. Muhammad Buhari in the 2019 election so as to enable power shift to the south west in 2023.
“We observe with consternation that Mr. Fashola, who is a beneficiary of the social economic crisis which the ruling elite has plunged the Nigerian youths could start serving as an adviser at this critical period if our nation’s existence.
“Having been a beneficiary of democratic rule since 1999, we will not forget the level of corruption perpetrated by the minister when he was governor of Lagos State as leaked by his predecessor, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on assumption to office.
“Yoruba youths also remember with consternation, the statements credited to Mr. Fashola that Nigeria’s power problems could be fixed in six months; three years of his reign as the minister in charge of power has not solved our perennial power problems.
“We want him and his likes who are feeding Nigerians with propaganda from the seat of power to know that the youths have learnt from history and will strive hard not to repeat the mistakes of the past in our resolve to revamp the economy of Nigeria.
“The same presidency Mr. Fashola is promising Yoruba youth in 2023 is what the current minister of labour and productivity, Chris Ngige promised the South Easterners. Another attempt to perpetrate the ethnic division of the country?
“We want to say expressly that nothing can stop our collective resolve to ensure the restructuring of Nigeria in order to find solutions to myriads of problems facing our country.
“We again call on presidential candidates who are committed to the restructuring agenda to show commitment by signing an agreement document to ensure restructuring of Nigeria within six months of their assumption to office.
“Time has come to protect our future and the youths shall do all we can to decide the fate of the 2019 election without leaving a stone,” said YYC.