The Minister of Power, Works and Housing and former Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, last night, dismissed insinuations that he did not attend President Muhammadu Buhari’s recent visit to Lagos for projects’ inauguration because Governor Akinwunmi Ambode did not extent an invitation to him.
On the contrary, Fashola said he was personally invited by the governor, but he deliberately stayed away because he didn’t think it was right to share Ambode’s day of glory with him as a former governor of the state.
“You know, I don’t tell lies and I would never lie against my successor in office. He personally called to inform me that an invitation letter had been sent to my Lagos home and pleaded that I attend the event.
“Indeed, I gave him my words that I would be there but the truth is that I didn’t think it was right to share his day of glory with him. That was his day of glory for crying out loud and he deserved to make the best of it without anyone sharing that day with him.
“For God’s sake, here is a man who had suffered very seriously bad press and I did not share the bad press with him. So, why should I share such a glorious day with him? This is me; this is my style and this is the kind of example I want to be setting in governance,” he said.
Citing a close example, he recalled that when former US President Barack Obama succeeded in killing the world’s one time renowned terrorist, Osama Bin Laden, it was his predecessor, George Bush he first called but Bush asked him to go ahead and celebrate his day of glory, because it was entirely his.
Fashola who spoke exclusively to THISDAY in a telephone conversation, posited that although his decision to not attend the event was further bolstered by his need to prepare for the Federal Executive Council (FEC) meeting and so, he was fully convinced that attending the project inauguration was not expedient.
He described the debate that his absence at the event had generated as grossly unserious, saying it is only in this part of the world that people celebrate such things otherwise attention should be paid to more serious issues of governance and development.