Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, Majority Leader of the House of Representatives, on Wednesday night during an interview on Channels TV, said he does not know former Governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, personally.
Asked whether he could vouch for Fashola based on their professional and political relationship, he said, “I only know Fashola on a professional level. As a governor and as a member of the same party, we interacted on that level. He cannot say he knows me as a person. I cannot say I know him as a person too. It depends on how deep a personal relationship is.
“Even if you have a personal relationship with someone, you may know him but you may not know him to the fullest extent that you should. Based on my knowledge and my experience with people, it would be foolhardy of me now to vouch for anybody.
“Fashola, by all standards and from what people say, has showcased himself, his potential and what he can do as an administrator. I don’t know whether he is guilty of the charges or not. You can only prove that based on evidence.
“The accusations remain allegations. I am not holding brief for him. For all I know, he may be guilty but as of today, I have not seen any of such.”
It will be recalled that Fashola defended the decision of his government to spend N78.3m on the upgrade of his website, www.tundefashola.com.
The former governor said the breakdown of the transaction was left out, adding that that was the cause of the confusion.
He said, “As far as the website contract is concerned, it was approved by the government’s agency authorised to do so. One of the services was an upgrade quoted for N12.5m but awarded for N12m. There were other services that were new like a handover countdown clock, mobile Apps for Google, for IOS and ipad, for Microsoft and for Research in Motion (Blackberry), which the existing website did not have, as well as the annual maintenance cost for managing the website.
“It was for all these services that the contract was issued for N78m, which the Lagos State Procurement Agency gave no objection to based on the advice of the Ministry of Science and Technology, who are the government’s advisers on ICT matters.”
Fashola had, in his response, said, “When you wrestle with a pig, the pig gets happy and you get dirty.”
The Former Minority Leader, also said he felt betrayed when a former Speaker of the lower legislative chamber, Aminu Tambuwal, supported the present speaker, Yakubu Dogara.
Though, stating afterwards that he has moved on from it and when asked if he and Tambuwal were on talking terms, Gbajabiamila said since the National Assembly leadership election, he has not spoken to Tambuwal.
“When I won the first election, Tambuwal, who is my friend, never called to congratulate me. He never sent a message. And I have not spoken to him since then. You can make whatever meaning from that.
“To sit here and say there is no sense of betrayal will be hypocritical. Of course, there is a sense of betrayal but it’s not something I dwell on. Betrayal seems to be the order of the day in Nigerian politics. So, I felt betrayed. Tambuwal and I are very good friends. He was my closest friend from the North when I joined the House.
“When he contested the speakership, this may sound vainglorious; I, single-handedly, pushed his speakership bid, not to talk of his presidential bid. But he must have reasons for doing what he did.”
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