The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has urged motorists across the state not to regard officials of the federal task force who have been deployed in major roads in the state.
The governor said this even as officials of the task force and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority clashed on Monday.
Fashola said the task force officials, who are part of the Subsidy Re-Investment and Empowerment Programme of the Presidency, had no right to control traffic on Lagos roads.
He therefore urged Lagosians to resist them.
The governor said this during the fifth anniversary of Uniformed Voluntary Clubs held at the Ikeja Police College on Tuesday.
He described the task force as an illegal agency set up by the Federal Government few months to the 2015 elections in wanton desperation to win elections.
He said, “The SURE-P task force has no right to manage traffic on Lagos roads. The only agency authorised to manage traffic in Lagos on the federal roads are LASTMA and the Federal Road Safety Corps. Citizens should just resist them and refuse to cooperate with them.”
According to Fashola, money recouped from the removal of subsidy and channelled into SURE-P ought to have been invested on dilapidated federal roads in Lagos especially the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Fashola added that investment in the task force was a negation of the promise made by President Goodluck Jonathan that the subsidy would be used to improve the lives of Nigerians.
He said, “So you see how it has been improving our lives. The money should have been spent on roads; Apapa-Oshodi Expressway is one of them, that is where SURE-P money should have been invested not to dissipate it into political organisation in a very wanton desperation to win elections.
“This is the method that has been tried before, it was tried in 2006 and it did not produce any result. The result it produced was that they were roundly defeated. So, if you go into what does not work, we will not be provoked, we expect that in time, reasons will prevail.”
Also, the state chapter of the All Progressives Congress in a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Joe Igbokwe, said it was unfortunate that the Peoples Democratic Party was toying with the lives of the youth through the SURE-P, which he described as fraudulent.
He said the task force official were only doing the bidding of PDP politicians as they were often seen at the homes of PDP officials, doing chores. He, however, noted that they would fail again “as the former Minister of Works, Adeseye Ogunlewe, failed in 2006.”
However, the task force had said they were not political but were only out to provide employment for jobless youths.
The task force coordinator, Alhaji Abdulrazaq Rafiu, said the officials had the right to be on federal roads and accused the state government of politicising the issue.