Lagos State Governor Babatunde Fashola on Friday described the blockade of roads and resultant gridlocks in parts of the state following Thursday’s visit of the wife of President Goodluck Jonathan, Patience, as an infringement on the right of the residents.
He said the residents, whose taxes provided the infrastructure that made Patience to have a smooth ride, had their business activities put on hold while the blockade lasted.
Fashola, at the 2012 retreat for members of the state executive council and permanent secretaries, urged VIPs in the country to consider the consequences of their security measures, especially road blockade, on other Nigerians.
He said, “Lagosians were needlessly inconvenienced yesterday (Thursday). It dawned on me the need for public officers generally to be more sensitive to the people we serve.
“It is particularly worrisome that this is not an elected person. I think we all must check how security agencies use the movement of high officers, especially VIPs, to disrupt citizens and taxpayers, whose money were used to fuel all the vehicles and all the apparatus that we used to block the roads against them.
“It is an issue that calls for greater sensitivity. I understand the need to protect the VIPs, but it must be done in a way that it does not inconvenience anybody.
“It should not get to the level that we close the roads in the state because VIPs want to pass.
“If they let us know earlier, traffic can be managed and citizens here respect their leaders and they will gladly allow them to go.
“I don’t think they deserve to be kept on the road in a standstill for five hours.”
On the state’s economy and budget performance, Fashola said Lagos had recorded 65 per cent performance in the 2012 first quarter budget implementation.
“This is a noticeable improvement on what we had in the corresponding period last year,” Fashola said.
by Sesan Olufowobi