The All Progressives Congress governorship candidate in Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has affirmed his physical fitness to contest in the 2019 elections.
Sanwo-Olu, who spoke on Sunrise Daily, a live programme of Channels Television, on Wednesday morning, was responding to claims by incumbent Governor Akinwunmi Ambode and former aspirant for the governorship ticket that the APC candidate had undergone rehabilitation at Gbagada General Hospital.
Ambode had addressed a public gathering on September 30, making the claim. He has since campaigned for Sanwo-Olu’s election come 2019.
The ex-commissioner, however, stated that in politics, people are bound to make unfounded allegations in a bid to gain the upper hand.
He said, “This is me. I’m 53 years old. I’m sure I’m older than all of you (programme anchors).
“I missed my exercise this morning just because I needed to come here. But you know, in all of the things you’ve talked about, people get overly excited. For whatever it is, emotions will rise.
“People will say things that they haven’t corroborated very well. People will say things that they haven’t checked.
“It’s not him (Ambode) that would have gone there to check; someone must have hurriedly said that and just in the bid to catch up, you hold on to anything.”
According to the APC candidate, since his first exit from government office, he ensures that every year, he gives back to the society through his non-governmental organisation.
“In fact, we’re doing something today at Eko Hotel for 5,000 or 6,000 kids. I go round and give to the poor. I’ve been training people and doing a lot in my senatorial district.
“So, I give back to the poor. It’s ensuring that when we have the opportunity, a lot of people need our help and we can do it.
“I go to various hospitals, various orphanages and I just give and give.
“Those were the only times in my life that I ever passed through that hospital that was mentioned. I give to all other hospitals including that hospital. I have never ever been there before. And by the way, my wife is even a medical doctor,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu added that his emergence as APC candidate was as a result of the party’s desire to avert the likelihood of vote-buying among delegates.
He said, “APC took a decision way before the primary started and said it was going to use what they call direct primary.
“Direct primary means that every card carrying member of the APC is going to have a say in who emerges at all of the spheres of positions, be it presidential, governorship, House of Representatives or House of Assembly.
“It’s not the delegates system and we’ve seen the negatives of the delegates system. With the delegates system, you have 3,000 people locked up in a room and they choose the person who is going to be the governor. And they said — as discussed (earlier in the programme) — that is vote buying.
“With 3,000 people, you know who they are. You can physically go to each one of them and say to each one of them, get me on board. And they said, no, it’s going to be direct primaries, meaning that if you have a one or two million card carrying members, you let all of them participate.”
Speaking on his plans for development in the state, Sanwo-Olu recalled how a proposal he made to the government of former President Olusegun Obasanjo was unsuccessful.
The APC candidate said, “When we were in government with Asiwaju (Bola Tinubu) and (during) Obasanjo’s government, we made a proposal to create a Lagos-Ogun urban global city. We wanted to do a Lagos-Ogun city plan and I went to the federal executive cabinet. I did a presentation to them, as young as I was then in 2004 or so, and it was such a novel idea.
“It’s like the typical way you see the kind of New York/New Jersey branding. And we said, ‘Let us all come together, pitch ideas together and let us see the growth of Lagos, get it Ogun State and we can have a normal, seamless growth.’ But it didn’t work. It was not even more of the government in Ogun.
“It was actually the federal (government) because you needed that federal might. You needed that federal might to see it and let it work, and to bring about some approval that could let it work. And that is how development typically is supposed to be. Some of the conversations, we still need to have them.”
He listed the five pillars of his manifesto to include traffic management and transportation, health and environment, education and technology, tourism and entertainment, and making Lagos a 21st century economic destination (infrastructure, housing and ease of doing business).