The Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje has pledged to remove the Lekki/Epe toll gates if elected as Governor of Lagos State.
Agaje made the commitment on Thursday, February 12, 2015 when he joined a group – Freedom Group – in a peaceful protest tagged “March for Freedom” in Lekki ara of the state, adding that the arrangements behind the toll project was not sustainable and lacked transparency.
In Agbaje’s words: “I am here to show solidarity with you on the issue of the toll plaza for which you are marching today and assure you that when we get into office, these toll gates will come down; I will demolish all of them.
“The public/private partnership, PPP, arrangement behind this project is not transparent. Look at the BRT and Lagos light rail projects, they are collapsing because the PPP arrangements they have on ground are not sustainable.
“The light rail which was supposed to have been ready since 2012, is grounded and this is because of vested interests of a few people. The PPP arrangements are skewed to favour only a few people, so for me, I am in solidarity with you and a vote for us is a vote for freedom, a vote to bring down the toll plazas.”
-Convener of the protest, Gabriel Odu said: “This march is all about freedom, freedom from tolls, freedom from oppression and freedom from god-fatherism.
“We are saying that no more tolls on this road. We want a government that will come in and free us from this and we have seen it in the person of Jimi Agbaje. This is a direct call for freedom for the good people of Lagos.
“The March for Freedom chose the Lekki Toll Plaza as the focal point as it is a symbol of oppressive governance. The toll is nothing short of exploitation of defenceless citizens by those who simply feel they can get away with it.”
A resident who was obviously incensed posited that: “This is a peaceful way of expressing our grievances over the imposition of toll fees on Lagosians.
“What we are saying is that enough is enough. We are tired of being exploited. Even as we speak, they are planning on erecting two more toll gates. This is unfair and oppressive and we are saying enough is enough.”