"Lagos State DOES NOT deserve special status" - President Goodluck Jonathan

President Goodluck Jonathan on Tuesday, said Lagos State does not deserve a special status anymore than the old Rivers State when it was the country’s economic mainstay.

He made the statement at the public presentation of a book written by legal luminary, Dr. Tunji Braithwaite titled, “The Jurisprudence of Living Oracles” held in Lagos.

According to him, crude oil was exploited in the old Rivers State for the development of Lagos State [as the federal capital territory], and no one asked for a special status for the oil producing state.

“When I was the deputy governor of Bayelsa State, somebody asked my brother, Admiral Porbeni, where do you live? He said he was living in three places; where they get the money, where they share the money and where they spend the money; that is Port-Harcourt, where crude oil is mined(sic), Abuja and Lagos," he said.

“Mr. Lagos governor, we need to work together to develop all parts of the country. Lagos is important to us. No government can ignore Lagos. Between 50 and 52 per cent of the economy is controlled by Lagos, according to the Central Bank of Nigeria. Anything that impacts on Lagos will impact on Nigeria.”

Speaking earlier, the State Governor, Babatunde Fashola reiterated the long-standing advocacy for the restoration of special status, which the old Lagos City used to enjoy in the country’s appropriation law.

“Mr President, you owe us a debt, it is not your debt originally, but it is a depth that some of your illustrious predecessors have not discharged, so as you inherit the benefits, I must respectfully lay the burden on your doorstep," he said.

"As we are talking about laws, you can draft an appropriate law even in the appropriation law to make provision to carry this state along. We do not believe we have to be violent to get what we deserve."