A former Managing Director of Polaris Bank, Tokunbo Abiru, says the defunct Skye Bank could have claimed 8,000 and N1 trillion customers’ funds, if not rescued when in distress.
Abiru, the All Progressives Congress candidate for the October 31 Lagos East Senatorial District bye-election, made the revelation on Friday at a campaign meeting with party stakeholders, community leaders and residents in Ikorodu.
He said the Federal Government took over the bank in view of its precarious financial situation and changed it to Polaris Bank.
According to him: “Before I retired at the Polaris Bank as the Chief Executive Officer, we had stabilised the bank and returned it to path of profitability.
“Skye Bank was rescued and changed to Polaris Bank.
“With the change, and what we were able to do, the bank is now stronger.
“We were able to save no fewer than 8,000 jobs and, by extension, protect the livelihoods of about 40,000 families.
“We kept our four million customers and saved the deposits of about N1 trillion that could have been lost.
“We did our best.
“If elected, I will make the same impact and even do more for the people of the Lagos East Senatorial District.”
The APC standard-bearer said he was made the chief executive officer with a mandate to turn the bank around.
He said with focus, dedication and support of his team, he was able to stabilise Polaris Bank before he retired in August.
Abiru promised that if elected, he would replicate his interventionist strides and bring to bear his over 30 years experience in banking sector in the Senate.
He said: “I want to thank you all, party members, for your support and for choosing me as candidate of the party.
“I thank you, and I assure you that I will deliver, if elected.
“I will bring the competence acquired in the banking sector for about 30 years to serve the people in Senate.”
Abiru said he would continue with the legacies of those who had represented the senatorial district by offering quality representation.
He said his father, Justice Abiru, Senator Anthony Adefuye, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, Senator Olorumbe Mamora, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and the late Senator Bayo Osinowo, did well, promising to do his best to honour their legacies.
Abiru said he would work with other National Assembly members to attract more development to the Lagos East and the state as a whole.
He said securing a special status for Lagos in view of the pressure on the state as a former Federal Capital would be one of his priorities at the Senate.
The standard-bearer also called on residents to come out en masse on October 31 and vote for him and APC for more dividends of democracy in the senatorial district and the state.
Earlier, Chief Kaoli Olusanya, the APC Vice-Chairman, Lagos East, described Abiru as a competent and trusted candidate.
Olusanya urged the party members and residents to vote overwhelmingly for Abiru to ensure his emphatic victory.
He decried the decreasing votes for APC over the years, urging residents to go all out and prove that they were for APC on October 31.
He said: “Our votes have been decreasing, though we have been winning.
“We have to prove this time that the only party in the state is APC.
“The total number of votes for Governor Sanwo-Olu from Ikorodu in 2019 is 45,000, far from the best votes of 88, 000 we got in 2011.
“Ipakodo Community alone can give us 45,000.
“I appeal to you, party members and residents, to give us more this time.
“Prove your massive support for APC and Abiru by delivering at least 100,000 votes on October 31.”
Some of the APC chieftains present included Sanai Agunbiade, Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly; Rep. Jimi Benson (Ikorodu); and Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigeria Diaspora Commission.