• Saturday, July 20, 2024
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Governor Sanwo-Olu for second term? Why not!

Lagos clubs, churches, mosques face ‘outright removal’ over  illegal conversion

Long before Governor Nyesom Wike of Rivers State exhibited his iconic audacity, couched with inimitable candour by openly declaring his tacit support for the re-election of the pace-setting, goal-getting and amiable Governor Sanwo-Olu of the Centre of Excellence come 2023, yours truly took a personal interest and decision, as a public affairs analyst and columnist. That was and still remains act to closely identify, highlight and articulate the leadership paradigm of the man who would take over the baton of governance from the then Governor AkinwunmiAmbode.

That began even before he got into office, with my opinion essay titled: ‘Lagos 2019: Sanwo-Olu’s Winning Edge’ as published by the ‘Daily Sun’ specifically on Thursday 7th March 2019. That was two days before the two-horse governorship race between him, as the flag-bearer of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party( PDP)which he eventually won.

Between then and now, one is immensely gladdened by the fascinating fact that Sanwo-Olu has not disappointed me, or millions of the good people of Lagos state. Next came another opinion essay titled: ‘The tasks before Sanwo-Olu’ ( published on June 16, 2019) soon after he took over the reins of office. Good enough, he literally hit the ground running by ’signing the executive order on the querulous issues of waste management and the seemingly intractable transport system with its nerve-grating gridlock’. His visit to the Alausa Secretariat to mingle with and motivate the workers was most inspiring as he had been one of them and would need their cooperation to succeed.

One’s special request then was that he should fulfil his THEMES Agenda, hinged on the strong pillars of Transportation, Health, Environment, Education, Security and Technology to drive his vision of ‘’making Lagos a 21st Century economy.”

It is, therefore, gratifying that over the past three years one’s appraisal of his performance received an affirmation when March 6, 2022, the prestigious Silverbird Man of the Year Award went to no other personality than the people-oriented Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos state.

For the year 2021, Governor Sanwo-Olu won it for “Transforming Lagos into a huge construction site through infrastructural renewal”. A sectorial reflection would suffice as stated below:

Education

My article titled: ‘Advancing Sanwo-Olu’s vision on education published on August 4,2019had a thematic focus on the importance of the then-proposed increase in budgetary allocation on education. That was from a paltry 12.07 % to 18%. Others include the proposed introduction of 300 fully equipped and functional labs in secondary schools to complement the then 12 existing ones. There was the promised creation of ICT hubs across all the LCDAs as well as the training and re-training of teachers.

Another essay titled ‘As Gov. Sanwo-Olu promotes academic excellence’ was published on 17th January 2021, praising his efforts to make Lagos a technologically-powered 21st-century economic hub on the African continent. Offering scholarships to students with the best results as conducted by WAEC for the GCE/OL was mentioned with praise.

Agriculture

On agriculture, the article titled: ‘’As Lagos Empowers Youth through Agriculture’ (November 10, 2019) focused on the state government’s partnership with BATN Foundation to organize the annual Farm Fair. Other partnerships with the Bank of Agriculture, Stanbic IBTC, Standard Chartered Bank and NYSC were similarly brought to the fore.

Subsequently, I wrote the essay: ‘Appraising the Lagos State Agricultural and Food Systems Roadmap(2021—2025) published on April 25, 2021.

Read also: Jandor: I will put interest of Lagosians first in decision making

Battle AgainstCOVID-19 and Health Matters

On 20th May 2020, yours truly came up with the opinion essay titled: ‘Lagos State’s Engaging Battle against Coronavirus’ that was published by several newspapers and online portals including YES International Magazine. Emphasis was placed on the government’s timely response soon after the Italian national was identified as the first incident victim.

The sustained exchange of information between Lagos and Ogun states as well as the visit to the containment facility at Infectious Disease Hospital(IDH), Yaba is worthy of note. In addition, the government promptly ‘deployed the instruments of mass public enlightenment on the causes, symptoms and preventive measures to the good people of Lagos state.

He acted with the desired dispatch by making himself the Chief Incident Commander for the countermeasures against CVOVID-19. Collaborative efforts between state health workers, and federal counterpart infectious disease professionals from the international agencies on health matters to ensure that results were achieved.

“If Sanwo-Olu is not doing well, even if he belongs to my party, I won’t come…. If you are not in my party and you are doing well, you will see me. I will not regret to say I am in support of you (Sanwo-Olu).”

-Gov. NyesomWike of Rivers State (at the National Women’s Conference organised by the Committee of Wives of Lagos State Officials (COWLSO)).

Insecurity

‘Tackling Security Challenge in Lagos State’ published on May 3, 2021, stated the importance of “securing the good people of Lagos state from the furious fangs of the anarchists will definitely take grits, guts and a firm grip on the socio-economic and political spectrum of the state.”

Also emphasized were the banning of the ubiquitous okadas from the major highways, the introduction of the First and Last Mile (FLAM) buses, that of Cowry Travel Cards, the deployment of CCTV cameras, curbing the menace of street urchins, collaboration with Nigerian Navy and NIMASA to secure the waterways.

Transportation

Another achievement as recently announced is that the 37km Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT) Red Line is due to open on schedule in the first quarter of 2023, with the construction of the line in Nigeria’s largest city now in the final phase attracted commendations from within and outside Lagos state.

The project is being implemented by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) and the line will have the capacity for more than 500,000 passengers a day. The first phase of the standard gauge line will run from Agbado to Oyingbo with eight stations and will reduce travel times by two hours. A planned second phase will extend the line to Iddo, adding another three stations.

Technology

In my essay titled: ‘Lagos State: The game changer in tech start-up businesses published on April 10, 2022the governor made this statement at the launch of Mainone/MDXI new Data Centre: “Lagos remains in the tech global market and in the map of the global space as a destination of choice where investors, tech experts see as a place to be… It is the heartbeat and commercial nerve-centre of the country, therefore, we will continue to support investors and create an enabling environment for their businesses to flourish”. That is visionary leadership in action.

Entertainment and Tourism

The state government’s recent celebration of the UN World Tourism Day after the support for the Ayo Animashaun-led ‘The Headies, 2022’ which was the 15th edition of Nigerian music awards in Atlanta, Georgia, United States on September 4, 2022showed that Lagos state has keyed into the largely untapped potentials of the music and tourism industry.

According to the world-renowned, veteran music producer, Kenny Ogungbe, the Lagos State Government’s intervention is a “powerful turning point” for the industry. He noted and rightly so that the development could potentially leap many local talents to the world stage.

All said as Jim Rohn rightly noted: “A good objective of leadership is to help those who are doing poorly to do well and to help those who are doing well to do even better.”

It means, therefore, that Gov. Wike’s recent support for his second term bid falls in tandem with both the Silverbird Award and my candid appraisal through the write-ups as a concerned resident of Lagos state. And why not?