By Sola Fajobi
It is a general saying that “Until you realize how easy it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else’s game”, and nothing can be truer than that quote in the light of Nigeria’s situation at the moment.
The 2023 general election was meant to usher in a new era of renewed hope in a nation that is reputed to be the giant of Africa, but has successfully awaken an evil gnome of manipulation and bigotry in our youths like never before despite our alleged collective exposure.
On March 11, Lagosians will be polling to either re-elect the sitting governor or replace him with another aspirant from one of the other political parties gunning for the Alausa seat at the centre of excellence.
Lagos is a state with the highest number of voters in the South Western Nigeria. It boasts of vibrant and comparatively more educated electorates, representing a wide array of the nation’s ethnic groups. Statistics from the recently concluded presidential election shows that approximately 1/4 of the total number of registered voters were accredited to vote on February 25, 2023.
There was an upset in the usual results trend, where the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, was overtaken with a slight majority votes by the Labour Party that polled a total of 582,454 votes against APC’s 572,606. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the historic second -fiddle horse in Lagos elections was edged to a record low of 75,750 votes.
I may not be interested in the analysis of what went down in the election as there is an urgent task at hand; the requisite re-election of the incumbent governor of Lagos State, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu.
For those whose sense of judgement have not been coloured by mischief makers, it is an easy affirmation that Lagos State is working by every standard. Looking around you, there is always a testament to that fact. A litmus test of the fact that Lagos State is working is the reality of a working integrated public services system: Lagos remains the ONLY state in Nigeria (roll in the FG) with a working toll-free emergency line, with chronicles of how it has saved the day in incidences of fire, security, disaster and many more across the state.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a new convex curve in Lagos’ trajectory to regional dominance and global relevance. From the very first day, BOS has shown what he is made of as a member of a set of first-class governors that Lagos has been blessed with since 1999. He swiftly moved in to salvage the lot of Lagosians with respect to the perilous time his administration advent into. From leading the entire nation to successfully manage the COVID-19 pandemic, to rolling out his brilliant T.H.E.E.M.E.S. agenda, Sanwoolu came ready for the job from day one!
Aside from working out the long-standing vision of previous administrations, anchored on the objective of making Lagos a mega city of the 21st century-kind, five months ago, Sanwo-olu’s government launched a 30 year development plan for Nigeria’s commercial capital, which is to be implemented between 2022 and 2052. It is imperative to note that the plan is necessary to achieve the goals of becoming Africa’s model mega city, while also positioning Lagos as a global, economic and financial hub that is safe, secure, functional and productive.
Sanwo-Olu’s personality is cut from character traits uncommon with most Nigerian politicians, and ever since his assumption of office as the governor, he has rolled up his sleeves and got down into the trenches by ensuring that the state continues to move forward positively.
I’m a serial entrepreneur, and having traveled across the nation and outside its shores, I can declare without equivocation that Lagos State, under the APC, provides the best business environment for my business concerns to flourish. You can then understand my situation when I, Adesola Fajobi, say that I refuse to be used to derail such brighter prospects for my business and that of many other hardworking Lagosians like me.
Returning Sanwo-Olu as governor should be the most important task of every single Lagosian in this coking election. I refuse to be brainwashed to go against all the years of great works put into developing Lagos to make it the 5th largest economy in Africa.
The Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit has provided a platform for the articulation of Lagos economic and developmental agenda and progress, which Sanwo-Olu continually showcases with incontrovertible developmental strides.
He has commenced the construction of a new airport on the Lekki axis of the state after his government obtained approval from the federal government for the construction of the new airport in Lagos, and also completed the Lagos Blue Line rail project designed to move millions of Lagosians across the state.
Other laudable projects include the completion of the Pen Cinema flyover in Agege, the Opebi-Ojota link bridge, which is nearing completion, the largest rice mill in Africa, the Lekki Deep Sea port, upgrading of four higher institutions to universities and so many more.
Why change a winning and working formula? Why allow a newbie to turn a functioning society into a leadership testing ground?
Sanwo-Olu is sellable, tested and trusted. Why would I allow myself to be used as an agent of destruction to give greedy politicians tickets to return Lagos to ground zero? Mr. Governor always provides robust responses, demonstrating a deep understanding of the economy, governance, the people’s expectations and desires. This is something I wouldn’t want to stop benefiting from.
If his administration would be evaluated only by the COVID-19 pandemic, there is no gainsaying that Sanwo-Olu performed excellently. Instead of throwing up his hands in defeat, Mr. Governor became the incident commander, and immediately went to work as he locked down the state, activated all the state apparatus – media, security, public health, emergency management, etc., thereby saving millions of Nigerians lives. He duly earned the country the fourth position in the list of the countries in the world that handled the pandemic well. This is a verifiable fact.
With his years of experience in the private sector, he quickly worked with major players to set up isolation centres, infectious diseases centres, amongst other steps. It goes without saying that if Sanwo-Olu had failed as a leader during this dark period in our life, we may not be here now talking about 2023 election at all. Today under Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme costs only N40,000 a year for a family to enjoy from primary to tertiary health care.
I refuse to be cowered by a mob that sees nothing good in Lagos, and are hell bent on fostering other candidates with no track records of performance. Governance is not a matter for experimentation.
I’m a father, a businessman, an entrepreneur, a brother and so much more like you; living in Lagos and flourishing under the present APC-led government. Come March 11, 2023, I have chosen to cast my vote for Babajide Sanwo-Olu to continue leading and serving Lagos with great achievements.
You should do the same too. Follow person wey know road.
*Fajobi writes from Ikeja, Lagos State, Nigeria