…WHY HE DESERVES RE-ELECTION
By Dayo Asaju
The incumbent Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has proven cynics wrong with his monumental and unprecedented achievements as the head honcho of the State reputed as Nigeria’s commercial and business hub since his election on May 29, 2019.
Sanwo-Olu has been able to change the face of the state, albeit in a silent way, since he took over power as the Governor of the highly metropolitan state.
As another governorship election holds on Saturday March 18, 2023, it is better to put things in the right perspectives so that the whole world can know why Sanwo-Olu should be voted into office for a second term.
With just about four years on the seat, Sanwo-Olu has been able to come up with people-oriented programmes that cut across all spheres of life.
Our Governor has shown himself to be a peace-loving, focused, visionary, pragmatic and dependable leader.
In less than one year into his tenure, the world was faced with the dreaded COVID-19 pandemic and later in the same year, the EndSARS agitation took the entire nation like a storm with Lagos as the most hit.
In these two instances, Sanwo-Olu was on top of the game.
While COVID-19 lasted, Sanwo-Olu ensured that everything humanly possible was done to prevent its spread.
Isolation centers were built around the state, while affected citizens were adequately taken care of and the medical personnel were also motivated to do what they were expected to do.
Lagos would later become a reference point in the prevention of the pandemic and that has also helped in changing the face of healthcare in the center of excellence. Thanks to the ingenuity of the people’s Governor.
Sanwo-Olu saved Lagos from COVID-19 same way former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola fought and defeated Ebola Virus.
When the EndSARS came, Sanwo-Olu not only fraternized with the youths, he associated with the protest that followed before the whole event was overtaken by hoodlums that would later set the state on fire destroying lives and properties on a large scale.
Sanwo-Olu actually received the 5-of-5 demands of the youths and delivered the same to President Muhammadu Buhari.
He was the first and arguably the only governor to identify with the youths and the masses during the protest, even at that, some people falsely believed that Sanwo-Olu and the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) sponsored the protest.
The alleged shootings in Lekki Toll Gate on October 20, 2020 pitched the state government against some residents of the state, especially the youths.
Lagos would later suffer losses through large-scale destruction of government infrastructure, looting and destruction of private businesses.
Tens of BRT busses were burnt, while a popular television station was set on fire by protesters. The monumental and historical Igbosere Court in Lagos Island was also looted and set on fire.
However, Governor Sanwo-Olu was able to go through the storm and rebuild the looted and burnt structures.
The incident is perhaps unprecedented in the state, especially as it came in a year that the world, and indeed the state, was coming out of COVID-19 pandemic with all the attendant costs.
Despite the monumental losses, Governor Sanwo-Olu was still able to set up a panel of inquiry.
With this, many victims were able to tell their stories and they were adequately compensated by the state government.
It must be noted that the compensations were for offences committed by the federal police and hoodlums.
While Sanwo-Olu allowed free flow of ideas, he had no enemies, he accommodated his known critics and adversaries like Ebun Adegboruwa, Rinu and Co in the Endsars Panel, while Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour’s leader, Peter Oni ran to the court for an injunction to hinder the panel in Anambra.
What many people have probably forgotten is that it has always been in the plans of former president Olusegun Obasanjo and Chief Bode George to take over Lagos. They want to reap from where they did not sow.
It will be recalled that Nigerian President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu fought several battles with the then government of Obasanjo, while he was the president and Tinubu was Lagos State governor between 1999 and 2007.
Tinubu stood his ground and he was able to stand toe to toe, and man to man to OBJ, when he fraudulently took over the other South West states.
Obasanjo was disgraced in Lagos, while Chief Bode George later went to jail over the way he mismanaged funds as the Chairman of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA)
There is no doubt that Sanwo-Olu deserves a second term. He is one man that believes so much in pragmatism, no wonder he has been able to complete all the uncompleted projects of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the state and the ones started by former governor Babatunde Raji Fashola.
These include the Pen Cinema flyover, Oshodi Motor Terminus, several housing projects across the state amongst others.
The newly commissioned light rail project in the state, started by former governor Bola Tinubu and the Imota Rice Project in Ikorodu, which was newly commissioned by President Muhammadu Buhari are landmark projects in the state.
Sanwo-Olu has also created more work through the agencies of the state than any other government in the past 20 years.
Some of the agencies are LAWMA, LASTMA, KAI, LASEMA, LASAA, civil service and several others.
He has improved security in the state and his government has provided a good atmosphere for private organisations to operate without any form of hindrance.
It is obvious that the Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Dr. AbdulAzeez Olajide Adediran aka Jandor, is an opportunist, while that of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour is a non starter and both of them can never be alternatives to an all conquering and never tired worker like Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu is highly cerebral, intelligent, bold, hardworking and reliable. He has never been found wanting when occasion demands and his leadership style is what a state like Lagos needs at this material time.
Sanwo-Olu in this election is up against all the people who see nothing wrong in driving against traffic in Lagos, these people not only defend them, they empathise with them when punished.
He is contesting against the people, who opposed Okada (motorcycle) ban on the Highway, they claim falsely that Sanwo-Olu is taking food from there table
Sanwo-Olu’s crime is that he is against people driving on BRT lane no matter their status, so, they do not want him back as governor.
They are also perfecting their shenanigans by flying ethnic kite, claiming that the APC-led government does not love the south Easterners, but that LP, with a “Chinedu” on the ballot will serve their interest.
All the achievements of Sanwo-Olu are what people should consider as the Governorship and States Houses of Assembly Elections take place across the country on Saturday March 18, 2023.
We shall overcome
Sanwo-Olu lekan si.
*Dayo Asaju is a journalist and member of the APC Presidential Campaign Council, Media And Publicity Directorate