It is a general saying that “until you realise how easy it is for your mind to be manipulated, you remain the puppet of someone else’s game” and that quote can not be more truer than in Nigeria 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 a 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 a preferred candidate from any of the various 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 showed that approximately one quarter of the total number of registered voters were accredited to vote on February 25, 2023.
Out of over seven million voters on the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) register, only a total of 1,347,152 people were accredited for the election narrowing the contest poll for the top three contenders.
There was an upturn in the usual results trend, where the ruling party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, was miffed out with a slight majority votes by the Labour Party that scored a total of 582,454 votes against APC’s 572,606. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, the historic second-fiddle horse in Lagos elections were ebbed to a record low of 75,750 votes.
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I may not be interested in the analysis of what went down in the election as there is 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 be 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. Lagos residents have come to terms with the status of a city that is constantly under construction. 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 federal government) with a working toll-free emergency line, with chronicles of how it has saved the day in incidences of fire, security, disaster, across the state.
Sanwo-Olu is a new convex curve in Lagos’ trajectory to regional dominance and global relevance. From the very first day, BOS, as the governor in fondly called, has shown what he is made of as a member of a set of first-class governors Lagos has been blessed with since 1999. He swiftly moved in to savage 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.M.E.S. agenda, Sanwo-Olu came ready for the job from day one!
Aside from building on 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.
The vision is huge and targeted at pursuing policies that are inclusive and equitable to all, regardless of tribe, religion or political bias.
Not only that, the plan is necessary to achieve goals of becoming Africa’s model mega city, and also placing 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 as the governor, he had 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, Lagos State, under the APC, provides the best business environment for my business concerns to flourish.
You can then understand my situation when I, Olusola Fajobi, say I refuse to be used to derail such brighter prospects for my business and that of many other hardworking Lagosians like me.
Besides, truncating the present administration in the state will amount to wastage of funds and labour on already approved ongoing projects. A typical Nigerian politician, once elected into office, will pull a plug on ongoing programmes and infrastructural development projects by his predecessor in order to start his own afresh. Do we really have time for such? The answer is no.
Returning Sanwo-Olu as governor should be the most important task of every single Lagosian. 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.
Without belabouring the importance of the outcome of the Ehingbeti Lagos Economic Summit last year to the future of the state, Sanwo-Olu has made a giant stride in all major areas of development that will be too voluminous to list with verifiable and enduring facts.
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He has commenced the construction of a new airport on the Lekki axis after his government obtained approval from the federal government for the construction of the new airport in Lagos, completed the Lagos Blue Line rail project designed to move millions of Lagosians across the state.
Others included 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, commencement of the construction of the 4th Mainland Bridge 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 in defeat, Mr. Governor immediately went to work by saving millions of Nigerians lives, earning the country the fourth position in the list of the countries in the world that handled the virus well. This is a verifiable fact.
While leading from the frontline, Governor Sanwo-Olu, as the incident commander, practically commanded the implementation of a well-articulated stemming plan. His government was the first to swing into action; locked down the state, activated all the state apparatus – media, security, public health, emergency management, etc.
With his years of experience in the private sector, he quickly worked with major players to set up isolation centres amongst other steps. The government within few weeks upgraded facilities to create infectious disease centres, helped with logistical problems of health workers and enforced movement restrictions across the state. He quickly mobilised the equipping of all government buildings, including thousands of Lagos schools with prevention and testing facilities.
If Sanwo-Olu had failed during this dark period in our life as a leader, we may not be here now talking about 2023 election at all.
Keeping in mind that health is wealth, the governor implemented the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme, which costs only N40,000 a year for a family to get 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.
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 Olusola Sanwo-Olu to continue leading and serving Lagos with great achievements.
You should do the same too. Follow person wey know road.
Sola Fajobi is the C.E.O. of Digital Interactive Media Limited, producers of The Next Movie Star Reality TV Show, The Supermom Reality TV Show, Oodua TV, Dope TV, Dormitory 8 Drama Series, Meet The Neighbours, Mama Bomboy, Dear Diary Drama Series and other Popular TV Content Platforms. He is also the C.E.O. of Troy Lounges, Enzymes Communications and Origin 8 Formats Limited. He is the convener of the support group, Professionals in Lagos for Sanwo-Olu 2023.