Connect with us

OPINION

Sanwo-Olu at 54: Celebrating a man on mission for a greater Lagos, By Gboyega Akosile

Published

on

A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something special – Nelson Mandela.

The above expression from one of the greatest ethical and political leaders of all-time aptly describes the man Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the 15th Governor of Lagos State who is today celebrating his natal day.
Truth be told, Governor Sanwo-Olu is an embodiment of a good head, a good heart and of course a literate tongue having been privileged to have experienced the best in terms of education locally and internationally. And the result so far so good has been delivery of democratic dividends and meeting expectations of the teeming population of the State.

Now, some people may argue that it is too early in the day to shower accolades on the Governor but the popular expression that the signs of a beautiful Friday will be noticed from the preceding Thursday clearly exemplifies the actions taken so far by Governor Sanwo-Olu and his amiable and cerebral deputy, Dr Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat since they effectively took charge of the affairs of Centre of Excellence and State of Aquatic Splendor on May 29, 2019.

Like a greyhound after a rabbit, Governor Sanwo-Olu came out of the take off point with some decisive pronouncements and moves that disabused the minds of some doubting Thomases that he is actually prepared and ready for the tasks of administering the most populous State in Nigeria and in fact, a State that has been correctly adjudged as the fifth largest economy in Africa.

I have had the unique privilege of working with Governor Sanwo-Olu at very close range even before he took over the most tasking and challenging job in the State and one thing that is constant is that his passion, zeal and energy for a greater Lagos remain undebatable. I mean people could recall how the Governor vigorously campaigned across the State during the electioneering and the zestfulness on display when he met with the relevant groups and organisations across all the social strata of the State.

The good thing, however, is that Governor Sanwo-Olu has not stopped. In fact, he made it abundantly clear in his inaugural speech, and so far so good, he is walking the talk.

Another critical point which I must not fail to mention is that many who thought that the Governor would be vindictive have been pleasantly surprised as he has shown that nobody in the service of the State would be harassed on the basis of certain interests. Staff can only be reprimanded if they have failed to carry out their duties as professionally expected of them.

The Governor is forward looking and he has carried on with commendable equanimity, focusing on the job at hand rather than looking for who did what during the electioneering.
I have heard him on several occasions, warning that nobody should be hounded or maltreated on the account of working in the immediate past administration.

His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a personification of humanity, a selfless leader and an uncommon Nigerian, who thinks more about the other person’s feelings than of his own. I have witnessed the display of his kind heartedness many times that I can comfortably say that he is a very good man.

For many who rightly belong to the school of thought that talk is cheap and who were not ecstatic about Governor Sanwo-Olu’s brilliant inauguration speech, which by the way he eloquently delivered, the steady implementation since his assumption can be said to be a worthy consolation.

The speech virtually captured all the key areas that needed to be addressed and the direction that the new government is headed.
By the following day, Governor Sanwo-Olu made some moves which clearly showed that he was ready to walk the talk. The first point of call was a meeting with civil servants where he emphatically told them that the government cannot afford to fail Lagosians at this critical point in time.

One striking thing was the fact that the governor was very much aware of the challenges faced by the civil servants and conversely he knew the areas where workers have to improve in terms of positive disposition to work and so on. So, on 30th of May, 2019, he promised to look into their welfare first with the provision of new buses to convey them to work and within three days, that promise was fulfilled. 35 new buses were immediately handed over to the workers to aid their movement from home to work and back home.
Also as I write this piece, all civil servants have received their salary for the month of June. That is the spirit with which Governor Sanwo-Olu is bringing into governance in Lagos.

Governor Sanwo-Olu also signed an executive order to address issues around traffic management, security and the environment after which he proceeded to Apapa for on-the-spot-assessment of the situation there.
The issue of Apapa gridlock and the state of the environment has for long been a national embarrassment and so it was a brilliant move for the Governor to immediately visit the area where he expressed commitment to his promise to truly put the deplorable and harrowing situation in the area in the dustbin of history, working in concert with the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders.
It must be added that just two days ago, Governor Sanwo-Olu was back in Apapa with Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and other senior government officials both from the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government, to further assess the progress of work in the effort to restore complete sanity and order in the area.

Another pleasant move by this government is the two-prong approach to traffic management which is enforcement of traffic laws and fixing of potholes. With regards to potholes, the government has already said that two lines would be released to the public through which residents can just take pictures of bad state of any road within the state and then the rehabilitation gangs would be deployed accordingly.

The Governor has boosted the morale of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials by increasing their monthly allowance by 100 percent with a promise to revamp all their moribund infrastructure as well as procurement of new equipment for better efficiency.

In the area of security, Governor Sanwo-Olu has also been proactive. As a matter of fact, he has met with all the top security chiefs in the State, with a pledge that the security architecture of the State would be overhauled to address contemporary security challenges including cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, pipeline vandalism and indiscriminate driving against traffic, among others.

Just under 30 days, there are many positives to draw from the purposeful and inspiring leadership of Governor Sanwo-Olu and one can only imagine the goodies in the offing for residents and investors as there is already a clear roadmap as captured in the six pillars of his developmental agenda for the State otherwise known as T.H.EM.E.S, which stand for Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Entertainment and Tourism as well as Security and Governance.

Here is wishing my amiable and dynamic boss happy birthday. I wish you sound health and wisdom to deliver on the mission #ForAGreaterLagos.

*Akosile is the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.*

Continue Reading
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

OPINION

Ganduje’s Supreme Court victory and collapse of Kwankwassiyya structure, By Muhammad Garba

Published

on

It was a jubilant jiffy for millions of Kano residents on Monday morning when the news of the avowal of the election of Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje by the wise Justices of the Supreme Court sieved into the ancient commercial city. Though the victory was very much expected, the treacherous flimflam launched by the opposition few days to the Supreme Court judgment almost created tautness and fright in the minds of many residents.
The news of how Kano residents broke into desolate euphoria over the affirmation of Governor Ganduje’s re-election was everywhere. People were exultant and they did not hide their ecstasy. To them, Ganduje’s victory is a victory for the people. It is a foundation for the accomplishment of the vision to make Kano a Mega City. Indeed, it is a victory for the free education of the Kano children, obliteration of poverty, youth and women empowerment, infrastructural development and human development.
Right from the first stage of the legal scrimmage at the Kano state Governorship Election Petition Tribunal led by Justice Halima Shamaki, ardent observers of the tribunal proceedings were already envisaging the consequence of the case even within the court premises. At the close of its sitting which lasted for 174 days, the three-member tribunal, upheld the re-election of Kano state governor, Dr. Abdullahi Umar Ganduje, declaring that his victory in the March 23 supplementary election was lawful and valid.
Analysts and even legal practitioners who affianced in discussions over the tribunal’s translucent proceedings already knew where the plumb would swing. This explained why the verdict of tribunal did not come to most people as a surprise. In the article I wrote instantaneously after the Tribunal verdict entitled, “Kano Guber Tribunal Verdict: A Case Of No Appeal,” I had also advised the PDP and its gubernatorial candidate, Abba Kabir Yusuf to accept the verdict of the Tribunal in good faith because it was crystal clear that they have no case to appeal.
In fact, before I set out for Kaduna to witness the verdict, I was fully convinced that victory would come our way, having witnessed all the tribunal proceedings in Kano as well as the persnickety manner which the chairperson of the Tribunal and her team delivered justice.
However, the PDP did not heed to my advice and rushed to the Court of Appeal in Kaduna, where the court, at its sitting on Friday, November 22, affirmed the verdict of Kano state Governorship Election Tribunal and validated the re-election of Governor Ganduje.
While reviewing the case, the Court held that the PDP and its candidate could not produce direct evidence to substantiate and prove to the tribunal that they were not defeated in the March 23 supplementary election. The Appellate Court, therefore, dismissed the 24 grounds of appeal filed by the PDP and its candidate. Expectedly, in an undivided judgment, the chairman of the Appeal Panel, Justice Tijjani Abubakar, espoused the judgment of the tribunal, averring that Governor Ganduje was validly elected.
At the conclusion of the case, I had again advised the PDP and its gubernatorial candidate, Engr. Abba Kabir Yusuf to resist the crackpot advice of approaching the Supreme Court, knowing full well that they have no case to present.
In a unanimous judgment delivered at the court, on Monday, January 20, the seven-man panel headed by Chief Justice of Nigeria, Justice Tanko Muhammad, dismissed the appeal by candidate of the PDP since the facts presented did not support the appeal, which was predicated on a single ground. The judgement, which was read by Justice Nwali Ngwuta also held that the petitioner failed to substantively prove and provide evidence that there was any irregularity in the election held on March 9 and the supplementary election on March 23, 2019.
Ominously, the Supreme Court verdict confirmed the total downfall of the Kwnakwasiyya structure in Kano politics. Less than 24 hours after the judgment, we have begun to receive emissaries from staunch members of the group who have declared their intention to openly deprecate their membership and join the Next Level government. Fortunately for them, Governor Ganduje has extended a hand of fellowship to them. They are welcome because the primary aim of his administration is to ensure development in the state and unfetter the people from poverty.
This is why we should begin to commend the altruism of Governor Ganduje who has vowed to run an all-inclusive government. The leadership of our great party, the All Progressive Congress (APC) has also promised to welcome anybody who decided to join the Next Level train. There are vacancies in the train of victory and we will be willing to welcome them to join hands with Governor Ganduje to rebuild Kano and give our dear state its seemly status of a Mega-City.
The Ganduje’s administration is built on the canons of democracy and rule of law. We view the opposition as no threats. We welcome constructive criticisms of those who decided to stay on the other side, but it is apposite to note that our resolve in the Next Level government is to take Kano to greater heights.
For the good people of Kano state, they should expect nothing less than good governance built on the principles of prudent management of tax payers’ money, transparency and open door policy. We are, indeed, set to put Kano on the front pew of the most economic vibrant cities in Africa.
The next four years of this administration will surely be characterized with the execution of people-oriented projects and implementation of human development policies. With the prayers and cooperation of the people, we will not fail. The electorate will have no cause to regret giving us their mandate.
Garba is the commissioner, Information, Kano state
Continue Reading

OPINION

Amotekun can be threat to non yoruba? By Abba Dukawa

Published

on

The Minister of Justice and Attorney-General of the Federation, Abubakar Malami,  argued that security “is a matter that is within the exclusive operational competence of the Federal Government of Nigeria. He added that: “No other authority at the state level, whether the executive or legislature has the legal authority over defence.” The argument he made was that military and paramilitary outfits to defend Nigeria and its citizens are determined by the Constitution so “no State Government, whether singly or in a group has the legal right and competence to establish any form of organization or agency for the defence of Nigeria or any of its constituent parts.
As we all knows the  primary responsibility of government, at any level, is the protection of lives and property of the citizen. In carrying out this function, the state employs different layers of measures to ensure effective and efficient policing. It is without doubt that in the past decade particularly, the current policing administration in our dear country had been stretched to its limits and it is obvious that the reality of our domestic security upheaval will demand of us to recalibrate our police systems.
In achieving this noble goal, the police, the armed forces, and also the court of law, have swung into action with a view to protect the rights and liberties of Nigerian citizens and its residents within the country. Individuals’ conducts and behaviours living together and within the Nigerian society have been regulated in order for them to conform to the laid down rules and regulations, even as those violating the laws are punished.
Many writers have different view on the issue that many States  governments states across the country   established  such organazations like  Kaduna State established a security outfit known as the “Kaduna State Vigilance Service” to assist security agencies to tackle criminality. The Sokoto State Government also established a local security outfit called “Yan Banga,” which operates in almost all the villages in the state to track criminals and hand them over to security agencies for prosecution. In Zamfara State,  had established ‘Yan Sakai’ Local Vigilantes. Kano State has established the Hisbah Corps,  in 2003.In Borno State, the Civilian Joint Task Force (CJTF) was created under the last administration called BOYES (Borno Youth Volunteers). They work in collaboration with the military to fight Boko Haram. Also working for the security of the state are local hunters and vigilante groups, which have been around even before insurgency. The other North East States have similar outfits. In Taraba State, the Taraba Marshalls is a local security outfit set up by the state government in 2018 to tackle insecurity and other violent crimes. Rivers State Government’s Neighbourhood Safety Corps Agency. Ebonyi State Government also has the Neighbourhood Watch Group with membership drawn from the 13 local government areas of the state to complement the efforts of security agencies to control crimes and other security challenges in the state.
Since the returns of civilian dispensation in the country, Nigeria has witnessed an increase in the activities of ethnic and regional militia, vigilantes, and other armed groups in the last few years. One of the better-known of these groups is the O’odua People’s Congress (OPC),  in the southwest  which campaigns to protect the interests of the Yoruba ethnic group and seeks autonomy for the Yoruba people. The OPC is a complex organization, which has taken on several different roles as it has adapted to the changing political and security environment in Nigeria.
Therefore federal government shall do something to avert serious insecurity which  Western Nigeria Security Network (WNSN), codenamed Operation Amotekun may cause as the case. Nigerians would not forgotten  OPC has been responsible for numerous human rights abuses and acts of violence, and its members have killed or injured hundreds of unarmed civilians In its  spheres of activity-ethnic militancy and vigilantism- and fighting crimes.
The most widespread killings by the OPC took place in the context of clashes between Yoruba, Hausa’s  and other ethnic groups, which reached a peak during 2000 and 2002 ; however, violence and human rights abuses continued in 2000, 2001 and 2002. Between these years Nigerians have witnessed how OPC  activities have ranged from political agitation for Yoruba autonomy and promotion of Yoruba culture to violent confrontation with members of other ethnic groups resided in the South Western states in the name of  vigilantism and crime-fighting.
How sure are we that Amotekun will not commits the same  of large-scale killings by the OPC in 2003 the  clashes between OPC  and other different ethnic groups especially Hausa living in south west   taking place, and how the southwest governors and the promoters of Amotekun will act toward avert ethnic tensions which may likely arise.  My concern on the formation of Amotekun is not personal but on safe of other different ethnic groups living in the south west. There is likely the members of Amotekun to commit large scale of human right abuse base on ethnicity differences. Finally chairman of the South West Governors Forum, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said there is no going back on the operation of the regional security agency, Amotekun, which they are prepared to pursue to its logical conclusion. Governor Akeredolu emphasised that the governors of the region were committed to improved security provisioning and are particularly keen to address the rising wave of banditry, kidnapping and farmers and herders’ clashes. The stage is therefore set for a major confrontation between the Federal Government and the South West States.
I blame previous administrations governed the country for not doing the needful in making sure that, the Nigerian federation is kept intact by ensuring that, law and order are maintained. It is one of the  important responsibility of the  federal government to  bring  peace and tranquillity in the nation but  Federal Government  for decades not acts to towards  challenging  many States governors in the federation that  have  setting up security agencies  all in the name of support securities agencies in their respective a States.
Dukawa can be reach at abbahydukawa@gmail.com

Continue Reading

OPINION

The implications of proposed U.S. visa restrictions on Nigeria

Published

on

Presidents Buhari and Trump

Should the United States slam a visa restriction on Nigeria as being currently speculated, its attendant consequences will undoubtedly be enormous. Already, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen are facing U.S. travel ban, an action U.S President Donald Trump explained, in 2017, as safeguarding America and its citizens from terrorism.

Aside Nigeria, the coming ban will have Eritrea, Tanzania, Belarus, Sudan, Myanmar, and Kyrgyzstan. According to foreign media reports, the travel ban will only apply to specific targets including government officials and to certain visa types.

In spite of this, such policy against Africa’s most populous country and, ironically, a strategic trading US partner clearly indicts the current administration. Before now, the US had expressed its displeasure with the administration’s poor human rights records and penchant to trample the Rule of Law. Definitely, this informed Nigeria’s designation by the US, recently, as a country promoting religious discrimination. It is noteworthy that the US statement announcing the depiction had cited the killing of members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria’s (Shi’a) and continued incarceration of its leader, Ibraheem El Zakzaky, despite court bail.

Beside being bad optics for Nigeria internationally, the travel ban will equally have telling effects on the country’s precarious economy and flow of Foreign Direct Investment, FDI, from the US. The aftermath of the proposed travel ban, certainly, will impose quite rigorous and exorbitant expenses on visa processing, such that it becomes frustrating to foreign and local investors. Since international trade largely requires that personal contacts be established at some point between trading partners or investors, hardship in securing non-immigrant visa will adversely affect trade negotiations and investment. Combined with the reality of Nigeria being a monolithic economy and consumption-driven, investment and accompanying job creation will take a reverse.

As statistics have shown , U.S and Nigeria are strategic trading partners. In 2018, US goods and services trade with Nigeria was estimated to be $11.3 billion, comprising export goods ($2.7 billion) and import goods ($5.6 billion).

Trade in services for 2018 totaled $3.0 billion, comprising services exports ($2.4 billion) and services imports ($531million).

On humanitarian aid, the US, like other development partners, has been involved in various developmental projects in Nigeria. These include the fight against HIV/AIDS, education, peace and security, health, and military assistance. In the same vein, the United States Agency for International Development, USAID, has splurged $308.9 million in assistance to Nigeria in the recent years, while US Military Security Assistance gulped $133million; Population, Refugees, and Migration, $39.72 million; Democracy, Human Rights, and Governance, $31million; Education, $25million; Law Enforcement, $6.5million; Centre for Disease Control (immunization and Health Protection) $18.6million, e.t.c

Based on this analysis, US travel ban is clearly bad for Nigeria.

It is therefore imperative for the Nigerian government to take proactive measures by launching serious diplomatic interventions, while exploring ways of improving on its counter-terrorism efforts in line with demands of its developing partners.

Continue Reading
Advertisement

Facebook

Advertisement
Advertisement

Trending