*Hold unity-of-purpose rally for reconciliation, peace
A civil society group, Concerned And Patriotic Citizens’ (C&PAC) has tasked Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to produce Africa’s “own Dubai” in the state.
The group gave this charge in a peaceful public rally held in Lagos on Tuesday.
In a statement signed by National President, Mr. Jacob Oladayo, the group, however, enjoined Lagosians to be patient and avoid choking the governor with external stress, unfounded curiosity and unproductive criticisms.
Read full text below:
Hello, Great Lagosians!
Let’s give thunderous applauses to ourselves for having come this far and a mouthful thankfulness to God Almighty for our state and country!
Let’s congratulate ourselves for our faith and support of democracy in our country in appreciation of all the goodies we have enjoyed under the various democratic leaderships of our dear state since 1999.
We shall begin by heartily saluting our past State Governors from 1990 to date. From Asiwaju Sen. Ahmed Bola Tinubu to immediate past federal Minister. Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), Chief Akinwunmi Ambode and now, His Excellency, Chief Babajide Sanwo-Olu. You’re truly great men and leaders of our time, who have always rekindled our hopes of a prosperous Lagos state and Nigeria in general.
Lagosians lack accurate words to describe your leadership of our people at different levels. But we must not fail to remind our people and Nigerians that all of you have spent sleepless nights and deprived yourselves of comfort in ways we cannot recount now for our sake. Please, accept our token of appreciation in these simple words of thank you!
C & PAC is out again to talk to you, Lagosians! Its necessary because patience is a virtue; but anxiety is a destructive vice by our reckoning. Is it not our people who say the patient dog eats the most fattest bone? Why are we so much in haste to see Gov. Sanwo-Olu solve all the problems of Lagos state in one day?
Humanly, how is this possible? Sanwo-Olu is barely one month in office. Yet, some of us have become very irrationally worried about his performance in office to levels of shooting distractive arrows and blind tantrums at a Governor who is looking forward to celebrating his first 100 days in office in style by proudly displaying the achievements of his administration.
At this stage, can we think together? Are we planning for Governor Sanwo-Olu to fail or could we say, we are pushing the Governor to fail? What is so difficult in giving a leader the benefit of the doubt for a reasonable time before we descend on him with arrows, clubs, daggers and bile pens?
We honestly think justice and fairness are abused in this instance. Lagos state as we all know is the heartbeat and economic hub of Nigeria. It is the macrocosm of Nigeria and so, very difficult to govern. We are not saying, our people should be placid and allow our leaders behave the way they wish, even when it runs in dissonance with the popular disposition of the masses.
No one would ever advocate for it; not when the rest of Nigerians look unto us as the beacon of standards in everything.
But all we’re saying is that there is every need to be a bit cautious before the anger of 2019 pre-election campaigns, which deeply polarized us along ethnic and religious consume the state further. We shall gain nothing from sustaining such tempers and fireworks of bitter and baseless criticisms.
And it is precisely Gov. Sanwo-Olu’s first obsession at the moment aside other issues. He knows unity, peace and cooperation of the people is crucial to his success or failure; he knows, it can either make or mar his leadership, and so, he is trudging the fields very cautiously.
However, C & PAC has observed that his first steps in less than 30 days are encouraging, very promising and, exciting in the direction of a leader who has focus, an agenda and a destination. We see Gov. Sanwo-Olu turning Lagos into the Dubai of Africa in just a few months, if we mellow on these distractions and psychological distortions on his leadership of the state to allow him concentrate fully.
And we loud this optimistically because we have quietly observed his sound beginning. And to echo that we have seen another state leader in the mould of the likes of Asiwaju Tinubu is tantamount to voicing the obvious.
We have seen that in the first month in office, Gov. Sanwo-Olu is trying to unite the diverse and feuding interests in our state; some of whom are still immersed in indignation over the politics that brought a change of regime in the state. Is the Governor wrong? Shall we continue fighting even after elections at the expense of development and prosperity?
The Governor has taken this reconciliation message before the presence of Almighty God, proclaiming it loud for His intervention. He has been to the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Lekki; the interdenominational Thanksgiving Service in honour of his administration at Deeper Life Bible Church, Gbagada, and so forth, pleading in these words; “If you want me to finish well, members of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) have a great role to play.”
Such posturing has left us with no iota of doubt that our Governor is a man of peace and he is more interested in the peace, unity and development of Lagos state than narrow partisan demarcations. Why won’t us support a leader of his inclination? If we withhold support to him, can our conscience truthfully speak to hearts in justification of it? We cannot all be barren of our sense of fairness at the same time.
What next step has Gov. Sanwo-Olu taken in less than 30 days in office that have expressed his leadership as promising? We all know, Lagos state is the commercial hub of Nigeria, right from pre-colonial times to date. Most Nigerians dread doing business in Lagos because of its chaotically congestive nature and insecurity.
But these are two areas Gov. Sanwo-Olu has channeled his energy to bring succor to both inhabitants and visitors. As we speak to you, the Governor has increased up to 100 percent, the allowances of officials of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to ginger them into greater performance of their duties to ease Lagos of the suffocating traffic mainly caused by some unruly motorists.
We have noticed that this problem is a pain in his neck and he is prepared to ease Lagos of this artificial congregation. He pleaded with a church congregation that; “If you want me to finish well, don’t drive against the traffic: comply and obey the traffic rules. The acting chief judge has told me that he would establish small courts to judge offenders who would serve sentences like coming out of the car and cleaning the gutters.”
And going a stretch further in this direction, Gov. Sanwo-Olu has visited Apapa to personally experience the strangulating traffic gridlock problem in the area. He even went as far as inspecting Apapa’s link to the Lagos-Badagry expressway, all in the calculation of how to ease the traffic congestion caused by Apapa Ports.
So, he has engaged all stakeholders from NPA to LASTMA; visited dumpsites around the vicinity, signed executive orders, and has reeled out the riot act to traffic offenders. At one instance, he personally and physically chased a traffic offender, an apt indication that his administration intends to tackle the problem of artificial congestion of Lagos frontally.
And to walk his talk, Gov. Sanwo-Olu has already finalized discussions with a Chinese construction firm, CCECC to resume rehabilitation work on the Lagos-Badagry Expressway from Maza-Maza to Okokomaiko abandoned in the last four years.
And Sanwo-Olu has engaged heads of security agencies in the state to curb the sad incidents of cultism and kidnapping in Lagos state. He wants to see a state insulated from such dreary security threats to allow everybody operate freely without fear of harassment, molestation or falling victim to allied crimes.
And environment sanitation and proper waste management is another critical area of public concern. The filth and unregulated dumpsites in Lagos state have defaced the face of a mega city, which should ordinarily be adored as the cleanest in Nigeria. We are very conversant with the hazards it poses to public health and hygiene.
Gov. Sanwo-Olu is also looking into this direction. We have reliably gathered that while on a visit to the Olusosun dumpsite, he mulled the idea of reintroducing the proscribed state monthly sanitation exercise, which was held last Saturday of every month in order to enforce environmental cleanliness, which comes with it, initiatives for proper waste management.
Although, some segments of the people kicked against it like, the Human Rights and Empowerment Project (HREP), but public opinion poll on the matter showed, nearly 80 percent of Lagosians want it back.
We are sure the governor is working behind the curtains, talking to stakeholders’ and relevant authorities into an understanding to respond to the popular consensus that would deliver a clean Lagos mega city to all of us.
Let us again repeat the words of pleas from our Governor when he spoke to us in the hallowed presence of God; He said; “If we cannot litter the house of God, we must not litter Lagos. We must be clean in whatever we do, and that is why we came up with zero tolerance for waste management. We have made pronouncement on waste management.”
We once again appeal to everyone of us to give our Governor some reasonable time to work before these assessments. Like he said, if we want to see the transformation of Lagos into Africa’s Dubai after his four years, we got to free him of external stress, unfounded curiosity and unproductive criticisms.
Great people of Lagos, we appreciate you all. But you must remember that if Gov. Sanwo-Olu fails; we have all failed; we have failed Nigeria and we have failed Africa. Let’s covenant today that we must support our Governor to succeed at all cost, by even removing bobby traps on his path anywhere we spot it.
Lagos is a collective state; it is our mini-Nigeria and a treasure we cannot fret away. Thank you all.