…Says Lagos too delicate to be left in hands of inexperienced people
Ahead of the Governorship and state House of Assembly elections holding across the country this Saturday, Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, has stated that the incumbent governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has nothing to fear, as Lagosians will speak loudly in his favour at the polls.
This is coming against the backdrop of the ruling party in the state, the All Progressives Congress, APC, losing the Presidential elections held on February 25 to the Labour Party.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is seeking re-election on the platform of the ruling APC, with other front running governorship candidates being Dr AbdulAzeez Olajide Adediran, popularly called Jandor, contesting on the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), platform and Mr Gbadebo Chinedu Rhodes- Vivour, standing on the Labour Party (LP), platform, among other contenders.
Omotoso made this assertion while speaking with select newsmen at a media conference, which took place in his office, urging Lagosians not to entrust the destiny of Lagos to people who cannot handle the pressures or do not have what it takes to take the state to the next level.
He stressed that Lagosians are refined and informed people; educated and discerning people who would vote governor Sanwo-Olu in for a second term. He added that the governor is contesting based on his record, personaliy, performance and achievement, and that as such, he had nothing whatsoever to fear, come Saturday, March 11.
The commissioner, who pointedly declared that ruling Lagos State is not “Moi Moi” bean cake, warned that Lagosians would have themselves to blame if they put the state in the hands of people with no experience.
“If we put the Lagos state in the hands of people with no experience, we will all have ourselves to blame for it.
“Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu is running on his record. All of the people that are running don’t have his record. You should ask them what they have done before. Based on that, you can begin to weigh them and see the person who is best fit for the job. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has done a lot in Lagos State and he deserves a second term.
”In terms of Infrastructure, if you talk about roads, for example, he has done about 270 roads and counting. In terms of education, he has completed about 147,000 education projects in the state. If you talk about health, everybody has seen what he did during the COVID-19 pandemic. How he worked hard to ensure that Lagos didn’t go down with that pandemic, so much so that what Lagos State government did under the leadership of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu now became a global example of how to fight such pandemic.
‘‘I believe that if you look at all of these things, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the most competent person to lead Lagos State to the Promised Land, at this time. Lagos is the pride of Nigeria. It is the smallest state in Nigeria and despite that, it has one of the highest populations of the states in Nigeria,” Omotoso stated.
“Lagos is said to have about 25 million people on a limited space of land surrounded by water. For anyone to adequately provide infrastructure for this large number of people is not an easy task.
“In terms of experience, expertise and performance, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu remains the best person for the job. He is the most experienced and he is the most qualified,” he added.
Speaking further, Omotoso debunked the report that Lagos State deputy governor, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, was attacked at the APC Secretariat sometime ago, describing such as lie from the pit of hell, even as he urged the media to disregard the report.
“The deputy governor was never attacked at any time. The report is a lie from pith of hell. The deputy governor goes to the secretariat all the time, whenever he needs to. It is true that there could be saboteurs in any large organisation. Ours is not an exemption.
“The APC is the largest political party in Lagos State. It is also the largest political party in Nigeria. Wherever you have human beings congregating, there are bound to be people who for one reason or the other, their interests are not properly aligned to that of the organisation. It is nothing to worry about,” the commissioner said.
He added that supporters of the candidacy of the governor for his re-election do not have to panic as he would be massively elected on Saturday, March 11, he assured.
Omotoso who said the insinuation that the Party lost Lagos was not correct but is a reflection of the “beauty of democracy,” assuring that the APC would come out “stronger and better.”
While stating that factors that led to loss of APC’s strongholds such as Alimosho Local Government Area (LGAs) in the presidential election were being taken care of, he said the Party would come out stronger in the Saturday March 11 gubernatorial election.
“There is no need to panic about Mr. Sanwo-Olu,” he assured, speaking of Sanwo-Olu’s performance, such as his stride in the management of the COVID-19 which he said attracted global attention, creating a response template to fight pandemic.
Omotoso lamented the growing tribal coloration introduced into the system and “not the content of their character,” mentioning that it does not speak to the civilised culture of Lagos, while calling on Lagosians to ignore those championing such course.
On the questions over factions in the APC, Omotoso who argued that for every human community with people, there is no way there wouldn’t be aggrieved members leading to friction, said such grievances were not peculiar to the APC and would be resolved.
He argued that “as the biggest party in this State and the biggest in Nigeria,” for APC having such large structure, friction is bound to take place, but not enough case for panicking, stating that such matters were being settled.
On the argument that Town Hall Meetings had been neglected, Omotoso said though pressing issues of statecraft such as the need to fix enormous potholes, which were all over the state as of the time the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu-led Administration kicked off in May 2019, the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, and the need to double-up efforts on pressing demands, thereafter, restricted certain outreaches, yet Sanwo-Olu took engagement forum to some LGAs.
With regards to fears of a repeat of the February 25 presidential elections, he said there was no need to panic, stating, “Lagosians are highly deciding people who understand what the government is doing.”
He stressed that Lagosians love Sanwo-Olu and would vote him, assuring that what happened during the presidential election, was not insurmountable.
He discredited claims that the government is far from the youths, saying the campaign of the alleged #EndSARS killings as ground against the governor is a matter of emotion which Lagosians should not allow to dislodge their logic in making the right decision.
He stated that Sanwo-Olu’s Administration built 10 youth centres, invested in the creative industry with training of about 16,000 youths, internship programme with job opportunities, presently building eight stadia, among others; he said the government has been creating opportunities for youths, arguing that the question of disconnect does not arise.