By Tunji Light Ariyomo
Does it make sense to have a Lagosian as President and then have Lagos in the opposition? Let’s look at the facts of our history.
1. In 1983, Lagos Light Rail project was cancelled because the ruling federal military government was in opposition to the development agenda of the previous UPN government in Lagos State.
2. In year 2000, Lagos independent power project was frustrated because the PDP as the ruling party in Abuja was in opposition to the development agenda of the AD-led administration in Lagos.
3. From 2004, Lagos’ allocations were seized for years because the PDP-led federal government in Abuja was in opposition to the development agendas of the AD-led Lagos State Government.
For the first time in history, Lagos will be having a Lagosian as President and Commander in Chief. E je ka jogunomi – ceasefire – at least for the next 4 years. Let Lagos that formed the fulcrum of opposition-led efforts to install a progressive coalition government in Abuja also be a beneficiary of that labour.
We want to see a federal-state jointly sponsored 4th and 5th mainland bridges with several in-city train and tram services in Lagos in the next 4 years. We want to see a spatial redesign of the entire Lagos State to give comfort to inhabitants and become the best mega city in Africa and a global tourism destination of choice.
We want to see Lagos excluded from the national grid, ring-fenced as a mega electricity cluster and powered by arrays of private-sector-led independent power projects that are completely outside the menace and wilful limitations that national centralisation of power administration has imposed upon Nigeria.
Lagos population is in excess of 22 million. To be a first world state, Lagos requires a minimum of 20 world class tertiary health facilities (teaching hospitals) properly spatially distributed at a ratio of 1:1,100,000 inhabitants with at least a thousand primary and secondary healthcare facilities or hybrids therefrom with a target physician density of 50:10,000 or less. If Lagos sees this ambition as being too loud in view of the abysmal gap of Nigeria national healthcare, the Lagos government can aim at just half of the above suggestion for a start as a revolutionary intervention in healthcare over the next 4 years leveraging the avowed eagerness of the private sector to invest in healthcare.
The list of the great things we want to see in Lagos State are limitless. But the structure of our federation has guaranteed that those things can only materialize if the federal government concurs with Lagos State.
Gentlemen and ladies, I am a stakeholder in Lagos. Like millions of others, I pay most of my property taxes to Lagos State than to any other state in Nigeria. The prospect of a redeveloped, rebranded and replanned Lagos where the health sector, education sector, security architecture, and social amenities can serve as 21st century inspirations to the black race excites me. We must therefore take advantage and fully exploit the inherent advantages offered by the tenancy of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in Aso Rock in the next 4 years. We must leave no stone unturned to elect Babajide Sanwo-Olu. He is my candidate as
Governor of Lagos State on Saturday. Vote for him. May mercy and favour be the lot of all those who shun divisive politics and envy-inspired hatred to harken to this message.