Lagos needs a new direction – that’s the general consensus of many residents of the state who have seen the city deteriorate into being ranked as one of the three worst cities to live in the world.
It’s not just about the fact that Nigeria is hard, it’s mostly about the nonchalance of the political elite who have held the city to ransom with very little to show for it.
Although the economy of the state hasn’t totally gone to the dust yet, which is why so many people call this place home, the city has fallen short of every index of development that the status quo can no longer continue.
For all the possibilities out there, there are only three obvious choices that Lagosians have before them in the governorship election of 2019, which holds tomorrow.
Among these three options are Babajide Sanwo-Olu of All Progressive Congress (APC) who is adjudged to have been handpicked by political stalwart, Bola Tinubu to replace Akinwunmi Ambode who was once anointed to steer the affairs of the state, but was surprisingly booted out after his first tenure.
Sanwo-Olu has every tendency of becoming a pushover who will pander to the interest of his godfathers for fear of being ostracized like Ambode. This will hinder him from making drastic changes that are needed to move the state forward.
To be fair, Sanwo-Olu has made it clear many times that he’s going to be a man of his own, assuring everyone that cares to listen that he will not take orders from anyone. Ambode tried to do the same (with no significant impact), and his one ‘good’ turn never deserved another term.
The second option is Babatunde Gbadamosi of Action Democratic Party (ADP) whose emergence as a contending force in the gubernatorial poll is largely due to his outstanding performance in the Lagos governorship debate where he gave a compelling solution to some of the problems in the state. But at the end of the discussion, the reality remains that he lacks the political base and the encumbrance to face the fierce powers of the ruling class in Lagos.
Save the best for the last. And no one else has a better chance of moving Lagos into a new direction than Jimi Agbaje of the People’s Democratic Party, PDP. If not for nothing else, but for his pragmatism. He’s not entangled by the ideologies of his party, rather he’s a man that is determined to make a name for himself and leave a legacy in the state.
Most people have argued about how great things are in Lagos, but it’s either they’re not paying attention or they’re in denial.
As it stands right now, education is dead in Lagos. Perhaps that is the greatest failing of the ruling party which has been in power for the past 20 years. There are no functional public primary and secondary schools in the state. Even state-owned tertiary institutions are in a coma – just take a look at what Lagos State University has become.
Healthcare in the state is nothing to write home about. If not for LUTH which is a federal hospital, there would have been no medical facility for millions of people in the city. LASUTH doesn’t have the capacity to do anything substantial. Primary healthcare centres are almost nonexistent in many parts of the state.
When it comes to infrastructure, the amount of urban decay in Lagos is becoming shameful. Despite the plush estates that are popping up every day in the highbrows of the state, majority of the city has turned into a giant slum with terrible roads and excruciating traffic.
Beyond that, the ease of doing business in the state is persistently becoming negative. Unemployment and the rate of poverty in Lagos have gone up to extreme levels and crime is on the rise.
One might argue that at least Lagos is doing better than most states in Nigeria, and that might be true for now. But if something drastic is not done to remedy the situation at this stage, then the damage that will be done by the nonchalance of the ruling party will ruin the state beyond repair.
Between Sanwo-Olu, Gbadamosi and Jimi Agbaje, man-to-man, no one else has more willpower and resolve to create a new reality for the state than Jimi Agbaje, and that’s why he should win Lagos tomorrow.
Perhaps his victory will send a wake-up call to the ruling party to look inward and make changes to their policies and ideologies in order to favour the struggling masses in the state.
Moreover, it will give the people a chance to experience something different and maybe better.
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