By Gboyega Akosile
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 June, 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.
We did not approve poster with MC Oluomo’s photo – UNILAG
The University of Lagos, has said it did not approve the banner which had the Caretaker Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers in Lagos State, Musiliu Akinsanya, aka MC Oluomo, as one of the invited guests for a programme on the campus.
The university management, in a statement on Friday, September 20th dismissed the reactions trailing the invitation on the social media as mere propaganda. UNILAG had been attacked on social media on Thursday for inviting the transport union leader to the campus.
On Twitter, in particular, many had wondered why MC Oluomo was honoured with an invitation when a former presidential candidate, Omoyele Sowore, was barred from addressing students when he was invited for a similar gathering a few weeks earlier.
The UNILAG Principal Assistant Registrar, Communication Unit, Mrs Taiwo Oloyede, confirmed that the event was organised by students in the Geography Department of the school and that it held on Tuesday.
She said, “The management of the University of Lagos hereby notifies parents, guardians and other stakeholders of the university that it is aware of the event to which the Lagos State Caretaker Chairman of the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Musiliu Akinsanya, was allegedly invited.
“The event was a colloquium on ‘Transport Efficiency: Employing Lagos Terrain Alternatives.’ organised by the National Association of Geography Students (NAGS) on Tuesday, September 17, 2019. “Relevant stakeholders in the transport sector invited to the event were: Arc. Abiodun Dabiri, MD, Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA); Engr. Ibrahim Alhassan, Chairman, Nigerian Railway Corporation; Dr. Olusegun Spencer, Director, Amalgamated Mega-City Transport; Mr. Oluwadamilola Emmanuel, MD, Lagos Waterways Authority; Dr. Adewale Sanni, Station Manager, Lufthansa and Dr. Charles Asenime, LASU School of Transport, PG Coordinator.
“Although Alhaji Musiliu Akinsanya (MC Oluomo) was one of those to be invited, which informed the draft banner with his picture, currently trending on social media; the approved banner did not have Alhaji Akinsanya as an invited guest, neither did he attend the event.
“For the record, events are organised on campus to expose students to current trends in the academia and industries. During such events, experts and relevant stakeholders with considerable knowledge and experience on the theme of such activities are carefully selected and invited to come and share their thoughts with our students. The goal is to produce students that are locally relevant and globally competitive. Therefore, the general public is enjoined to disregard any propaganda making the rounds on social media about the propriety of inviting a particular guest or not.”
Lagos State governor gives N20,000 each to 315 returnees from South Africa
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Wednesday, September 18th gave N20,000 to each of the second batch of 315 Nigerians evacuated from South Africa.
The fresh batch of returnees arrived a week after another 187 Nigerians fleeing xenophobia came back from South Africa. The joyous returnees arrived at the Cargo Wing of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, Lagos at about 7.21p.m aboard an Air Peace B777 aircraft with registration number 5N-BWI.
The flight, which originated from the OR Tambo International Airport, Johannesburg was received by Mrs Abike Dabiri-Erewa, Chairman, Nigerians in Diaspora Commission and Air Peace Chairman, Allen Onyema. Also on ground was Jermaine Sanwo-Olu, Senior Special Assistant to the Lagos State Governor on Diaspora.
Presenting the token on behalf of Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Jermaine Sanwo-Olu said that the money was a palliative for the returnees saying that the returnees from Lagos State would be transferred to the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), where they would be trained on skill acquisition.
Abike Dabiri-Erewa also told newsmen that the returnees would be profiled according to their states and local governments of origin to complement the federal government’s effort in reintegrating them. She said apart from giving the returnees stipends to get back to their respective states, there was also a medical team on ground to provide assistance to those with medical conditions.
Armed robbery suspects and Cops killer arrested in Lagos
A team of detectives led by the Divisional Police Officer Igando, CSP Taiwo Kasumu, arrested three notorious armed robbery suspects on September 14th.
A statement released by the spokesperson of the police command, Bala Elkana, says the armed robbery gang terrorizes the Igando/Egan residential neighborhood mostly at night time. They arrived the neighborhood on three motorcycles with intent to rob along Ikotun-Igando road but the attempt was foiled by the police.
Bala says one of the suspects, Oseni Waheed, 32, was arrested at the scene with one locally made pistol while the rest escaped. He led detectives to Aribisala street in Egan where three of his fleeing accomplices were arrested.
Bala says the suspects were also on the wanted list of the State CID Yaba for series of robberies and murders including the murder of a Policeman under Amukoko Division during one of their robbery operations.
He added that investigation is ongoing and the suspects will be charged to Court.
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