Gov Sanwo Olu: The Quintessential Governor Of Lagos State
Governance/leadership has remained one of the greatest challenges facing Nigeria as a country. This challenge cuts across different tiers of government and our national life. Having a leader who understands the rudiments of governance has become a thing of thanksgiving in this cline.
As John Quincy Adams puts it “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader." Sanwo Olu is that governor who not only fits into the above but has demonstrated with Churchillian indomitability his quest to bring to bear those innovative ideas required of a leader in the 21st century.
As a governor of one of the most populous mega cities in Africa and the World, Governor Sanwo Olu has faced one of the most serious developmental challenges to contend with as it's always the situation with cities with high population densities. Issues ranging from violent crimes, over population, Traffic congestion, amongst others.
Characteristically, Governor Sanwo Olu has not shied away from confronting these issues headlong, maintaining the center of excellence which the state is known for.
Nigerians will not forget in a hurry the proactive disposition of Gov Sanwo Olu and his government at the onset of the global pandemic, Covid-19. When many naysayers never gave him an opportunity to manage the outbreak with regards to the high population density in the state, when doomsayers predicted all kinds of tragedies for Lagos state, Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu humbly assembled the best hands in the healthcare sector and made sure that those who made those predictions were put to shame.
His handling of the pandemic set the tune for his brother governors from other states to copy his model and today Nigeria can beat its chest to say that the global covid -19 pandemic was contained effectively.
With the recent ranking of Nigeria by World health organization (WHO) as the fourth best country in the World in terms of efforts made in curtailing and containing the harsh effects of covid 19 pandemic, credit must be given to Lagos state Government who played pivotal role in containing the pandemic in the most populous city in Africa.
One cannot but commend the Governor of Lagos state in his management and handling of security in the state. At a time Nigeria is witnessing all manners of violent crimes across the country, Lagos state government has adopted a security approach which has ensured the reduction of crimes to its barest minimum.
Characteristically, all high density populated cities all synonymous with violent crimes but the adequate funding of Lagos State Security Trust Fund (LSSTF) – an autonomous agency that partners with the private sector and individuals to provide vital support to security agencies, Governor Sanwo Olu was able to provide 150 vehicles, four high-capacity troop carriers, 30 patrol cars, and two anti-riot water cannon vehicles to the police and spent well over 3billion naira to achieve this.
You may recall that Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu shunned partisan politics to call for establishment of State police and Fiscal federalism in order for Governors to be truly chief security officers of their states. The current federal structure goes against the Principle of Parity of Authority and Responsibility hence giving rise for Governors to lack authorities to question commissioners of Police and other security heads posted to their states and which most times are arbitrarily deployed from the center to their states to undertake obnoxious tasks.
Tellingly, under his leadership, Lagos State has so far witnessed the birth of various highly commendable infrastructural projects and initiatives.
Currently, His administration has started and completed more than than 51 major infrastructural projects such as the Pent Cinema fly over, ramp and road networks, Lagos-Ogun Boundary roads Phase II, Lekki-Oniru Traffic Circulation Projects, network of roads in Ojokoro, Somolu and Ikoyi, among others.
Mindful that people use inner roads and street roads on a daily basis, His administration embarked on construction and rehabilitation of 301 inner roads in the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) of the state. It also commissioned the Oshodi-Abule Egba BRT lane. At almost completion level is the Eleko junction to Epe concrete pavement road construction. These road projects were executed to bring comfort and succor to the people of Lagos and visitors to the state.
In Nigeria’s history of poverty, economic, and infrastructural decay, most Governors are pre-occupied with primitive acquisition of wealth which most times end up unused but squandered by their offspring but Gov Sanwo Olu understands the place of integrity chose to run the race of delivering dividends of democracy to his people.
Like a lamp, lit and placed on a mountain top and whose light cannot be quenched not even by the detractors, Gov Babajide Sanwo Olu has distinguished himself by all indices of positivity and hence has written his names in the sands of time.
He has transformed Lagos State beyond the imagination of many Lagosians, making Lagos a modern Mega City with a 21st century economy supported by a world class infrastructure and other social amenities.
We enjoin him to keep the fire burning till his last day in the office such that by his time of departure in 2023 from office, Lagos would have become one of the fastest developing megacities in the world.