By NBF News
Click for Full Image Size

Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) gubernatorial flag bearer for Lagos State, Chief Ade Dosumu has bosted that he would defeat Governor, Babatunde Fashola of Action Congress of Nigeria(ACN) in the April elections.

Dosumu in an interview with Daily Sun at his office in Apapa recently claimed that his strength is in the unity of his party in the state recently.

Speaking on his strategies to defeat an incumbent governor, he stated that his plans are to sensitise the grassroots who know that the government of Fashola is elitists and not for the poor masses.

He stated that a recent study conducted showed that 70 per cent of the population in the state live in the hinterland such as Egbeda, Ifako-Ijaiye, Badagry among others. 'So you look at the population of those who live in those areas, compare it to the level of attention given to those areas by the state government, it is not commensurate. We hear so much about money disbursed and infrastructure commissioned, but they do not get to the hinterlands. We only hear of development in the elite areas of the state.'

He said the party intends to address the issues of development from the perspective of need analysis. He said if voted in, he would be looking at the areas that are densely-populated, because government by his own training is for the majority, arguing that many Nigerians do not have the needed orientation for running government which is different from running business. In business you can afford to pitch your tent with the minority, if they provide the needed satisfaction and profit.

But in governance, it is not about profit but about the ability of the government to come up with policies and programme that will impact positively on the welfare of the majority. He spoke to CHRISTOPHER ORJI

Good governance
Government can only assess itself on whether it has succeeded by looking at how many citizens have benefitted from the policies and programmes of the government. It is not the cause of the minority and it is not the cause of the few elites. The elites are in the position to take good care of themselves in terms of social amenities. But the minority are those that are at the receiving end of failed policies and programmes of the state government. I believe that it is time for the government to begin to address the needs of the general populace.

That is why people like us who have the orientation for running a government cannot sit back and watch the government of the state being run badly. I studied public administration up to doctorate level. This gave me the opportunity to understand the functions of the government to the people. I believe that we need to get to a position in this country where the needs of the general public must count.

That is why I took it upon myself to contest for the gubernatorial post of the state. I have worked within the party to ensure that Nigerians reason along with me in my point of view. I will bring new perspectives into governance where by the fundamental principle of government which is embedded in the philosophy of social contract will matter a lot. The government is all about social contract between the people and the government.

However, a lot of Nigerians get into office without having a good understanding of what social contract is all about. Before we implement any rule we must consult the citizens to seek for their opinion. That is when the government is in action. And that is what is lacking in Lagos. Some people go into government with a profit and loss perspective. That is every fund invested on a project must bring back profit.

Recently, the state government through LSDPC invested huge amount of money on the construction of 4 bed room flats in the state. And each flat is offered for sale at the sum of N51 million. The state government does not have any business constructing houses that cannot be accessed by common citizens. Anyone who has that sum of money can go ahead to erect his own building anywhere in the state. These are issues that should be considered to rate the performance of the present administration.

If government agencies are selling houses at that exorbitant rate, how much do they want the private sector to sell such flat? These are issues that are of great importance to me because of my background. I have been involved in international studies of comparative policies of Nigeria and South Africa. And I have seen how public policy was used to drive development in that country. Public policy addresses the needs of the general public. I have looked at all these, and I have discovered that the country is behind.

It is not good enough for learned people like me to sit back and watch the entire scenario. After my youth service, I had over four friends who had nowhere to sleep. I gave them shelter, but today, they have their own houses. That is what Lagos was known for in the past. And we will ensure that Lagos regain its past glory.

A match to the governor
I do not like to join issues with anybody. My antecedents are there. I have worked for 24 years in the public service. I started from level 8 and rose to level 17. And after that I became the director- general of the apex maritime regulatory agency in Nigeria. I had the responsibility to regulate the entire Nigerian territorial water, which is one third of Nigeria. I do not know what Fashola did before he became the governor of Lagos state. But all I want to say is that for the man who said I am not a match for Fashola, I believe the judgment is left for the public to decide. My profile is in the public domain.

The advantage of PDP
Well, I am not particularly talking about party. I am talking about what I am ready to offer. It is not about the PDP. If I become the governor of Lagos on the platform of PDP, Lagosians should expect better deal from the federal level because we will use our position to ensure that the federal government gives more attention to infrastructure in the state, because we are in the same party.

We will sit with the president and make case for the state. I remember that during Obasanjo administration, he introduced mega city authority to be like Niger Delta Development Commission(NDDC). It was supposed to be addressing federal government infrastructure. However, till today, the project is still lying fallow. The chairman of the authority is Professor Akin Mabogunje. I feel that if I become the governor of Lagos State, a lot more will come to Lagos State in terms of development, infrastructure and others. our focus will be to run government that will deliver social goods.

There is no party that is free from crisis. Crisis is part of politics. The objective behind the formation of any political party is to gain access to power. People who make up a political party are of different interest. And definitely there must be conflicting interest. So you must expect that there must be internal crisis. The only thing that must be considered is to ensure that the overall interest of the party supersedes their interest. There is no party that does not have crisis.

Looking at the huge number of PDP members and the number of seat they occupy in Nigeria, they must be praised. The PDP in Lagos is now like one family. What we have in Lagos State now is a new PDP. Two elections were conducted recently and we won. We will sweep all the available seats in the upcoming election. The PDP in Lagos state is like one big family.

All those aspirants who contested against me at the PDP primaries are still working for the party despite their losts. None of them has decamped. One of them recently donated his website to my campaign. The spirit in the party is collective interest and aspiration of every member is towards a successful campaign and victory at the 2011 polls. If I did not win, that would not have taken me out of the party. I would have continued to work for the party in other for it to achieve it's set goal.

I do not have any fear. Looking at the on-going voters registration exercise. I commend the Federal Government for their effort in the last few months in ensuring that the electorate are well informed and educated on their civil responsibility and what to do at the registration units. And also the campaign for one man one vote. Before the exercise commenced I did not see the efficacy of the Direct Data Capturing machine, DDC, until I went to register and my biometric information's were captured. Then I believed that we are getting there gradually. I believe that this exercise will help to curb the incidence of multiple voting. I believe that a political culture is evolving. A culture that will lead us to a point that we all will not sit back and accept any incorrect result in the upcoming general election.

Scrap Fashola programmes
I was not trained like that. Government is all about continuity. Why we have been having problem on programme is because of lack of continuity. We have our own programme. we want to concentrate on housing. I mean affordable houses. We will introduce a single unit mortgage scheme. This scheme will afford beneficiaries to pay from their salary. It happened during Alh. Lateef Jakande's administration, where 5475 flats were constructed within four (4) years. We will achieve more than that in Lagos State beginning from 2011 after I am sworn-in as the governor.

I have conducted my research. And during my research I discovered that what people are paying as rent on monthly or yearly bases is enough for them to service a mortgage of N 400, 000. If you have a loan of this amount, you will complete the payment within four (4) years. This is happening in other parts of the world. And for you to have a mortgage that will be affordable to all and sundry, you have to look for cheap fund. The cheapest way to service a mortgage is through pension fund.

Public transportation
It is going to be based on the concept called multi-modal transport system. This system will include rail, road and the water ways. I remember when I was still in service, a research was conducted by an international institution on Nigeria. And the result of the research was that over 60 million Nigerians are on the road daily. What I will do is to work perfectly with the Nigerian Railway Corporation, NRC,. I know it is a Federal Government agency.

The relationship will be to work in tandem to ensure that all the rail lines in Lagos state are re-opened. We will also carry out rehabilitation of the rail infrastructure. Ones this is done, the problem of transportation will be subsiding gradually in Lagos state. The roads will be decongested. I discovered that the huge sum of money allocated for the construction and rehabilitation of roads within the state, we have not spend quarter of it on our rail and water transport. In water transportation, there are existing channels.

The channels must be service regularly for easy navigation. In Lagos state, refuse are dumped regularly into the lagoon which hamper the smooth sailing of boats on the state water ways. It is the duty of the state government to ensure that the water ways are clean. The state government must also construct jetties. These jetties serve as terminals for passengers on the water ways. For Lagos to have a better transportation system that can compete with other commercial states all over the world, we must develop an effective transport system in Lagos State.

I spent tangible years in Nigeria's tertiary institutions acquiring certificates. Also I spent eight (8) years lecturing in many Nigerian institutions. I understand Nigerian education system. I attended public institutions all through my academic years. I know how to address the problem of education in Nigeria. During my own administration, none of the institutions in the state will ever go on strike.

The education sector is my constituency. The students are the future of any country and Nigeria is not an exemption. My government will ensure that their development is not hindered. Spending money on adults will not have a huge impact on the state. My administration will ensure that the education system in the state enjoys smooth sail.

From my manifesto, there is an aspect of it that states how we will create employment for the youths in the state. During my years in NIMASA, I established a programme called Nigeria Fish Rears Development Programme. It is first of its kind in the country. I travelled round the country to sell the idea to the 36 state governors and today 25 Nigerian students from each state attend international accredited maritime university across the globe.

Our idea then was to create a pool of fish rear who will manage the Nigerian vessels. And today 70 per cent of those managing Nigerian vessels are foreigners.