Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos State, should already be preparing for his second term’s inauguration speech if his performance in office is any indication. Yet, in Nigeria, other considerations such as religion and ethnicity are given more weight when choosing the country’s leaders.
There is no doubt that Peter Obi, the presidential candidate for the Labour Party, shocked the political world with his performance in Lagos. Being known as the strong man of Lagos politics, Bola Tinubu, the incoming president, might not take his loss in his home district lightly and will be planning how to make amendment at the gubernatorial election.
With Obi’s victory in Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the Labour Party’s (LP) candidate for governor of Lagos State, has been inspired. His TV appearances and campaigns have increased. Also, he has become popular on social media.
Many political pundits projected a two-horse battle before the presidential election between the incumbent governor and Dr. Abdul-Azeez Adediran, the PDP contender.
With the Labour Party’s performance in Lagos, the dynamics have changed. Now, Sanwo-Olu’s re-election bid is thought to be vulnerable to Rhodes-Vivour.
Youth unemployment is a threat and the main cause of political violence in the state, according to the LP flag bearer, who has discussed his intentions for reducing insecurity.
The local government areas will benefit from young people having employable skills, he pledged, adding that his government will halt police harassment.
Also, it has been suggested that the LP and PDP collaborate to remove the governor, but that hasn’t yet happened.
Regrettably, a dangerous tendency of tribal politics that has been denounced by political leaders around the nation is gaining ground in the state. A sophisticated city like Lagos shouldn’t tolerate tribalism.
Yet, it won’t be simple to defeat Sanwo-Olu. Lagos State is firmly under the control of the APC, which has won every governorship election since 1999. With a history of public service and an ardent fan base, Sanwo-Olu is also a strong candidate.
The triumph of Tinubu at the centre will also impact the dynamics of the gubernatorial contest in Lagos.
By voting in the governorship election on Saturday, Lagosians have been specifically urged to ensure that the democratic progress made over the last four years under Governor Sanwo-Olu is maintained.
This request was made by a few participants from various walks of life during a forum that was held over the weekend in the state capital.
The governor was praised for his leadership during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020, when he served as the incident commander.
Craftspeople, professionals, business owners, and members of the political process are among the stakeholders.
They claim that since taking office in May 2019, Sanwo-Olu has continued the state’s progressive development through the THEMES program of his government.
The six-pillar development strategy of the Sanwo-Olu administration is embodied in THEMES, the agenda for Greater Lagos. It stands for Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology. Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy, Entertainment and Tourism, Security and Government.
They warned voters not to make foolish decisions in the governorship election because the Blue line rail project, which President Muhammadu Buhari just commissioned, and the Red line rail project, which is nearly finished, are among the trademark projects carried out by the Governor.
Alhaji Saliu Orilowo, the spokesman for the Association of Kwara Traders in Lagos, claimed that his organization’s members support the governor for a second term in office and had taken advantage of the amenities offered by the Sanwo-Olu administration. He claimed that Lagos State is too significant to Nigeria’s progress to be headed by a novice.
An educationist at the event, Mr Festus Oyalowo remarked that he scored the Sanwo-Olu administration high in education development. Almost 1,000 primary and secondary schools have been constructed or renovated in the previous four years by Governor Sanwo-Olu. Who else can break this record? Oyalowo enquired.
In fact, Sanwo-administration Olu’s accomplished this achievement by establishing a special committee on public school reconstruction and constantly raising the sector’s budget by more than 10%.
At the forum, Mr. Okoye Anyaso, CEO of Cornerstone Properties Limited, stated that Sanwo-Olu has created a tranquil and harmonious environment for businesses to flourish in and for the many tribes to feel at home.
“Lagos continues to be the largest metropolis in Nigeria and the economic powerhouse of West Africa. Ten percent of Nigeria’s population resides in Lagos, which occupies one percent of Nigeria’s landmass, with a third of that area being water, Anyaso stated, adding, “We should all keep in mind that we are Nigerians as well as Lagosians. We must stick together and maintain the peace.
Ayodele Fayose, the former governor of Ekiti State, has also endorsed Sanwo-Olu for a second term. Fayose, a native of Lagos who only recently declared his political retirement after serving for years in the opposition party, stated that he strongly feels that Sanwo-Olu, the APC candidate for governor on March 11 should be re-elected to carry on the positive policies of his administration.
Will Sanwo-Olu survive the LP tsunami or will he be swept away by it and fail to win reelection? Time will only tell.
Abdulsalam Abdullah Writes From Kwara State, Ilorin.