By News Editor, Manny Ita
The economic nerve center of Nigeria is Lagos, aptly referred to as the Center of Excellence. Since the new democratic dispensation was ushered in the country in 1999, Nigeria’s center of excellence has witnessed a paradigm shift in terms of development policies which has seen the state develop in leaps and bounds in ways that sustain such developments, creating multiple streams of revenue for the state and of course employment.
In the past ten to fifteen years, It stands to be disproved that Lagos State has developed more than the country itself, making it a model for other states of the federation to emulate.
These commendable strides of the state were captured in the inaugural speech of Governor Sanwo-Olu, as he was sworn into office by the Chief Judge of the state, with his family beside him, May 29, 2019.
“In Lagos State, our story has been of successes and achievements. Since 1999, our tradition of progressive governance has set Lagos apart and strengthened people’s belief in our ideology.”
“And that is the very reason I stand before you on this historic day as your Governor. While we celebrate the victory of progressive governance and democracy, tomorrow we must be ready to stand on guard and be fully vigilant.”
“Democracy and progressive governance hold only to the extent that we protect and nurture them. While Lagos glimmers as a beacon of progressive and quality governance, our nation now undergoes a historic battle to establish progressive and just governance.”
In the build up to the primaries and eventual election, scores of intrigues and political maneoverings ensued and resulted in the upturning of the tables for the outgone governor, Akinwunmi Ambode who was in office for just a term.
In the last days of his tenure, Ambode spoke about the achievements of his tenure, grateful to the almighty for the opportunity to serve, and assured that the incoming governor would continue with the developmental culture of the state, especially keeping up with his policy on tourism and sports as a major revenue generator for the state.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu is not a political or administrative minion. Prior to his victory at the primaries, his was not really a name a good potion of Lagosians were familiar with, but it is interesting to note that this is a man who has been working behind the klieglights with virtually every administration in Lagos State since the inception of the current democracy, to which he attests;
“I have been a part of this progressive journey since its very inception. I know first-hand the concerted efforts that went into planning so many of the innovations we now see and enjoy.”
“It will be my job to continue that process by refining and perfecting the foundation laid by the preceding administrations.”
With his manifesto or political campaign hinged on ‘A Greater Lagos’, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat will seek to fulfil this promise, drawn on the framework, ‘T.H.E.M.E.S’; a 6-pillar development agenda which he spelt in detail below.
T – Traffic Management and Transportation
“Here, we must act with urgency to execute a transport masterplan that will fully integrate road, rail and water transportation into a multi-modal transport system that makes commuting easy for Lagosians.”
“We must also ensure compliance with all traffic rules and regulations on our roads.”
H – Health and Environment
“Because we know the significance of a clean environment in preventive healthcare, we have a moral duty to provide basic health care for our people, especially those who cannot afford it. Under our comprehensive health program, we will place special emphasis on maternal healthcare, malaria and water borne diseases.”
“We will also focus on sanitation and waste management, by ensuring that our drainage systems are functional and kept clean.”
E – Education and Technology
“We will invest in the education of our children and young adults. By increasing the budgetary allocation to education, this government will empower teachers in every local government and strengthen their capacity to deliver quality education to our children.”
“New educational infrastructure will cultivate a learning environment that prepares our children for a new world that demands creativity, intuition and critical thinking.”
“We will ensure technology is integrated into our school curriculum and empower our youths with the much-needed skills for the jobs of tomorrow.”
M – Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy
“By investing in critical infrastructure, we will accelerate the growth of our economy and empower the private sector who are the real engines of growth.”
“We must break the deadlock that shackles our power distribution, provide sustainable urban settlements that addresses the current deficit; while at the same time building a smart city that achieves urban harmony and sets a new bar in our nation.”
E – Entertainment and Tourism
“We will nurture and showcase our cultural heritage and unique hospitality, support our entertainment, visual arts and sports sectors, and inspire the kind of creativity from our most talented individuals that will enhance our reputation at home – and abroad.”
S – Security and Governance
“The last of these pillars of development is Security and Governance.”
Apparently a man on a rescue mission, from a career spanning more than two decades, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu has been well honed and prepared for the novel challenge of governing the people he has over the years been working behind the scenes for.
His political career began in 2003, when he was appointed a Special Adviser on Corporate Matters to the then deputy governor of Lagos State, Femi Pedro.
Having satisfactorily performed, he was moved to the office of the acting Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget until 2007, when he became the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry Governor, Bola Tinubu. After the General Elections of 2007, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was appointed Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions by Governor Babatunde Fashola. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu was made Managing Director/CEO of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation (LSDPC) by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in 2016.
Some of his notable public sector achievements include the supervision of the Bureau of Public Enterprises (BPE) privatization projects. He set up and was the Pioneer Board Chairman of Lagos Security Trust Fund. The LAGBUS System and the Control & Command Centre in Alausa were subsequently established under his directives.
On 16th September 2018, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu formally declared his intention to run for the office of the governor of Lagos State under the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC) Party, making him a major contender to the incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
His declaration attracted endorsements from major stakeholders in Lagos State politics; including the Governor’s Advisory Council of the Lagos chapter of the All Progressives Congress and members of the Lagos State House of Assembly and on October 2, 2018, he won the Lagos gubernatorial primaries of the All Progress Congress on.
Initially the controversial manner and nature of his emergence seemed to cast aspersion on his acceptability by the majority of Lagosians, especially those not on the APC side of the political divide.
However, the man went on building bridges, meeting with different stakeholders of the state and warming himself into the hearts of the people.
Attempting to defang his critics who had sold a narrative which borders on the inquisitorial: Where is this Sanwo-Olu coming from? The man put it clearly;
“Let me first address the issue of where I am coming from because some people have been asking as if I just dropped from nowhere”.
“I studied seismic survey and upon graduation and Youth Service, I started working with Shell. In those days, we used to travel to Bayelsa and Rivers to prospect and, in those years, I was able to travel to Bomadi, Ekeremo, Torukere among others “.
“One of the things I learnt at that time was the need for effective engagement with people. Then, we would go to a community and, without asking them what their needs were, we will just do a borehole to provide water. But the people may not actually need your water, so they just look at you. So, when the tap becomes faulty, a repair that would not cost more than N500 would never be effected by the people because their buy-in was not sought before the service was provided and, therefore, they just allowed the water to waste away.”
“It is that same lesson that is guiding what we are bringing to the table for the governance of Lagos State. We are not saying that those there today don’t know what they are doing. But as I’m talking to you, we already have people out there going round and polling, asking people, seeking their views and feeling their pulse on what they think is best for them so that by the time we come in, by God’s grace, we hit the ground running.”
Indeed he is expected to, all things working in his direction, hit the ground running having been involved in every government of the state since the era of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu came into the government of Lagos State from First Atlantic Bank. Before this move, he was Treasurer at Lead Merchant Bank between 1994 and 1997; later, Head, Foreign Money Market at United Bank for Africa and Treasurer at First Atlantic Bank. From being Special Adviser on Corporate Matters in 2004, he was soon appointed as acting Commissioner for Economic Planning & Budget less than a year after he joined the administration of then Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
When ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs) started reporting to him as budget commissioner, it also became part of his brief to track and provide intelligent analysis of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) by the various government agencies and parastatals, including the Board of Internal Revenue (BIR), for executive consideration and policymaking; as well as preparation and publication of the Lagos State Economic Empowerment and Development Strategy (LASEEDS). In 2006, he was appointed the Commissioner for Commerce & Industry. By 2007, he’d become the Commissioner for Establishment, Training & Pensions.
He was involved in the establishment of the Lagos State Security Trust Fund, the New Projects Initiation & Promotions Committee, the Lekki Free Trade Zone and chaired the Consultants Board. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode appointed Sanwo-Olu as CEO of the Lagos State Development & Property Corporation (LSDPC). According to his profile, “several housing projects commenced in the Victoria Island-Lekki axis within few months of his resumption, while similar projects – Courtland Villa, Igbokusu Lekki and Bayview Estate, Elegushi Lekki to mention a few were executed in quick succession, under the Joint Venture and Private Public Partnership (PPP) model operational in the State.
One of the flagship interventions of the LSDPC under Sanwo-Olu’s watch was recommencement of work on the abandoned 122-unit Lekki Apartments, which is currently near-completion”. Indeed, after a very long time, Sanwo-Olu said it was during his tenure as CEO of LSDPC that some form of dividends were beginning to accrue to Lagos State government.
Sanwo-Olu has won several awards, which include the symbol of excellence award from the Civic Enlightenment Association of Nigeria, a gold mentor award from the National Association of Nigeria Nurses & Midwives (NANNM), a platinum award from the Lagos State Public Service Club and the 2009 best in human capital development award from the Industrial Training Fund (ITF).
He is happily married to Dr Mrs Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu and they are blessed with children.
His running mate, Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat is also a well rounded man who has done well in his career path. A man whose know-how in information technology served three of the world’s largest banks – Citibank, Merrill Lynch and Morgan Stanley Inc., as System Design Lead, Design, Implementation and Alignment of I.T Strategy with Business Direction, and as Consultant on System and Infrastructural Upgrade – Hamzat comes across as an individual well-grounded in his trade.
According to an extract from his official profile, Hamzat’s aptitude for conception and implementation of defining initiatives and projects could not be ignored. His perspicacity was put to more use by deploying him to the Ministry of Works and Infrastructure between 2011 and 2015, during Fashola’s second term.
They share a bond apparently and together it is expected that they would really hit the ground running.
BREAKINGNEWS: Tribunal sacks Dino Melaye, orders fresh election
The National Assembly/State Assembly Election Petitions Tribunal sitting in Lokoja on Friday sacked Senator Dino Melaye as the Senator for Kogi West.
In its judgement, the tribunal ordered that fresh elections should be held in the senatorial district, reports TheCable.
BreakingNews:Full list of ministers and their portfolios
President Muhammadu Buhari on Wednesday assigned portfolios to the newly sworn-in ministers.
The full list is below:
1. Dr. Ikechukwu Ogah (Abia State) -Minister of State, Mines and Steel Development
2. Mohammed Musa Bello (Adamawa State) -Minister of the Federal Capital Territory
3. Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom State)- Minister of Niger Delta
4. Chris Ngige (Anambra State)- Minister of Labour and Employment
5. Sharon Ikeazor (Anambra State)-Minister of State Environment
6.Adamu Adamu (Bauchi State) -Minister of Education
7.Ambassador Maryam Katagun (Bauchi State) State
8. Timipre Sylva (Bayelsa State) Minister of State, Petroleum under the President
9.George Akume (Benue State) Inter
10.Mustapha Baba Shehuri (Borno State) Minister of State, Agric and Rural Development
11. Goddy Jedy Agba (Cross River State) -Minister of State, Power
12.Festus Keyamo (Delta State) -Minister of State, Niger Delta
13. Ogbonnaya Onu (Ebonyi State) -Minister of Science and Technology
14. Osagie Ehanire (Edo State) -Minister of Health
15.Clement Ike (Edo State)
16. Richard Adeniyi Adebayo (Ekiti State) -Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment
17. Geoffrey Onyeama (Enugu State) -Minister of Foreign Affairs
18.Ali Isa Pantami (Gombe State) -Minister of Communications
19. Emeka Nwajiuba (Imo State) -Minister of State, Education
20. Suleiman Adamu (Jigawa State) -Minister of Water Resources
21. Zainab Ahmed (Kaduna State) -Minister of Finance
22.Muhammad Mahmood (Kaduna State) -Minister of Environment
23.Sabo Nanono (Kano State) -Minister of Agriculture and Development
24.Major General Bashir Salihi Magashi (Kano State) -Minister of Defence
25.Hadi Sirika (Katsina State) -Minister of Aviation
26.Abubakar Malami (Kebbi State)
27.Ramatu Tijjani (Kogi State)
28. Lai Mohammed (Kwara State)
29.Gbemisola Saraki (Kwara State) -Minister of State Transportation
30.Babatunde Fashola (Lagos State) -Minister of Works and Housing
31.Adeleke Mamora (Lagos State) -Minister of State, Health
32. Mohammed H. Abdullahi (Nasarawa State) Minister of State, Science and Technology
33. Zubair Dada (Niger State) Minister of State, Foreign Affairs
34. Olamilekan Adegbite (Ogun State) Minsters of Mines and Steel development
35. Tayo Alasoadura (Ondo State)
36. Rauf Aregbesola (Osun State), Minister of Interior
37. Sunday Dare (Oyo State) Minister of Youths and Sports
38.Paulen Talen (Plateau State) Minister of Women Affairs
39. Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers State) Minister of Transportation
40. Maigarai Dingyadi (Sokoto State) Minister of Police Affairs
41. Sale Mamman (Taraba State) Minister of Power
42. Abubakar D. Aliyu (Yobe State) Minister of State for Housing
43. Sadiya Umar Faruk (Zamfara State), Minister of Humanitarian Affairs
THE ATTEMPT OF THE EFCC OFFICIALS LED BY ROTIMI OYEDEPO, ESQ TO INCRIMINATE THE EX GOVERNOR MR AKINWUNMI AMBODE WITH FOREIGN CURRENCY; RESISTED BY YOUNG LAWYERS IN EPE.
At early hours of today, we were duly briefed that some officers of the EFCC invaded the apartment of the Former Governor of Lagos State, His Excellency Akinwunmi Ambode with the intention to search the premises.
We got to the scene and met with the officials of the EFCC to inquire whether they have a search warrant to search the premises of the Ex Governor.
Having confirmed the Search Warrant, the EFCC officials told us that nobody will follow them in as they will only go in alone. We resisted as young Lawyers and stated expressly that the principle of search is that the owner of the premises of his representatives must be present to observe the search.
They succumbed to our superior argument and allowed us and the people who has the key to the Ex Governor’s house into the apartment with them. Before they entered, we searched all the officials of the EFCC who intended to go in to effect the search.
There was a blue bag which they were holding with them, we requested to see the content of the bag before they could take it in. They got angry and said we cannot see the content. Having said that, we strongly resisted them to take it in since they cant allow us to see it, which they later agreed. We later got to know that the bag contained foreign currency which they brought to plant in the house of the Ex Governor to incriminate him.
It is important to inform the public that before the entered the house, we all submitted our phones to them as they requested that the only person required to go in with phone is one of them who will record the whole process.
All documents, including the State Executive Exco Meetings Vol 1 – 16 in the personal study of the Ex Governor and His Luggage room which they intended to take along with them for further investigation was resisted by us as we told them that failure to take records of all the documents from A-Z, they cannot go out with anything and they agreed with us.
Flowing from the aforesaid, they searched the nooks and crannies of the Ex Governor’s house and they couldn’t find any incriminating documents or materials. We authoritatively assert that, they did find anything in the house and they didn’t leave the house with anything.
We followed them as they entered from one place to the other, when our presence was intimidating them, they said we should sit down while they will do the search. We resisted that we must follow them to observe every of their activities in the premises.
To our greatest consternation, the officials of EFCC led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq held on to our phones and told us to follow them to their office in Ikoyi to get our phones. All efforts to get back our phones was abortive as the EFCC officials led by Rotimi Oyedepo, Esq rushed into their white Hiace Bus with our phones and instructed that since we have resisted their efforts to take “the said blue bag” into the main premises of the Ex Governor, they will hold on to the phone. Thus, almost six (6) phones were forcefully taken away, iPhones inclusive.
It is our happiness as Young Lawyers in Epe to be part of the process to legally and successfully resist the EFCC from incriminating the Ex Governor with the blue bag they brought with them from an unknown destination, and we also compelled them to conduct the search within the ambit of the law. Hence, the success.
We are sincerely elated that our presence really helped a long way to legally and successfully expose the intention of the EFCC to incriminate the Ex Governor. To this end, we are ready to challenge the search as they have gone beyond standard and the search warrant in this regard successfully whisking our phones away.
Thank you for listening and God bless you.
Fatai A. Adebanjo, Esq.
Busari M. Olanrewaju, Esq.
Samson K. Okuneye, Esq.
Source: Dan Asabe
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