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Lagos State: A New Dawn with Babajide Sanwo-Olu

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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.[8] 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.

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PhotoNews: Amaseikumor Tournament 2019

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L-R: Comrade Godbless Governor , (Secretary Gbaramatu Youth Council, GYC), Chief Jeffrey Ojogun ( Kurowei Of Gbaramatu Kingdom), Chief Dennis Otuaro ( Ibe-Uyadonwei Of Gbaramatu Kingdom) presenting the winners trophy to Abobo Ikioyokenegha , ( Captain, Yankee Football Club Okerenkoko Town) and Comrade Christopher Wuruyai, President GYC at the end of Amaseikumor Tournament 2019 organized by Gbaramatu Youth Council in Gbaramatu Kingdom on Saturday, June 15, 2019.

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REV. MOTHER ESTHER AJAYI PREACHES NATIONAL UNITY AHEAD THE COMFORTER 2019 PROGRAMME

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www.securenigeria365.com
Prayerful woman of God and Founder, Esther Ajayi Foundation, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi has urged political and religious leaders to embrace unity, preach peace and ensure they promote togetherness.
Rev. Mother Ajayi who is also the General Overseer, Love Of Christ Church, Clapham, London made the call at a Press Conference held in Lagos ahead of the July 20th “Celebrate The Comforter 2019” programme scheduled for Tafawa Balewa Square, Lagos.
She noted that the annual event which had previously been held in the United Kingdom and the United States will be coming to Nigeria for the first time and it is aimed at unifying Christians and Nigerians in general.
According to her “Religious political and traditional rulers have a special role to play in ensuring that what remains of peace in the country is jealously guarded. Religious leaders should however, readily accept blames for the present moral decadence among the youths because it appears they have failed in their roles as the set of people to mould the future for the youths, they should therefore work in unison with the government in ensuring that those that visit places of worship have messages of moral uprightness consistently drummed into their ears.
www.securenigeria365.com

Chairman, Executive Council C&S Unification Church of Nigeria, Pastor Emmanuel Owomoyela, Founder, Love of Christ Generation C&S Church in Clapham, London, Rev. Mother Esther Abimbola Ajayi & Rev. Ademuyiwa Ajayi at the Unveiling of the memorabilia for July 20, The Comforter 2019 programme held at the Sheraton Hotel, Lagos

 “The Fundamental objective of the Comforter 2019 is to bring the Celestial and Cherubim and Seraphim churches together and to tell the world that we believe solely in the word of God. The 2018 edition a joint revival tagged ‘Celebrate The Comforter’ and themed ‘Unity In The Holy Spirit’ was held on Saturday, 28th of July 2018 at United Palace New York and it recorded a huge success and attendance.I am happy to inform you that the 2019 edition of the annual programme is slated to hold in Lagos, Nigeria at the famous Tafawa Balewa Square on the 20th of July.
She stated  that ” during the “Celebrate The Comforter” programme, “we evangelize, get people freed from shackles of poverty, win souls for christ and celebrate the wonders of God in the lives of the people”.
She added that as a form of encouraging the youths and giving them a sense of belonging, youths who excel in academic endeavour should be celebrated in churches and mosques to encourage others and get it registered in their subconscious minds that excellence is appreciated rather than the regular celebration of only those with financial accomplishments.
Rev Mother Ajayi stated that the “Celebrate The Comforter” programme is unique because the past editions have helped to change preconceived ideas about white garment churches, adding that like all other Christians, the Bible is the foundation of their faith and we all worship one God. She further asked everyone to eschew discrimination of any denomination and faith.
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June 12 as Nigeria’s Democracy Day & The Danger Ahead

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By Nelson Ekujumi
In less than 72 hours from now, history will be made as Nigeria officially commemorate June 12 as Democracy Day after a 26 years struggle by patriotic and conscientious Nigerians from across ethnic and religious divide who have stood resolutely committed to this great day in our political history when Nigerians united in one voice with their votes for Chief MKO Abiola as Nigeria’s President on June 12, 1993 in an election that has been repeatedly referred to as the freest, fairest and most credible election in Nigeria’s history.
Despite the anti democratic action of ex Military dictator Ibrahim Babangida and his collaborators to truncate the people’s will that was freely and democratically expressed on June 12, 1993 by the treasonable annulment of that mandate and which was undemocratically sustained by anti democratic elements who succeeded him and successive civilian admistrations since 1999 till President Muhammadu Buhari mounted the saddle and did the needful in 2018, come 3 days time, history will be made in Nigeria as democracy triumphs once again over despotism like it always does eventually.
However, as we look forward to the commemoration of the day with joy in our hearts and gratitude to the Almighty for being fortunate to be part of our national history of declaration and recognition of June 12 as Nigeria’s democracy day for which thousands of Nigerians sacrificed their lives, limbs, freedom, business, careers, dehumanized and properties worth millions of naira lost in the process for which we are still bearing the brunt till today which is rather sad. It is important to draw attention of Nigerians and the government to series of clandestine evil plots by anti democratic elements who were part and parcel and supporters of the annulment from which they benefitted immensely in cash and kind.
These anti democratic elements and their sponsors are on the prowl, hell bent and working hard to ensure that the joy of this national victory of democracy over despotism is undermined through false alarm of incitement to provoke anarchy and social unrest, but by God’s grace, they will fail.
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