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Sanwo-Olull hit ground runningOlokoba

Published by The Nation on Sun, 17 Mar 2019

In this interview with Dare Odufowokan, Assistant Editor, Comrade Razaq Olokoba, an accredited observer of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and a political commentator, appraised the election that gave the All Progressives Congress (APC), governorship flag bearer, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu victory in Lagos and declared that it is a clarion call and challenge for him to hit the ground running from May 29, this year on his assumption of office as the new governor of the state.How can you assess the Lagos governorship election that gave Babajide Sanwo-Olu victory'Expectation of the people was what has reflected in the election. From 1999 till date, tendency that has been in power has consistently respected the views of Lagosians. And that is why the tendency would always win elections in the state. I mean the tendency that is not doing a one man show. It is a tendency that marries the partys manifesto with the yearnings of the people, the yearnings of the stakeholders and the yearnings of whoever has a role to play in the affairs of Lagos. It is an expectation that is not strange here unlike what happened in other states like Oyo, Ogun, Rivers, Kwara and Akwa Ibom. So, it was not out of place to see Sanwo-Olu winning that election for the All Progressives congress (APC).The truth is that the trauma of expectation that people went through all over the state, Sanwo-Olus emergence as the Governor-elect has assuaged it. The kind of victory he got was unique. The turnout was low, no doubt. But the margin was astronomical. If you take the total number of votes the opposition got and add it to the voided votes, then multiply it by two, it has not even met up with the margin. So, it is clear to say that Sanwo-Olu is popular and so, Lagosians can afford to go to sleep as regards the promises he has made and his programmes because there is no president, there is no governor that gets this type of honour and disappoints. Such honour would inspire anybody to meet with the challenge of the people.Take for instance, there was a building collapse, and before you could say Jack Robinson, Sanwo-Olu was there commiserating with the people affected by the collapse building. So, that is an indication that he will be a governor that will have sympathy and human feeling for the people and care for the people. We are lucky in Lagos because looking at character of public office holders in other states, it is a bit different as they dont feel concerned about the welfare of the people. So, that singular act of coming out and condoling with the people is scarce in this part of the world.Are you comfortable with the performance of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), in that election'By and large, yes. I will therefore congratulate the people of Lagos, I will congratulate Nigerians that this last election has been clean. I am also happy for myself and happy for Nigeria for the success of the last poll in the country. I am an INEC accredited observer. I went round and I realised that the INEC has done a good job. If the people did not come out, the blame should not be heaped on the INEC. It is the responsibility of the political parties to run round with their manifestos and give orientation to the people for them to see the importance of election in any society. They should let the people know that election is the umbilical cord that links to the peoples welfare and day to day activities of governance.What I am saying in essence is that the election was credible and acceptable. And on that note, I congratulate Sanwo-Olu and I congratulate the people of Lagos. In addition, I just have to appreciate the maturity exhibited by the flag bearer of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje by calling on time to congratulate Sanwo-Olu, the winner of the election. It is a welcome development and it is an act we want to encourage other politicians in the country to also emulate.Do you have any Agenda for the in-coming governor'Of course, yes. There is a big challenge when it comes to environmental development. The roads have suffered a bit of lack of attention in Lagos at the moment. And given the track record of Sanwo-Olu, I know he is going to hit the ground running. I can assure Lagosians that in six months, we are going to get to Eldorado. I know that security in Lagos is also calling for attention vis a vis the traffic logjam in the state. Environmental issues concerning dumbing of refuse is also calling for attention. Drainage issue is also to be attended to. And the general morale of public officers in Lagos like the LASMA and others needs to be boosted.I can recall that in the last three and a half years, some LASMA personnel have lost their lives. And the culprits, till today have not been brought to book. This kind of sad development can dampen the morale of public officers who are law maintaining officials unlike what was obtainable during the time of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola (SAN). And because of Sanwo-Olu that we know, I am sure he will turn things round and put the state back on track. I know the dream of every Lagosian is to see the glory days of Asiwaju Tinubu and all those glorious days of Fashola. We know that Akinwumi Ambode is doing his best, but what we are saying is that, there are challenges at the moment which we know very well that Sanwo-Olu is capable of addressing. So, i welcome all Lagosians on board for a better Lagos.What is then your advice to the people of the state on the in-coming governor'Well, I expect the people to continue to exhibit the kind of patriotism that they have been exhibiting since 1999. I expect the people to begin to give support and goodwill that they offered Asiwaju Tinubu and Fashola that made them succeed. And the goodwill they have for Ambode should be doubled for Sanwo-Olu. And I know that such goodwill for Sanwo-Olu would not be squandered. It would be properly invested and the people would not be disappointed. I can speak for him because I know him very well as a good man and a workaholic. He will beautify Lagos and turn Lagos round. The people of Lagos under Sanwo-Olu will prosper. They will have good story to tell in two year about this man that has just won an election to take up the leadership of government in Lagos State. And I can assure the people that that they will not be disappointed.
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