Adeleke Adesanya writes on the expectations of lagosians from the incoming Akinwunmi Ambode-led All Progressives Congress, APC administration in the Centre of Excellence.
Come May 29, no fewer than 20 million Lagosians will witness the swearing-in of Mr Akinwunmi Ambode, of the All Progressives Congress, APC, as the 14th governor of Lagos State, having crossed the hurdles before him in the April 11 election and emerged as the state’s governor-elect.
He will be taking over the mantle of leadership from the outgoing Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who most Lagosians believed has set a benchmark for performance by succeeding governors of the Centre of Excellence.
As Lagosians look forward to this historic date, the task before the former Accountant-General of the state is no doubt enormous as agenda has been heaped before him.
Being a man with required experience, speculations among the people in the state is that Ambode will, without doubt, meet up with expectation, considering what one can safely call splendid achievements of the outgoing Governor Fashola. But as it is going, even before the swearing in, Lagosians, including some political players in the state, have begun highlighting what should be Ambode’s agenda as he resumes office if he will taste success like his predecessor.
Among these people is Honourable Abayomi Dauda Kako-Are, the member who is representing Mushin federal constituency I at the National Assembly. He advised the incoming governor to focus on education, security among others as priority. Speaking on security, Kako-Are explained that Lagos, being a mega and leading commercial city in the country, must have adequate arrangement to strengthen the state Security Trust Fund already put in place by Fashola.
He said: “He (Ambode) must embark on acquisition of the modern advanced security apparatus to empower the security arm of the state. These would enhance proper tracking of any criminal related activities in the state. Likewise, he should partner with the media to ensure adequate sensitisation of the dwellers in the area of security and others. Highlighting on education as what should top the incoming government’s agenda, Hon. Kako- Are said Mr Ambode, having promised free education up to secondary school level as a basic right of every child in the state, must adhere to his promise.
He added: “The governor-elect must continue the current schools’ renovation programme of Governor Fashola. He must upgrade libraries to e-libraries as well as making Lagos State University, LASU, and the Lagos State Polytechnic centres of academic excellence. He should encourage the education staff to do more in the area of their responsibilities. Teachers should be encouraged as necessary; and there should be adequate provision of learning materials for citadels of knowledge.
“I am advocating this because I know that Lagosians are seriously awaiting him, and I believe this is one of the reasons why they pulled their weight behind him during the election. Mr Femi Falana, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, SAN, and human right activist, said he is not expecting anything from Ambode administration than fulfillment of its manifesto.
According to him, “Ambode and his party have manifesto, they campaigned base on certain issues, which they said they will attend to if they gain power, and now is when to transform their promises to action. Going by their agenda, issues like unemployment should be solved with 25,000 jobs he said he is creating. I can’t give him a new policy now which was never in his programme, but we are all expecting him to transform his promises into reality.
The same thing goes with General Muhammadu Buhari, we want to see all those promises made being fulfilled. He promised to fight corruption, ensure security, jobs creation and others. Let us be patient to watch them accountably based on their promises in their campaign because some of them have promised a lot, and now is the time to fulfill them.
“So what I am expecting from Mr. Ambode and his party is to fulfill their promises. Meanwhile, leaders of different tribes in Lagos State have begun to express their minds on what should be embedded in the incoming governor’s agenda of operation in relation to the interest of their people. According to some of them, priority should be given to making the state more homely, positing that their contributions to the state’s development cannot be overemphasised.
One of the Igbo community leaders in Lagos, who spoke on this issue, Eze Peter Agbanari, the Agun’eche mba Ndigbo of Apapa, advised that the incoming government should strive towards impressing the dwellers with performance that will overshadow his predecessor.
According to him, much emphasis should be placed on health sector in the state. The governorelect is expected to do more on health in the state, thereby ensure avoidance of pervasive strike of the sector workers, which seemed to be one of the failures of the outgoing government in the state. Agbanari said: “The governor-elect must advance the state of primary health care system in this state, and also ensure it is affordable for all.”
Agbanari, while speaking on housing, also called for the need for provision of affordable accommodation for Igbo people in Lagos. He said: “Among the important things we will like the incoming government to consider for our people is good and comfortable housing project that an average man can afford.
“Apart from expanding the Lagos Home Ownership Mortgage Scheme, HOMS, to involve more people, the incoming Ambode administration must focus on affordability.
The candid advice in this direction is to embark on mass housing scheme to target the lower class of the society. This would reduce the emergence of slums caused by the fast exploding population of Lagos.” The leader of Ebira community in Lagos, Alhaji Momoh Sanni Yukub, said though the outgoing Fashola administration has done well in the area of transportation, the incoming administration needs to do even more.
His words: “The Ambode government must introduce and establish officially designated bus stops/routes in Lagos. New roads must be constructed and the existing ones must be adequately maintained. He should increase the number of traffic officials in the state to clear the roads of heavy traffic which is the bane of the city. These traffic officials should be on duty round the clock, especially at problematic junctions which are often abandoned during peak periods, leading to traffic chaos and loss of man hours.
“Clearly, to decongest Lekki Road which has become a nightmare to motorists, the Ambode administration will need to build overhead bridges and prevent people from trading at bus stops.
“The incoming administration will also need to increase the usage of waterways for public transportation through channeling and dredging.” It will be recalled that Lagos, for the first time in 16 years will be governed by the same party at the federal Level, hence, the high expectation that the incoming state government will meet yearning of its people.
The Ambode administration is expected to leverage on this and bring more dividends of democracy to Lagosians, especially from the federal level, something which had eluded the state in the last 16 years. Expectedly, being a product of the system, Ambode is expected to hit the ground running, as Lagosians will not entertain any excuse for under performance.