Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu
By Segun Ajayi Some people naturally don’t blow their trumpets. Perhaps, such individuals are inspired by the Jesus Christ who literally advised modesty in whatever one does. In His famous Sermon on the Mount, Christ admonished his followers not to give alms to draw public attention like the sanctimonious Pharisees. “What you do with your right hand, keep it away from from your left” is a famous teaching that could have informed Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu’s reticence in the Public space. It could also have been perceived that a publicity hoopla around Sanwo-Olu’s achievements would amount to an overkill because his works speak and loudly too.
I think whoever avails himself of the compendium of the THEMES agenda, the development model of the Sanwo/Obafemi Hazmat-led administration needs little or no persuasion about the things the state had accomplished in the last four years. “Pictures don’t lie” is a widely accepted aphorism”. Beyond that is the saying, “seeing is believing”. Right before us, in our neighborhoods, Sanwo-Olu’s signature is etched in projects Lagosians cannot shy away from.
For instance, we are witnesses to the reconstruction and upgrading of physical structures of Lagos schools. You behold Lagos public primary and secondary schools and you can’t separate them from any upscaled private learning environment around. This is one of the low-hanging fruits Lagosians are plucking courtesy of the incumbent administration. Did it even occur to Nigerians that the state owned university, LASU, hitherto, notorious for students unrest has suddenly become the most peaceful university currently. It was not by accident that LASU was immuned from the strike that crippled Nigerian universities last year. That didn’t happen by chance but consistent intervention by successive administrations in Lagos.
Are we also aware that the sitting government had completed four maternal and child hospitals in Lagos Island, Eti-osa, Alimosho, Badagry with the Epe MCC at 90% completion. These are aside the 150-bed Massey Children’s Specialist, reputed to be the biggest in Sub-Sahara Africa under construction.
Similarly, Sanwo-Olu’s imprint are emblazoned in public transportation with the tripodal transportation model that comprises land, water and rail. We all witnessed the commissioning of the first phase of blue line rail from Marina to Mile 2 by President Muhammadu Buhari in January even as work is intensifying on the red line from Agbado to Iddo. The projection is that the Red Line begins operations before this tenure winds down. These are facilities that will move 500,000 commuters daily at full capacity when they begin operations. The Lagos Deep Sea Port and Imota Rice Mill are other legacy projects that define the APC-led administration in Lagos State as entrenched in growth and development. Flash back to the Covid-19 pandemic. Had Sanwo-Olu not provided leadership in taming the scourge, the ripple effects could have brought the country to her knees.
On the flipside, the alleged #endsars killings at Lekki Toll Gate which several youths accused Sanwo-Olu of masterminding also signposts him as peace-loving. In the first place, it was not his call to call in the military. He also went round hospitals in Lagos in search of victims and made sure he reached out to those who established they were brutalized by policemen during the protest. What about the Judicial probe and the compensation running into hundreds of millions of naira? These are manifestations of a man filled with empathy. From the foregoing, one can deduce that for Sanwo-Olu, there exists a thin line between his dispositions and performance. His work experiences, political trajectory, and performances in the last four years set him apart from others. Lagos is a peculiar state which must not be entrusted in incapable hands and individuals who will stall the progress Lagos is enjoying.
*Segun Ajayi is a public affairs analyst