BY SUNDAY OSANYINTUYI
Since I came to Lagos in June 1996, one of the common features the city is known for has not changed and I don’t think it will change soon. In fact, generations yet unborn may continue to live with the term if governance continues at this abysmal rate or level.
The term “One Chance” is a known word and everyday phraseology in Lagos. When you are about to board public transport, one of your sincere prayers will be “Oh God save me from one chance drivers’ today o in Jesus name” However, if you have stayed well enough in Lagos coupled with some street senses, you can easily identify one chance buses and drivers when you see them.
So when the idea to drop this article bumped in, I was tempted to caption it “One Chance City Led by a New Governor”. But on a second thought, I chose what it is now. For 20 years of democratic rule, Lagos State has been under the same particular political family for different slogans of governance with different governors. Either proportional progress has been made or not remains a discussion for another day.
My sincere view is governance should be progressive either with same political party or not. But this is more on paper than practice in this part of the world. Lagos appears to be different though but to whom much is given… We can argue if the city income tallies with her progress and development in some locations of the state in 20 unbroken years. But clearly, Lagos under this political party and family deserves more as well as better deal.
Just this week Tuesday, the news was rife of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu denying the promise he made regarding Apapa gridlock during the intense campaign that trailed the last gubernatorial election in the state. First, it came to me as a shock. Why? I had thought we are improving governance in Lagos. With the campaign #ForGreaterLagos, I counted Sanwo -Olu as a new breed on the roll with focused, determination and dedication to all promises made by the young governor. The denial sent wrong signal to me.
Could it mean Sanwo-Olu was just playing same “polititricks” when he made this promise with 60 days’ timelines on many occasions? Could it be Lagosians just boarded a “one chance” bus?
MEDIA REPORTS ON THE ISSUE
During an interactive session with his classmates at the executive master of business administration class, University of Lagos, 1998/2000 set, the governor was quoted as saying his government will do whatever is required to fix the gridlock within 60 days.
He reportedly said: “The Apapa trailer issue; it’s a campaign issue; it’s very serious; I’m going to take it very seriously. I believe that it is something that we are going to solve in the first 60 days of our government. Whatever is going to be required of us, we will take them out.” This and many other activities of the governor were well reported in the media then.
The governor said he had promised to review and not fix the gridlock within 60 days. Haba!! Politicians
According to him, “What I said was that in 60 days, we would review what was done but that does not take the fact that even if people give you dateline, it’s because they want you to do well and they want you to be able to be accountable for those datelines. The real construction of the road has started, but it’s not at the stage in which we can feel the full impact of it.”
This is a pointer to worst thing to come or many more denials ahead. If in less than 30 days of a government, Lagosians are witnessing this denial, it leaves so much to covet of a man who secured overwhelming supports of Lagosians even against an incumbent.
SUGGESTIONS FOR SANWO-OLU
It is best for Sanwo-Olu and his team returns to the table and call for all the videos and audios of his campaign trail to verify his promises if there is no manifesto document as it appears to be now. They should review and engage PR professionals who will help tailor the narratives better for people’s acceptance if anything is to change in executions of those promises.
Governor Sanwo-Olu and Dr Femi Hamzat should act fast so they don’t wash away the goodwill Lagosians repose in them. His team needs to step up so that over 739,445 Lagosians voters that brought him to power will not be asking: Can we trust this governor?
Osanyintuyi is a media consultant and founder, gatekeeper.ng. He can be reached via: [email protected]