BY KEMI AKINYEMI
Good governance is hard to find. I mean the one with the right-based approach, the one that empowers the citizenry, making them a part of decision making, transparency, access to information and all what not without making a fuss about it.
Naturally, the people expect miracles to happen instantly. That is why they start putting the leader under pressure barely 100 days after they mount the saddle.
Lagos as a smart city has always been lucky to have men who are willing and capable of delivering benefits of such type of city as they relate to people, government, economy, mobility, environment and living. Despite ambitious goals and high stakes, little is always known about the work the men at the helm of affairs perform in undertaking such transformation. Denmark, Holland, USA, Australia and New Zealand have all walked through this path.
Forget about the Ambode debacle which ended his tenure abruptly after just one term, the crop of men who have managed Lagos State lately have been carefully selected, apparently to maintain the tradition of the kind of quality the state is known for. Name them, Lateef Jakande, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Raji Fashola, Akinwunmi Anbode…
The man of the moment, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, is no exception. Although his mien might deceive one, he is a natural leader who believes more in action than words. Imagine putting all those structures here and there and Lagosians were hitherto not informed about. That is what a transformational leader is made of. Transformational not only in resources and men but also in infrastructures, but not making so much noise.
The best of Governor Sanwo-Olu must have manifested during the 2020 pandemic, but that was just a part of his best. Ever since, he has not relented in making all sectors feel his Midas touch of some sorts, be it education, transportation, housing, tech or health. Look around everywhere. He has put his marks. The handling of the ENDSARS must have dented his sparkling clean records, but that has been explained away successfully. That also must have warranted the need to open his portfolio of achievements, which had before now advertised themselves naturally.
Does Governor Sanwo-Olu have any close – as in so close- rival in the 2023 elections as far as Lagos is concerned? Naaaah!! Though the presidential elections activated the panic button and brought everyone out of their shells, good governance is non-negotiable and, by extension, irreplacebale . Not until after eight years. Any attempt to wish Babajide Sanwo-Olu away at this point when Lagos is wriggling itself out of all its sore points will not do Lagosians any good.
You see, Lagos has a developmental masterplan which has been followed to the letter since the heyday of the now president-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. The plan is gradually rearing its beautiful shape and there should not be any interruption at this moment.
Sanwo-Olu’s dossier matches Lagos dream to a fault. Born on June 25, 1965, Sanwo-Olu has a BSc in Surveying and Geo-Informatics and an MBA from the University of Lagos. He had earlier attended Government Demonstration School, Gbaja, Surulere and Ijebu-Ife Grammar School, Ogun State.
He has had stints in both private and public sectors. He started out at the defunct Lead Merchant Bank before joining the United Bank for Africa as head of Foreign Money Market. He later moved to FCMB when it was known as First Inland Bank Plc.
For the public sector, he became an aide of the then deputy governor of Lagos State, Mr Femi Pedro, before serving the then governor Bola Tinubu in the same capacity of Special Adviser on Corporate Matters. He also served as commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Commissioner for Commerce and Commissioner for Establishments under successive governments in Lagos. Before becoming the governor, he was the managing director of the Lagos State Development and Property Corporation, LSDPC for short.
So, Governor Sanwo-Olu knows Lagos inside-out and remains the people’s choice. The people know what they want. They have seen good governance at its best and they want to keep it because it is so hard to find.
Another four years is loading for an intelligent, meticulous and focused man of the people. Let’s rally behind him and achieve a greater Lagos.
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