Ambode’s victory and expectations of Lagosians | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Ambode’s victory and expectations of Lagosians

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 1:00 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Augustine Adah –  Senior Correspondent, Lagos


The All Progressives Congress has again won the Lagos State governorship elections for another term of four years the state. This is the fifth time the party has won the governorship election in the state. It started as Alliance for Democracy (AD), Action Congress (AC), and Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) before it became – along with others – the mega party now known as APC

Akinwunmi Ambode

Akinwunmi Ambode

Though this was the first time the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), went into the election without much rifts, the party was for the fifth time unlucky.  Many political observers, including leaders of the leading political parties in the state have admitted that the elections were the fiercest in the history of governorship elections in the state since the return of democracy in 1999.

The campaigns leading to the elections were very tense, and fear of violence gripped residents of the city. The former Secretary to Lagos State Government and one of the leaders of APC in the state, Asiwaju  Olorunfunmi Basorun, described the election as one of the keenly contested.  He expressed delight that APC eventually won the election because many factors were introduced into the election in order to ensure that APC did not win the election in the state.

Similarly, one of the leaders of PDP in the state and former Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe described the battle for governorship election in Lagos State as titanic which the party needs prayer to win.  Ogunlewe was not oblivious of the task ahead of the party in its effort to send APC which has been in power for 16 years packing from Government House.  “For us to defeat APC which has been in power for the past 16 years of democracy, we must work very hard,” he stated.

The April 11 victory of APC has confirmed that the party is in total control of Lagos politics. At a campaign rally before the election, President Goodluck Jonathan told the party leaders that 2015 general elections may be the last chance of the party to win the governorship elections in the state.  It was alleged that lack of support from the national headquarters and presidency has affected the effort of the party in winning the Lagos State governorship elections.

That could explain why some Lagosians thought that with the tremendous support enjoyed by the party from presidency this time around,  the party will spring a surprise during the election.  The party’s  performance this time around appeared better than in previous elections, the governorship candidate of the party, Jimi Agbaje could not get the majority votes  to win the election.  He scored 659,788 votes as against 811,994 votes by the candidate of APC, Akinwunmi Ambode.

PDP won in five out of 20 local government areas of the state.  The local governments include; Ojo, Ajeromi/Ifelodun, Surulere, Amuwo-Odofin and Oshodi/Isolo. These places are suspected to be stronghold of non-indigenes in the state. Though the party in the state has rejected the result, the governorship candidate, Jimi Agbaje, followed the example of President Goodluck Jonathan and congratulated the winner, Ambode.

Agbaje who participated the governorship election for the second time in the state promised that it would be his last opportunity in the governorship race of the state.  He revealed that helping his community which he has been involved for so many years can be done in several ways without being the governor of the state.

Political analysts are of the view that APC may continue to rule Lagos State for a long time if the emerging governors continue to bring good governance to the front burner.

They contend that if the succeeding governors decide to work within the party manifestoes and programmes, it would be difficult for another party to take over the state very soon.   Many Lagosians expect Ambode to improve on the performance of Babatunde Fashola’s administration especially in the provision of infrastructure and social amenities in the state. Many residents of Lagos will also expect the in-coming administration to critically examine the case of multiple taxations in the state which has made many business men and women groaning in the state.

In addition, the people expect Ambode’s administration to do something about the activities of touts popularly known as Agbaro in the state which operate as kings hold transporters to ransom in the state. Kelvin Isibor a transporter told Daily Independent that many transporters in Lagos State are groaning as a result of the activities of touts in the state and urged the next administration to take the bull by the horns in checkmating their nefarious activities. “There is no place we do not have such people in the country, but the way their operate in Lagos and exploits commercials drivers is barbaric and does not portray a good image of the state,” he said.

He urged government to take job provision a priority in order to reduce crime in the state. Many Lgosians also want the nest government to extend development to other remote parts of the state, while the  people commended the present government for developmental strides in the state, they lamented that such development have been restricted to urban local governments.  They expect that the new administration when inaugurated should extend development to the hinterland in the state.

But during the electioneering campaign, the governor elect gave Lagosians an insight to what to expect from incoming administration He said, “We will introduce a 24/7 economy that is typical of a city state like Lagos. We will set up a Lagos Employment Trust Fund with N25bn over four years, through an access to finance of a minimum of N1bn annually across the five divisions in the state; this will allow our youths and unemployed people have access to adequate finance for entrepreneurial ventures.

“We will protect the growth of our small and medium scale enterprises by providing tax incentives. We will implement government policies that will encourage the private sector to employ more citizens and foster economic development.

“We will boost internally generated revenue by improving the collection mechanism through e-governance. We will encourage the creation of a Corporate Social Responsibility Trust Fund by the private sector, to be managed by a Board of Trustees charged with the responsibility of identifying growth opportunities yearly and financing such opportunities to further boost economic development across sectors and communities in the state.

“We will boost the State Security Fund to scale up the successes recorded so far. We will continue with the city lighting project by expanding the Independent Power Projects to enhance the security of lives and property across the state. In addition, our government will embark on the acquisition of the latest advanced security communications technology that will track and monitor the daily activities of the state.”

Ambode said his government would also provide free health care for young children, pregnant women, and adults from the age of 65. Ambode promised that his administration would modify the housing policy of the state through Public Private Partnership and also build more housing units. The governorship hopeful said just as the current administration had built several gardens across the state, he would build water theme parks that would add to the beauty of the state. Lagosians will want the new government to keep to the promises made to the people during the campaigns.