The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu says places of worship in the state will be reopened from August 7.Continue reading “#COVID-19: Lagos To Reopen Worship Centres August 7 And 9 – Sanwo-Olu”
Lagos state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has suspended the reopening of worship centers indefinitely.
The governor had earlier directed worship centres, which were shut over coronavirus pandemic, to reopen but under strict guidelines.
He had said while mosques would reopen on June 19, churches would resume activities on June 21.
But at a press briefing on Tuesday, the governor made a U-turn, saying worship centres should remain shut to check the spread of the virus.
The governor said this is as a result of the rising number of cases in the state.
With 7,317 cases, Lagos has the highest number of infections in Nigeria.
By Onyemachukwu Precious Nkechi
It is no longer news that Governor Akinwumi Ambode will no longer return as Governor of Lagos State in 2019 since he lost to his contender Babajide Sanwo-Olu in the governorship candidacy ticket of All Progressive Congress(APC) at the primary election held on the 2nd of October, 2018.
Lagos state has become more chaotic and filthy since the governor lost the election. It has become even more of an eyesore everywhere you turn to. It is as though we are not ruled by a governor.
Nowadays, the traffic in Lagos is increasing at an alarming rate. It has no end and has no special time allocated to it. Some radio stations now create a program where they release traffic reports to the audience. No one can give a proper reason as to why there is so much traffic in the state. Some other people speculate using environmental and spiritual factor. Some say it is because of bad roads, some say it is because of overpopulation, others say that it is because of roadblocks caused by tankers. Whatever the case may be, Lagos has never been the same since his rule.
The roadblocks caused by Apapa Tankers are as deadly as ever. It has been a major issue for the past four years. The number of tankers on the road is greatly increasing. Some of the trailers and tankers park on the road without checking on whether it is the right place to park.
Lagos has become filthy ever since the governor scrapped out the environmental sanitation that normally occurs every last Saturday of the month. Lagos has now become a centre for dirtiness. The roads are filled with dirt and the sewage is blocked which in turn causes flooding during the raining season. Just recently, I noticed that all the waste management’s companies have resumed work after a while and they are still trying to recover the state from its uncleanliness. Most people say that Lagos has never been dirtier as what they are seeing now.
According to Tracka, out of 174 roads in Lagos, Governor Akinwumi Ambode has done only 54 roads as of February 2019. According to the Lagos State Commissioner of Works and Infrastructure, Engineer Ade Akinsanya, the roads would be done in 3 phases. This construction was a promise by the Governor to open more inner roads in the state and this was budgeted for 18.6 billions naira.
Lagos State has not remained the same since the lost to the incoming governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu. We are hoping for a definite change from the new elected governor after the change over in the government. We solidly hope that everything would turn out well and Lagos will go back to remain a clean state.
The candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babatunde Gbadamosi, was the dark horse that wowed members of the audience in Saturday’s Lagos gubernatorial election debate, as he spoke confidently of his plans if elected governor of the country’s commercial capital.
Mr Gbadamosi, who was a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) before defecting to the ADP, received rave reviews of his performance in the debate, which was organised by The Platform, a civic discussion initiative of the Covenant Christian Centre.
The interview which was moderated by British-Nigerian Christian broadcaster, Victor Oladokun, had in attendance alongside Mr Gbadamosi, the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje, and the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Owolabi Salis.
Mr Gbadamosi started off on a somewhat shaky note when he was asked about what he would do in his first hundred days in office if elected. He explained that he would try increasing the salaries of civil servants in the state, but he did not explain how he would raise the additional fund needed to do this.
He, however, bounced back from the initial flutter, arguing that his priority will be to boost the infrastructural shortfall of the state by building rail lines to all the exit points of the state, opening up water transportation and the movement of container by barges instead of through the roads to cut the infamous Lagos traffic.
The ADP candidate, who berated the ruling party in the state for lack of prudence in running the state finances, said he would bring his experience from the private sector in handling the spending of state funds.
According to him, he would be able to do this because he “does not have a godfather”, which was a snide remark on the candidate of the ruling APC, Mr Sanwo-Olu, who enjoys the backing of a former governor of the state, Bola Tinubu, generally believed to be the de facto political leader of the state.
Mr Gbadamosi also correctly fact-checked the APC candidate after he falsely stated that the state government was transparent and publishes its budgets. Mr Gbadamosi pointed out that the state budget website no longer existed stating that the government is known for being opaque rather than open. He said if elected into office he would operate an open government.
He berated the current government for being unable to complete its light rail project in 10 years and wondered why the state was paying for it from its purse when it could have welcomed the private sector to finance the project. He also said at a cost of almost $1 billion, the light rail project was too expensive.
He said he would open up the state waterways and improve tourism as a means of growing the state tax revenue if elected into office.
In all, he was the most eloquent of the candidate on display. The figures and data he quoted were mostly correct. He also cited examples of what was being done in other places with similar demographics like Lagos such as Singapore and Ethiopia.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, as the candidate of the ruling party, which has been in power for 20 years in the state, unsurprisingly was put on the defensive throughout the debate. But he did a fairly good job of shaking off the attacks from other candidates and in fact, on a couple of occasions, was on the offensive.
He spoke about his experience as a banker and public officer. He said he would bring the experience garnered from being a three-time commissioner in the state in running the state effectively.
He promised to tackle the traffic gridlock in the city and especially promised to solve the perennial gridlock in the Apapa area of the state.
The APC candidate said he would be a listening governor and regularly hold town hall meetings across the state to discuss some of the pressing problems of the state.
He said the problems with funds in the state would be solved if more people pay taxes. According to him, out of the possible 16 million taxable people in the state, only 800,000 actually pay taxes. He said he would work towards capturing more people into the tax bracket.
Mr Sanwo-Olu promised to double the state’s health budget from its present 9 per cent to 18-20 per cent. He said he would focus on health insurance for all inhabitants of the states and his priority will be improving primary healthcare.
Mr Sanwo-Olu, however, spent a lot of time talking about his educational qualifications and his experience as a commissioner. Though he put a spirited fight especially when other candidates suggested he was a stooge of Mr Tinubu; but like flies feeding off the wounded ears of a dog, hard as he tried, he was unable to shake off the attack.
He lied that Lagos was transparent and received several rebuttals from other debaters over the claim. Also, some of his responses sounded like he was berating the manner his party has run the state.
Perhaps the most disappointing candidate of the night was the PDP candidate. His disappointment may not have come from the weakness of his responses as it did from the fact that they were usually below par from what was expected of him. He stammered several times and his responses cross the time given each candidate to respond.
Also, the unexpected brilliance of Mr Gbadamosi appeared to have stolen Mr Agbaje’s thunder. The candidate who was running for the third time may have been hurt by the familiarity of his responses.
On solving the traffic problems of the state, he said he would fix potholes, and innovate the traffic control by installing radar-controlled traffic lights in the state. He said he would strengthen the state traffic control agency, LASTMA, to be more efficient.
Mr Agbaje said he would provide leadership as he is not a stooge. He said rather than ask people to pay more taxes he would open up the state for more businesses in order to capture new taxpayers.
He promised to improve the school system with technology and more internet broadband in the state would encourage more students to learn to code and become tech savvy.
He said he would make local governments more efficient by making them independent of the state government. He also promised to expand the road and extend the railway system to other parts of the state to reduce vehicular traffic on the road.
The AD candidate, who is no stranger to running for the position of governor, having run three previous times, promised to cut the state from the control of Mr Tinubu. He said he would work to eradicate violence by purging the pockets of gangs across the state.
He, no doubt, provided comic relief during the debate with his somewhat awkward mannerism. And he welcomed a lot of jeers from the audience and criticism from those commenting on social media when he said he was going to build a subway in the city. His said he would appoint 50 special assistants that will help him see to the development of local governments in the state. His response here left many people wondering what would happen to the appointed local government officials.
He promised to take back the wealth of the people of Lagos from those he said have hijacked it and use it to develop the state.
SOURCE: Premium Times
The head of the electoral panel set up by the APC to conduct the governorship primary in Lagos has said no primary was held in the state on Tuesday.
This is despite thousands of party members in Lagos turning up in various wards to vote for their preferred candidate between incumbent governor Akinwunmi Ambode and challenger Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Mr Sanwo-Olu enjoys the support of majority of the APC leaders in the state including ex-governor Bola Tinubu.
On Tuesday morning, some of Mr Ambode’s supporters cried out they were being disenfranchised from voting amidst reports of thug attacks in some wards.
Clement Ebiri later told PREMIUM TIMES on the phone that he was not aware any primary held as all election materials brought from Abuja were still intact.
Mr Ebiri, appointed by the APC headquarters to oversee the Lagos governorship primary, said his committee was yet to commence the process.
He said he was aware that some people “have done something” which, he said, was not with consent of the committee.
The national spokesperson of the APC, Yekini Nabena, had earlier told PREMIUM TIMES he was not aware of the cancellation of Tuesday’s primaries.
Mr Ebiri, a former Cross River governor, later confirmed the primaries did not hold.
“Well, they said they were holding something, I didn’t know about it because we are busy crosschecking the architecture for it. So I am not quite aware of that,” Mr Ebiri said.
He said his committee was just concluding meetings with relevant stakeholders, after which materials will be shared for the election expected to hold Wednesday morning.
“We are trying to see if we can do an early one tomorrow. We now have all the parties present. They came. We just finished the meeting now,” he said.
Asked if he ordered for the reported elections in parts of the state, he replied: “No, no, no that wasn’t…we need to tidy up things properly. We need to.”
He also said he did not know the source of the materials used for the elections as those given to his committee were still intact.
Mr Ebri had earlier echoed a similar statement at a press conference in Lagos Tuesday afternoon.
At the press conference, he said representatives of both governorship aspirants failed to furnish the committee with the list of their election monitors.
“Yesterday we were told to adjust our modalities to suit the open ballot that the state is clamouring for and we told them that for us to do that, both parties will present a list of representatives from all wards that would represent them in the election and it wasn’t provided,” Mr Ebri said while responding to a question on whether Tuesday’s primaries had been cancelled.
“Anything that was done without the list we waited for, I can’t wait for a list for over nine hours and I didn’t see anything and you expect me to go ahead? We had a meeting with the representatives of the aspirants as early as 8am and we told them to bring lists of representatives from each LG to monitor the election on their behalf. I got names for 20 LG reps from one side and only got seven from the other side and we just got for additional eleven LG from them.
“And you don’t expect us to go on with an election where one person is represented and the other is not. I believe what we have decided is the best. There was no election and we will communicate when materials for the election will be distributed and election conducted.”
Earlier, while addressing the media, Mr Ebri said the NWC had been “dotting their i’s and crossing their t’s to ensure that the victory that will be procured at the end of the day will be celebrated by both parties.
“Because there are two major contenders in the primary election, they needed to take their time to prepare well in other to ensure that they were fair to both parties.”
Cover photo: On Tuesday morning, some of Mr Ambode’s supporters cried out they were being disenfranchised from voting amidst reports of thug attacks in some wards. Photo compilation: NigerianEye
Source: Premium Times/Guardian/Sahara Reporters