Ideally, democracy is meant to be a government of the people by the people for the people, but it has been twisted to be a contrary experience in Lagos State. For so long, the politics of Lagos State has always supported and benefitted only the privileged politicians, the elites, the hanger-ons, the henchmen of politicians, the ruthless enforcers, the transport unions officials, the market women officials and others at the expense of the people.
By and large, the popular political system called ‘state capture’ is the predominant behind-the-scene hand of treachery that controls the levers of economic and political power in Lagos State, while marginalising the less privileged and leaving the general average hardworking Lagosians to scramble for crumbs of survival. Thus, our state has been captured for the private benefits of less than 1 percent of the citizens of the state while 99 percent suffer from the huge infrastructure failure and large scale corruption of the APC government.
Today, as a result of the lopsided, exclusive, corrupt character of government in Lagos State, many questions are begging for answers. How many Lagosians have access to good healthcare services, potable water and affordable housing? How many low-cost houses were built by the APC government in the last 20 years for Lagosians? Perhaps the government built at best 30,000 units for over 20 million struggling tax-paying citizens of the state! Still, how many of our people are gainfully and productively employed? How many new jobs were created directly and indirectly by the state government in the last 20 years? Quite insignificant!
As the grim realities of misrule grind on Lagosians year after year, many are still living in the squalid and poverty-ridden areas of Ajegunle, Okokomaiko, Badagry, Ikorodu, Epe, Alimosho, Lagos Island, Lekki, Bariga, Shomolu, Ketu, Ojo and so on. The sadder reality is that most of the people living in such slum conditions have no hope in the next 50 years of being pulled out of poverty as they continue to suffer acute lack of electricity, potable water, decent accommodation, health and education facilities, gainful jobs and more, due their total oppression by the political elites.
So, right-thinking stakeholders are now asking: where are the so-called acclaimed massive developmental projects being trumpeted by the APC government to deceive voters for a second term when life still is short, hard and brutish in the state for most residents? Curiously, in this same ‘centre of excellence’, consultants to the state government collect over 50 billion naira annually in various commissions for taxes and other levies collected on behalf of the state. Multiple taxation that kills businesses is the order of the day, with all kangaroo kinds of consultants such as in inland revenue, tenement rates, land use charge, advert isement, telecom infrastructure, power infrastructure approvals, building permits, fund raising, markets, abattoir and transport unions all oppressing and fleecing Lagosians of their hard earned income. But where is all the money going into? Where is accountability for our commonwealth? Isn’t it time Lagosians woke up and demand concrete answers as the next elections approach fast?
The Labour Party governorship team of Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (GRV) and his Deputy is firmly of the view that in every four years of an APC government, over N100 billion is frittered away in special fees payable to consultants and other politically backed rent seekers. When this is coupled with an over bloated and corrupt contracting process, inflated figures by various ministries, plus the state capture by the political leader, his agents and government officials of the land assets of the state, it can be boldly affirmed that over two trillion Naira has been wasted and diverted to some people’s pockets in the last twenty years of the APC government. That is the same massive amount of money that would have helped provide educational scholarships, world-class healthcare, affordable houses, potable water and the creation of millions of jobs for the most disadvantaged, marginalized people of the state.
However, all hope is not lost. That is why GRV’s message is that Lagosians must take their fate in their hands and seize their chance in 2023! We have been taken for a ride for too long. If elected, the GRV government will declare within its first few days of office a total war on poverty. Our focus will be to create a good life and living for the lowest income earning Lagosians and others. We will improve access to quality education, quality healthcare, clean water, affordable housing and so on. We will set up and finance skill acquisition centers for ICT in high-demand jobs and training for at least 2 million people in all the local government areas in the state, in disciplines such as fintech, programming, cybersecurity, gaming technology, data analytics, online marketing, artificial intelligence, machine learning, etc.
Also, we will deal with the miserable traffic situation by building efficient road and water transportation networks all over the state. In all, we will definitely block all leakages, rent seeking, corrupt diversion of our commonwealth, terminate all evil consulting agreements of the APC collaborators and recover our commonwealth for the entire benefits of Lagosians. We will fight the evil extortion of our traders, drivers, market women etc. Major focus of GRV administration will be on catering to a better life for artisans, lower cadre civil servants, lower cadre private sector workers, domestic workers, drivers, market women, underprivileged youths and senior citizens, unemployed folks, and all those living in the ghettos of Lagos, to give everyone a sense of belong and a good standard of living. A new beginning beckons to Lagosians. GRV is ready and prepared to take Lagosians to the next level. Join us!