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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 close-run election contest between incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and former vice-president Atiku Abubakar was largely peaceful. But it was not a perfect performance given that there were some pockets of violence that led to the death of at least 16 people. Olayinka Ajala gives his views on the poll.
How well did the country’s Independent National Electoral Commission’s manage the vote?
Although the election can’t be described as a perfect performance, it was a noticeable improvement on previous elections conducted since the country returned to democracy in 1999.
The commission understandably received a lot of stick for pushing back the election by a week. But it has acquitted itself well by resisting intimidation from the political parties to conduct a fairly credible election.
Although there were pockets of violence – in one incident in River State 16 people died – the process was peaceful in most of the states. There was delayed voting in some polling units but the commission was able to douse the tension by extending the voting hours in the affected areas.
Faulty voter card readers were a key source of complaints by several political parties during the 2015 elections. This time around, issues relating to malfunctioning of electronic card readers were promptly addressed by the electoral commission’s mobile team.
The postponement of the elections by a week also allowed the electoral commission to replace the card readers destroyed in arson attacks on three of its state offices.
The electoral commission’s work has been commended by a number of organisation’s. Two notable ones were the All Progressives Congress whose chairman Adams Oshiomhole commended it’s work as did the Centre for Transparency Advocacy.
Despite the challenges faced by the electoral commission in the run-up to the poll, the commission was able to conduct a credible election in a very challenging atmosphere.
What other factors affected the election?
One of the key threats prior to the elections was insecurity in the already volatile regions of the country as well as in several electoral hotspots. Frequent attacks by Boko Haram and a cycle of clashes between farmers and herdsmen north of the country had created apprehensions before the elections.
True to these fears, there were multiple blasts and gun shots around the North-Eastern region of the country on the morning of the elections. Boko Haram factions fired rockets in Borno State capital Maiduguri to dissuade residents from participating in the elections. The military, however, was able to take charge of the situation and allow the residents to vote in the elections.
Although the Boko Haram ambush was quickly foiled, there were pockets of violence around the country that could affect on the outcome of the elections. This is especially at the national assembly levels in the regions affected.
In a repeat of the 2015 elections, Rivers State – which is the largest oil producing state – experienced the highest number of election related fatalities. This resulted in the cancellation of some local government elections.
At least six people were killed in Rivers State including an army officer in clashes between political party hirelings and security operatives. Rivers State is considered a major hotspot in the country during elections not only because of its position as the largest oil producing state but also because it is home to several militant groups agitating for the control of oil resources in the Niger Delta region.
There were also clashes in areas that include Lagos, Ibadan and Bayelsa.
Although these pockets of violence would affect the regions where the violence took place, it’s unlikely to affect the overall outcome of the elections as electoral commission insisted it would cancel elections where there are outbreaks of violence. Elections in the affected areas in Rivers have already been cancelled.
Can the elections be described as free and fair?
To a large extent the conduct of the elections can be described as free and fair. The electoral commission, security forces and most candidates have conducted themselves reasonably well.
As for the electorate, there is evidence that Nigerians were more willing to play their part. The electorate monitored political parties very closely, an indication in my view that democracy in Nigeria is maturing
It also seems that people were prepared to take action (sometimes by taking the law in their hands) to ensure that there wasn’t any interference in the election process. For example, in Lagos irate voters attacked and killed a one member of a vigilante group who attempted to destroy ballot papers. Although the police force has warned the electorates from engaging in “jungle justice” the willingness of voters to confront political thugs is a new development in Nigeria’s democracy.
Adams Oshiomhole, National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), has announced that those who join the ruling party will have their “sins” forgiven.
Oshiomhole made the declaration during an APC rally in Edo State on Thursday.
He encouraged more politicians in the opposition to follow the steps of some members of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) who have decamped to APC.
His words: “I am told that there are a lot of very very senior people from PDP who have decided to join forces with President Buhari to take the broom to sweep away PDP and to continue to ensure that APC continues to preside all over Nigeria.
“It includes my own brother, my friend who comes from my own clime, Henry Duke Genebe. He is the former organising secretary of PDP and we also have former vice chairman of PDP and leader of Edo North of PDP. We also have my brother Chief Esheshi Godwin. He is also former council chairman and my very dear friend.
“We have quite a number of other leaders who have come. We have quite a number of other leaders who have come… in fact, once you have joined APC, all your sins are forgiven.”
Just a day after erroneously claiming at a campaign rally to have ascended power on May 19, 2015, President Muhammadu Buhari on Thursday committed another error at a campaign rally.
Speaking on Wednesday at the presidential campaign rally of the All Progressives Congress (APC) held in Lokoja, capital of Kogi State, Buhari had told the crowd: “I assure you that I am very aware of your appreciation of the efforts for what we were able to deliver since came in 19th of May, 2015.”
On Thursday, at the end of his speech after another presidential campaign rally in Warri, Delta State, Buhari was to hand over the party’s flag to the Delta State governorship candidate of the party,
However, he said: “I am handing over this flag of honour to our presidential candidate.”
When the man to his left corrected him, saying “gubernatorial”, Buhari responded with “to our senatorial candidate”.
Again, the man corrected him, saying “gubernatorial”. This time, Buhari said: “governortorial candidate”.
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.
Uche Nwosu, son-in-law to Rochas Okorocha, Governor of Imo State, has dumped the All Progressives Congress (APC).
Speaking on Tuesday at the Sam Mbakwe International Cargo Airport, Owerri, on his arrival from Abuja, he expressed his intention to contest for the Imo governorship seat on the platform of the Action Alliance (AA).
Giving reason for his decision, he said “Injustice, impunity, and lack of respect for party’s constitution” forced him out of APC.
He stated that aside this supporting Okorocha’s senatorial ambition, others had defected from the APC.
“We are going to work with APC to deliver Imo State to President Muhammadu Buhari. We will deliver Governor Rochas Okorocha as senator because Action Alliance has no senatorial candidate in Orlu zone,” he said, clutching the Action Alliance (AA) flag and flanked by the state chairman of the party.
“I have no problem with President Muhammadu Buhari. My headache is the National Chairman of APC. It is a divine project and we are ready for the election. It is inter-party marriage between AA and APC in Imo State.
“We will work with APC to deliver President Muhammadu Buhari, Governor Rochas Okorocha, myself and all our candidates.”
Ahead of the upcoming 2019 general elections, some support groups of the president, Muhammadu Buhari, have declared support for candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Atiku Abubakar.
At an elaborate event at Ajuji hotel, Gudu district of Abuja on Monday evening, the groups said their decision to dump Mr Buhari and the All Progressives Congress (APC) was due to “marginalization and deliberate impoverishment”.
The press conference was addressed on behalf of the groups by Yusuf Ardo, the national coordinator of the Grassroots Mobilisers for Buhari (GMB).
Mr Ardo said the Grassroots Mobilisers for Buhari is a political pressure group that was registered in 2015 with the relevant government agency, with national, zonal, states, local government areas, wards and polling units leadership.
He claimed his group has over “5 million registered members” across Nigeria that mobilised Nigerians from all works of life through organisation of Town Hall meetings, community by community to sensitise people at the grassroots for the actualisation of Mr Buhari’s presidential aspiration in 2015.
“We toured the country and campaigned for the emergence of the current APC led federal government.
“This forum coordinated all support groups for APC and championed Grassroots Mobilizations of Nigerians.”
He attributed their decision to support Mr Abubakar to the “failure” of Mr Buhari.
“Sequel to the foregoing, we are sad, that the government we put in place has failed and continues to fail our people; we cannot continue to reinforce failures.”
Mr Ardo criticized the president for not having youth in his cabinet.
“How can we have a federal cabinet without a single youth?” he asked.
“A government that does not take the youths into account is a dying government; the future belongs to us, the young people.
“Today, our country is faced with legions of challenges, our economy that was the fastest-growing in Africa has gone comatose under the present government that has shown unprepared and completely clueless.
“Unemployment has risen to an alarming level, instead of creating three million jobs per year as promised during 2015 campaigns; millions of jobs are being lost quarterly, with many companies folding up,” he said.
He said he believed Nigeria’s economy under Mr Abubakar will be revived and returned to the path of progress that it was before the “misfortune” of President Buhari.
“We strongly believe that Atiku will ensure diversification of the economy through Agriculture, adequate supply of power, massive industrialization, thereby creating employment for our teaming youths.”
“Our predicament and future of the youth in Nigeria is highly threatened, that is why we have resolved one hundred percent (100%) to support His Excellency, Atiku Abubakar, GCON, come 2019 for our large interest in this country.”
“We need Atiku’s helping hands to liberate our people from the present situation we have sadly found ourselves.”
Reacting to the development, Festus Keyamo, campaign spokesperson of the Buhari Campaign Organization said people were free to make their choices, adding that they also receive hundreds of decampees, daily.
“Every day we receive hundreds of people who dump the PDP and are willing to work for us.”
He however said he doubted if the groups are genuine supporters of President Buhari.
“I doubt if they are genuine Buhari supporters because the name does not ring a bell.”
He said many mercenaries were looking for their daily bread so he would not be surprised to see such development.
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, has vowed to work against his party’s governorship candidate in the state.
Mr Amosun, a close ally of President Muhammadu Buhari, however, pledged to work for the president’s re-election bid.
He also said he would not leave the APC and would contest the Ogun central senatorial election on the platform of the party next year.
Mr Amosun spoke on Monday in Abeokuta at a stakeholders meeting of the APC which was attended by his preferred governorship candidate and the flagbearer of Allied Peoples Movement (APM), Adekunle Akinlade.
The governor ’s declaration came as 26 aggrieved candidates of the APC loyal to the governor announced their defection to the APM.
Mr Amosun said he had tried his best to stop the defection of Mr Akinlade and other aggrieved candidates.
He vowed to use everything within his capacity to ensure the success of Mr Akinlade and other aggrieved members in their new party.
“When these people came, they told me they are leaving the APC, I said ‘no’ but I couldn’t stop them. In fact, Akinlade has my full support.
” I am not going to stop him, everything I have, I will use to support him. Let them try whatever they want to try, we also have our strategies and I am not going to hide behind one finger,” the governor said.
Mr Akinlade won a controversial governorship primary of the APC conducted by the party in the state. However, a panel sent by the headquarters of the party conducted a separate primary which produced Dapo Abiodun.
Mr Abiodun is the favoured candidate of ex-Lagos State governor, Bola Tinubu, and his former Ogun State counterpart, Olusegun Osoba. Both men have been accused by Mr Amosun of trying to hijack the party in Ogun and the South-west.
On Monday, Mr Amosun vowed that he would never support Mr Abiodun’s governorship ambition.
“I remain in APC because that’s what those people want, they want us to leave APC but they are joking.
“ I will stay in APC to ensure that Buhari wins in Ogun State and to let them know that they can’t subvert the will of the state.
“Every day, I will campaign for President Muhammdu Buhari, we will do everything possible to ensure Buhari wins massively in Ogun, but they should not miss it.
“I, Sen. Ibikunle Amosun, will not support anyone they are bringing,” he said.
Mr Amosun, who vowed to resist rigging in the state, also pledged to check violence in the electoral process.
The governor’s declaration on Monday puts paid to moves by the APC to resolve its post-primaries crisis in Ogun.
Although Mr Amosun did not reveal the “strategy” he plans to use to support his party in some elections and work against it in others, the current schedule of the elections may work in his favour.
Presidential and National Assembly elections hold first on February 14; which would allow Mr Amosun campaign for himself and Mr Buhari under the APC. He could then commence campaigns for the APM for the governorship election two weeks later.
The governor has also blamed the national chairman of the party, Adams Oshiomhole, for the crisis in the APC and is believed to be among those demanding Mr Oshiomhole’s exit as chairman.