For the past 20 years, Lagosians have been subjected to the same leadership of vested interests. This leadership of vested interests has left insecurity, crime, poverty, unemployment, disunity, lawlessness, impunity, corruption, broken down infrastructure in its wake.
As the IGR of our great state increased, there has been an inversely proportional decrease in our quality of life, while the luxurious lifestyles, wealth accumulation and impunity of the vested interests have increased.
As another election beckons in 2019, this same group of failed leaders would like to deceive us into thinking that they have a new direction to offer the people. If Lagosians look in their direction again, then we are in trouble. If Lagosians want better governance, they have to look in a new direction because it has become clear that the master’s plan and not the masterplan of the past 20 years is slow, outdated and bereft of quality ideas befitting a megacity with the seventh largest economy in Africa.
They often say that their achievements speak for themselves when you compare the development in Lagos State to what obtains in other parts of the country. However, it should be about comparing apples with apples. In essence, because of its strategic importance, why not compare Lagos to other megacities around the globe.
Lagos is truly lagging behind on major performance indices and meagre achievements despite increasing IGR should humble rather than give us a false sense of pride in ourselves.
Lagosians cannot and should not keep voting the same group of corrupt and incompetent leaders for 20 years and expect positive changes in the State. As a notable thinker once said, we cannot keep doing the same thing and expect different results.
In Jimi Agbaje, we have an opportunity for genuine service and leadership to emancipate the people from economic slavery.
My Fellow Citizens of Lagos State, there is a barest minimum expectation from the government you vote into power, they are there to serve you and not the other way round. Ask yourself if the APC have given you this barest minimum of jobs, security, roads, education and so on over the past 20 years. Have they served you by utilising the full potential of the resources available to Lagos State or have they served themselves by commandeering the state resources as they deem fit? It is time to break free and see our great state rise up to take her place among the great cities of the world.
They say Jimi Agbaje is confused and inexperienced but it is their party that decided to remove an incumbent Governor simply because he was perceived to be more loyal to the state he was called to serve than his party structure. In their estimation, who is he to serve the people without taking orders? The incumbent Governor and his predecessor have ended up as victims of the same system that propped them up; in essence they have been limited because they are governors but not governing. The story cannot be different with the one they are doing all they can to make us accept. We are not a docile electorate and should not accept all that is thrown at us.
Jimi Agbaje has promise time and time again that if voted in, the buck would stop on his table, he will only answer to the people of this great state who voted for him.
You cannot serve two masters; the current Governor has found that out the hard way. Who sounds confused now – us or them?
When it comes to Jimi Agbaje’s inexperience in Lagos State governance, I feel he will gladly admit some facts.
He has no experience in being a YES MAN. He has no experience in refusing to be transparent and accountable to the very people who voted him in. He has no experience in following a master’s plan that has slowed down our progress as a state and prevented us from maximising our potential. He has no experience in corruption and accumulation of wealth or boasting that he is wealthier than an entire state (in spite of having no visible means of livelihood). He has no experience in ignoring the plight of fellow Lagosians as they battle through poor road net+works and traffic while he breezes past them in convoys with expensive vehicles and excessive security detail. He has no experience in acquiring properties in the choice parts of our great State while the infrastructure is allowed to degenerate in the less-privileged areas where the masses reside. He has no interest in turning Lagos State into a family and friends’ business while qualified graduates and hard-working people are left to roam the streets without jobs.
What he does have experience in are: Leading people with integrity, being accountable to the people he leads, leadership that is built on selfless service and sacrificial leadership that costs you something and benefits everyone even if he stands to benefit nothing personally.
This experience in altruistic integrity Jimi Agbaje will bring to Lagos governance.
. Peters writes from Lagos.