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Lagos – To the Next Level

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By Act Now

 

The Nigerian economy has been rundown with massive unemployment, low oil prices, rising costs and an unstable Naira making headlines. Lagos as Nigeria’s commercial capital feels the pulse and the heat of a poorly managed national economy. Nationwide, it seemed the Federal Government abandoned its role to govern the nation. Our public space was filled with stories of public corruption. Confidence in the nation’s security was at an all-time low with our police force ill equipped to tackle crime. This was why the nation spoke in the presidential elections of March 28th 2015 to reject 16 years of failure of governance.

In contrast, Lagos has experienced superior governance. There has been a deliberate design and effort of the government to develop the State in spite of the challenge of a hostile Federal Government. Our security forces were equipped under an innovative security trust fund. Thousands of patrol vehicles and armoured personnel carriers enhanced the few that the Federal Government provided, keeping us safe from kidnappers, robbers and terrorists. The light rail from Okokomaiko to Marina will be ready in June, taking many cars off the roads. Lagos has five independent power plants (IPPs) that provide off-grid, uninterrupted electricity to public hospitals, buildings, waterworks, and streetlights. With good foresight, it has surveyed the energy needs of the various communities in Lagos. The environment has been improved with parks that used to harbour criminals, now providing relaxation to residents. Lagos has made great progress. The ambition of Lagos to provide social and infrastructural services to Lagosians has only been reduced by a hostile PDP-led Federal Government.

For the first time, Lagos has the opportunity to cooperate with a progressive government at the centre. General Buhari of the All Progressives Congress has outlined a party manifesto that indicates many benefits for Lagos. Flanked by Lagos’ own former Attorney-General, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Lagos has a unique opportunity to move to the next level of progress. For instance, the federal plan of the APC for electricity takes after the Lagos off-grid IPP model for its public facilities. With the energy needs survey already done by the Lagos Government, implementation of the APC’s off-grid community-based IPPs will almost be like plug and play. Imagine Alaba International, Ladipo, Tejuosho and Balogun Markets with their own power plants. This reality is very close and touchable. The APC federal government also wants to set up industrial and technology parks with free electricity, free Internet and business grants. Where better to initiate such a scheme other than Lagos? One can see Computer Village in the mix. A social safety net for the poor is also top on the agenda of the APC- free meals in public primary schools, conditional cash transfers of N5,000 each to the poorest. This is the next level that Lagos deserves.

But our progress in Lagos could suffer a setback if the wrong policies or party take hold. An assault on, or incursion into, Lagos by the party that has failed Nigerians will undermine the collective growth of Lagos. Those forces that pinched the peoples’ resources for 16 years and their right to a decent living are knocking on the door of Lagos. Nearly all the states that they ruled, from North to South, and from East to West, retain the memory of the failure of governance. Ask Edo, Oyo, Osun and Ogun States what failed governance under the PDP entailed and the cleanup operation required by the progressive governments. Can Lagos afford a cleanup operation in the next four years? Is Lagos not too big and too dear to us to fail?

That is the context for the April 11 election, and as glaring as it is, the choice is just as clear.

The APC government has shown a firm commitment to using government to help foster growth. Federally, the APC has formed sensible governance policies in its manifesto that are not dedicated to protecting the powerful, but will work to bring relief to the majority of Nigerians and Lagosians who are powerless. The APC government in Lagos has impressive achievements despite the implacable wall of hostility erected by a PDP-led Federal Government so intent on crippling Lagos that they risked crashing Nigeria’s commercial progress and held Lagos’ revenues and development hostage. Mr. Ambode has worked at the top of the accounting function of the APC Government that managed Lagos’ economic survival in the face of PDP’s antagonistic might.

Jimi Agbaje, the PDP candidate, has gotten this far with a guile that allows him to say whatever he thinks an audience wants to hear. But he has tied himself to the exploitative and vicious forces that control the PDP and embraced their electoral methods, including an unleashing of ethnic militia on Lagosians on March 16th 2015. Voters may still be confused about Mr. Agbaje’s true identity, but they know the Peoples Democratic Party, and an Agbaje administration would reflect its agenda. Mr. Agbaje’s choice of Musiliu Obanikoro, Bode George and Adeseye Ogunlewe as his political benefactors says volumes about that.

Mr. Ambode may come across as running a temperate campaign with his reluctance to pound on Mr. Agbaje’s membership of the inglorious PDP (that has cost Nigeria so much) and Mr. Agbaje’s repeated political migration and infidelity. But we know he has a stomach to fight for the policies that will shape Lagos in the next four years and take her to the next level. He approaches the election clearly ready for the cooperative atmosphere of working with a progressive Federal Government.

We are confident that Lagos will attain the next level. For the first time, we will have a federal government that has the genuine interest of Lagos at heart. An alignment of ideology, policies, politics and interest between an APC Federal Government and Lagos State Government is the only option that takes us to the next level. While we congratulate Nigeria for its deliverance from failure, this certainly is not the time for Lagos to invite, accept, or tolerate PDP’s failure. Let us all join hands to take Lagos to the next level.

Act Now Nigeria

 

Act Now is an action group supporting the cause of the All Progressives Congress.

See more about them at www.actnow.ng or www.actnowng.com

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Reviewing Otunba Gbenga Daniel political sagacity so far

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But this only lasted a short while, as he had to fight many battles in the process.

Remarkably, OGD operates what can best be termed the politics of the people. Not only is he loved and cherished by the people of Ogun state, he ensures that his political moves are in tandem with the desires of his people. That was why he had to leave the PDP to join the Labour Party. His reason for joining Labour Party was to build a platform that will serve as a proper check mate for irregularities in governance of the state. Though people in the PDP frowned at this but the masses joined him to follow the party. Labour Party became the most dominant opposition party in the state taking over from the PDP. While skeptic analysis said it was an act of desperation for him to have left PDP for Labour Party but majority of the people of Ogun State didn’t care, they started declaring their support for him. He became the voice of the masses speaking against unhealthy antics of the state government.

After much deliberations and reconciliation meetings orchestrated by the National Leadership of PDP, Gbenga Daniel returned to PDP in October 2014. He returned back to PDP with massive supporters from the Labour Party which became a big boost for the PDP. But as the years rolled by, the internal wrangling and power tussles within the party took on greater dimensions, en route the last general elections. Things looked as if they couldn’t get worse, but they did, as the PDP lost the elections to the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC).

Politically, the PDP had lost its teeth within the political schemes in Ogun state. No longer was it the formidable party of yester years; this is notwithstanding OGD’s large followership in the state. Political pundits and analysts have for years posited that a move for the political gladiator away from the PDP and its many problems will be the best move for OGD’s political life as well as a win for the people that have come to love and trust him.

It, therefore, came as cheery news when he announced his return to politics on a formidable platform like the APC. OGD’s return to politics and the pitching of his tent with the APC marks something of a comeback for the Ijebu political titan, whose political exploits appeared irretrievably tainted by the internal wrangling and power tussle that afflicted the People’s Democratic Party.

Onboard APC, OGD relevance, political clout, prowess, etc, go beyond Ogun State to the national level for the greater good of the Nigerian people. This can be envisaged from his programme on Public Private Partnership which attracted several businesses into the state during his tenure. And why not? From education to health, sports, economy, agriculture, urban renewal and rural development, power, infrastructure, human development, housing, industrialisation, tourism and employment generation, OGD’s imprints in the state were phenomenal!

As at the last count, about 70 companies berthed in Ogun State from 2003 to 2011 with over 250,000 jobs provided through various employment generation schemes of the State government. In his eight years, the OGD Administration did more roads than all the administrations before it and most of these were done through direct labour with the Ministry of Works and the Ogun State Road Management Agency OGROMA. By utilising this method, costs were significantly saved while the confidence of indigenous engineers was reinstated in the people. The Olumo Rock resort was refurbished meeting international tourism standard, the MKO International Stadium Abeokuta was renovated and three other stadiums in other geo-political zones of the state were constructed to FIFA specifications.

The NYSC orientation camp in Sagamu is reputed to be the best in the country while the Tai Solarin College of Education was upgraded to University status making it the first in Nigeria and second in Africa. It was adjudged the best University of Education In Africa in 2011. The construction of a modern secretariat for civil servants in the state at a cost which beat the imagination of late President Umar Musa Yar’Adua who commissioned it remains a landmark.

The construction of the six-lane Lalubu Road – the commercial nerve centre of Abeokuta – without a single demolition of existing building was to become a standard in road constructions in Ogun State today.

For OGD, the governorship was a 24-hour job. The last project he commissioned, the OPIC PLAZA remains, till date, is the tallest structure in Ogun State.

Perhaps it is not immodest to say that the incredible performance of Otunba Gbenga Daniel is now a benchmark to measure the performance of future leaders of the gateway state. In the words of the Nobel Laureate himself, Professor Wole Soyinka, “The various projects embarked upon by Governor Daniel are laudable and practical”.

If his decisions have gained him so much love and respect from his teeming apostles and the good people of Ogun State in the past, then who dares question why a lion decided to roar again?

Ogidi Omo has once again thrown his hat into the ring. He is the APC senatorial candidate for Ogun East and given his antecedents, there is no gainsaying that the good people of his senatorial district are in for the best available representation at the national assembly.

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How Popular Lagos Lawyer Abimbola Badia Jack Is Threatening The Peace Of Gateway Zone, Magodo Phase 1 Residents….

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+How She Ordered OP Mesa to Beat Up Estate EXCO

Residents of Gateway Zone, Magodo phase 1 has cried out to Lagos State Government over recent breach of peaceful co-existence among residents in the community by popular lawyer Abimbola Badia Jack.

In recent times, Abimbola Badia Jack has become a torn in the flesh of Gateway Zone residents who now live in fear and anxiety over the incessant attacks by land grabbers and military men who have tried all means possible to gain entrance into the estate.

 

It should be noted that the constant attacks by Abimbola Badia Jack might leave the estate vulnerable to suspected robbers who might take advantage of this fiasco to dislodge residents of their belongings.

The Magodo scheme is a Lagos State Government scheme established over three decades to which the Government of Lagos State pursuant to the land use Act 1978 allocated by way of parcels of land to various persons and on which members of the community development association built and erected houses for their respective families.
Magodo phase 1 gateway zone is a Lagos State Government reservation area bordered by wet land. It was gathered that members of the CDA had lived peacefully in the community until October 8, 2021 when Abimbola Jack Olaguda and her cohort in a gang steric manner acting on behalf of Ojoko and Oloto families led thugs into the zone and forcefully damaged and destroyed the parameter fence in disguise to open the boundary wall to make access to the adjoining land and harassed everyone in the estate.
The issue was reported to the Isheri Divisional Police Station from where Abimbola Jack and her cohort were charged to court on November 11, 2021. The matter was later withdrawn and taken to Zone 2. They were warned to desist from the illegal act of trespass and breach of peace in the community. Despite that, Abimbola Jack and her cohort has not relented as they have at different times confronted the security guards at the entrance of the gate way zone armed with guns and other ammunitions and forcefully entered the estate.
The residents of the community later protested to the illegal act championed by Abimbola Jack. The chairman of the gate way zone Ayo Fasugba while addressing news men said the land is a government reserved area ” only for us to be confronted by omo oniles that after fixing this road with our own self help that they have thorough fare to their own land”, Fasugba said, ” The challenge is that people discovered that the bull dozer came here under the pretence that they were part of the construction work going on and within minutes, we just saw a portion of our fence already pulled down. It was a shock to everybody”.
A representative of the Ojoko family Tunde Balogun, one of the land owners dismissed the claim that there was never a route through the estate to the wet land. He said those that sold the space to the residents needed access to their property which the resident association have deprived them of
Meanwhile, the Lagos State House of Assembly has set up some committee to look into the conflict amicably. Honorable Sanai Agunbiade while addressing news men said the Lagos State house of assembly has has received petitions on the matter and has taken several steps including a visit to the wetland.
” I didn’t know there was a protest because we are still on the matter and the house has not issued a final verdict “, Agunbiade said, “In respect to all these, all the house is trying to do is to mediate and see what we can do to actually solve it so that every body will see clearly that if this is what the house says, there is justification for it. If that has been the situation, we would have expected that the estate could have made representation to the committee on the matter”.

Abimbola Jack and her cohort visited the estate on Monday 26 September, 2022 with men of the police force, who claimed to be conducting investigation but to disrupt the peace of the estate by impersonating one of the residents to gain access into the estate.

Again yesterday, Tuesday 27 September Abimbola Jack stormed Gateway Zone with 12 OP MESA officers to disrupt the estate and also beat one of the exco of the estate blue black while they also made an attempt to go away with the security mobile phone of the estate that was recording the scene of their violence.

It is expected that whatever decision raised by the Lagos State house of assembly, it should be one that consider the safety of the environment, security of lifes and properties and the protection of the investment of Lagosians.

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Between Gov. Hope Uzodimma And Imo Hoteliers…….

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Governor Hope Uzodimma has prevented the proposed strike by the Imo Hoteliers Association.

The strike was scheduled to commence on Tuesday but the Chairman of the association, Mr. Chima Chukwunyere announced in Owerri that the strike has been suspended.

Chukwunyere said that the proposed strike was suspended after due consultations with Gov. Uzodimma.

According to him, Uzodimma promised to personally intervene to solve all the outstanding issues raised by the association.

“The governor condemned the actions of sealing and looting of the hotels illegally and directed that no ministry should use consultants in revenue collection.

” He promised to convene a meeting of the executives of the Imo Internal Revenue Service and those of the Nigeria Hotel Association, Imo chapter, to harmonize the demand notice issued to the hoteliers.“

Chukwunyere said that the governor also advised members to pay taxes to enable the Imo government to function and serve the state better.

The association on Sept. 10 threatened to embark on strike over alleged multiple taxations, illegal sealing of hotels, and unprofessional conduct of revenue collectors.

 

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