The yearnings of the people of Lagos for freedom was reaffirmed last weekend when the venue of “Experience 13” celebration organised by the House on the Rock Metropolitan Church in Lagos erupted in frenzy when Jimi Agbaje, the People Democratic Party (PDP) candidate for the 2019 gubernatorial election in Lagos State was introduced to the crowd at the event.
The Pharmacist turned politician had, at his campaign launch last week, reiterated that his mission in Alausa is to liberate the state and bring true freedom and democracy to the people.
He maintained that after 20 years, Lagos yearns for freedom from godfatherism; dilapidated schools; hopelessness; poverty and terrible traffic. He posited where a state is under the control of one man can not augur well for democracy and charged Lagosians to use the instrumentality of the ballot to free themselves.
Agbaje insisted that as a megacity, Lagos must rightly be compared with others around the world. He added that sadly the comparisons shows Lagos has been and remains one of the worst cities to live in the world as it is presently ranked 138 of 140 global cities.
“Twelve years after promising and commencing the construction of the light rail system in Lagos, the project remains uncompleted. The example of the Addis Ababa Light Rail is instructive of what diligent governance can deliver. They commenced construction of the Addis Ababa Light Rail in 2011 – half-a-decade after Lagos,” he said.
He disclosed that over the past two decades, the government of Lagos, managed by the same core of people, has collected nearly N5.0trn or US$26bn in revenues and spent approximately N6.2trn or US$35bn. “An important question to ask is whether the outcomes generated by this level of expenditure has sustainably improved our State,” he said
The PDP candidate also promised to harness the entrepreneurial capacity of Lagosians to ensure that the economy of the State grows rapidly and competitively to ensure sustainable businesses are built to create and support the employment.
Without this, he noted that the further descent of Lagos into one huge urban slum will continue. “We must rebuild the industrial capacity that in recent years has been lost to our neighbouring states. Improving the quality of life of our citizens will remain unattained if their access, irrespective of their socio-economic status, to adequate healthcare continues to be unmet,” he said.
The Universal Basic Health coverage, according to him will be run through a well- structured and financed health insurance scheme is a key priority for a PDP Administration, under his leadership, in Lagos.
On waste management, Agbaje maintained that it remains a matter of great shame that after twenty years of governance, the ruling party and its various re-incarnations are still unable to provide and implement a framework that ensures the continuous cleanliness of our State.
According to him, the failure of the State, despite huge expense, to discharge a responsibility as basic as waste management “belittles us at the same time as it endangers our collective health.”
Agbaje charged that Lagos State must work for all her citizens – as a place where they can live, thrive and have a future. “This campaign is about a new future for Lagos built by the entire community of Lagosians. I am clear about the key imperatives towards a brighter future for Lagos and the role of government therein. The government must serve the safety and security of residents and visitors alike as they pursue their legitimate ambitions” he noted.