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Living in Lagos

What Does Greater Lagos Mean?

I had planned to criticize this administration last year. I probably would have not started today. But this happened.

At such moments in the final words of the immortal Ken Saro-Wiwa, “Silence Would be Treason”.

Like him, I am from the Niger Delta. Unlike him, I am an Esan man from Edo State in Nigeria.

However, I was born in Lagos, Nigeria. My kinsmen literally built this place. It would pay homage to the Benin Kingdom until 1861 when it was annexed by the British.

The history of the Esan people in Lagos can be found here. Lagos would be the drop off point for the invasion of a place that would later be named after one of my kinsmen Isi Aghadahomen an Esan General who led Benin warriors to conquer present day republic of Benin.

I will judge this administration by it’s campaign speech. In the next 4 months, it would be a year after that speech was made.

I will use the Six Pillars of Development Agenda for this administration as the benchmark for my accessement.

Traffic Management and Transportation

This is an absolute fail.

We are packed like cattle at the bus parks. The picture above is the bus park at Obalende.

It is dirty and unhygienic with equally dirty and cramped buses.

If we had a safe, comfortable and reliable transportation system, there would be no need for Okadas.

The ban on Okadas and Tricycles along certain roads in the state will cause untold suffering to Lagosians.

A famous writer once said: “If you are silent about your pain, they will kill you and say you enjoyed it”.

No modern city relies on bikes for transportation. The absence of a modern railway line is a big fail on previous administrations.

I will judge this administration by how well it does in this regard.

Health and Environment

In the area of sanitation, I readily admit that this administration inherited this problem.

Sadly, it has not done enough to solve it.

Rather than tell Lagosians not to dump refuse in certain places, the administration should tell them where to drop it.

That is the essence of leadership.

Patronage of hospitals in Lagos is low. Most Lagosians self-medicate. There is a lot that can be done to improve healthcare in Lagos state starting with the welfare of the health practitioners.

The waste issue must be tackled. The best model for Lagos state is to look at Rwanda.

Education and Technology

The continuation of the CodeLagos program is heartwarming considering the precedence for discontinuation of previous administration projects in Nigeria.

The world of tomorrow will be powered by code. Getting children involved with technology at an early age will prepare them for a technology driven future.

Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy

Of what use is an Art of Technology conference when BRT bus schedules are not available on a mobile app?

Beyond talking about technology, the adoption of technology across the state will help strengthen its efforts in education.

The issue of electricity supply should also be tackled. No one can write code in the dark.

Entertainment and Tourism

Greater Lagos 2020 failed to fly.

It could have been the one thing the state got right last year but someone dropped the ball on this.

Security and Governance

I have no comment in this regard as I have witnessed no real changes.

Previous administrations have always had a reputation for opacity.

I cannot remember that last time we had a town hall meeting in Lagos state.

The transportation master plan has yet to be released for public viewing.

Empathy is missing across all areas of governance in Nigeria.

The ban on Okadas and Tricycles is the best example of this.

After all the stress that they were put through last year, to start a New Year with this news smacks of lack of empathy.

It is my hope that this is sorted out.

Morality cannot be imposed on hungry men. With unemployment of thousands looming, this administration would do well to lift the ban and stop toying with peoples lives.

Conclusion

I was born in Lagos and schooled exclusively in Lagos state.

This is the first of a series of monthly articles on the state of the current administration in Lagos state.

It is my hope to live in a world that works within my lifetime.

Bad governance will kill everyone.