In 2006 when I first ran for House of Representatives seat in Ekiti State, the management of Ekiti State Foremost Radio Station at the time put together a debate between the candidates.
In the course of that debate, I recall the candidate of one of the political parties, in response to my submission that politics that is devoid of ample dosage of morality and development is veiled armed robbery and crass opportunism which leads to exploitation of the people, my opponent blurted out “politics is everything and everything is politics”, i shuddered!
Of course I disagreed very stridently.
Are we then surprised why our reflection in the mirror today as a people, society and nation is that of a caricature?
If and when people lend themselves to this base instinct of politics is everything and everything is politics, then the society is forever festooned in garland of shame.
I have followed with keen interest the diatribes and tirade going on about the “fate of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu”, Yorubas and their ownership of Lagos, particularly after the results of the Presidential election penultimate week that showed the Labour Party won in a way that proved book makers wrong in Lagos.
Now suddenly the campaign for “political superiority” in lagos has shifted and  people have forgotten that Lagos, the mercurial city,[ [there are no two cities like Lagos all over the world] a city better and more appropriately known as #EKO ,also fittingly known as #CENTRE #OF #EXCELLENCE is now been reduced to one that has communal identity crisis, little or no emphasis on sustained development and demonstrated capacity to deliver !
The political struggle for the soul of Lagos State, known as the Centre of Excellence, has unfortunately shifted from who has the demonstrated ability, verified and valaidated capacity to pilot this uncommon state with her own social, cultural, economic dynamics and peculiarities.
The leaderehip of a state reputed to have the the 5th biggest economy in Africa, is being reduced to a “brewing  intercine war” of who owns Lagos, wether Yorubas or Igbos! Contemptuously Sacrilegious!
Is this the level that the politics of a sophisticated State like Lagos in the 21st century should be reduced to?
What a shame to the proponents of this divisive and not development driven politics!
I just saw a video clip of where the young man, Mr Gbadebo Vivour who is the candidate of Labour Party went off tangent and began to mention names of persons who may not be indigenes of Lagos but had had the rare privilege of serving the state and the people of Lagos in various capacities.
He mentioned the President-elect Bola Ahmed Tinubu who he said is from Iragbiji in Osun State,  Vice President Osinbanjo, from Ikenne in Ogun State, Hon.Minister Aregbesola, Ilesa in Osun State, and many others…
I began to wonder, among the many features and attributes of Lagos is her unusual “melting pot status ” in identity, status, standing and profile, indeed all these have become part of the endearing strength of Lagos and not to be interpreted as a weakness as it is being portrayed today.
90% of Lagosians that I know and I use the word “Lagosians” loosely DO NOT CARE ABOUT YOUR TONGUE OR THE LANGUAGE YOU SPEAK, they want to be SAFE, SECURE and able to go out and return home to their families in safety, I know how they live together from Agage to Epe.
Lagosians want to travel in safety, transact their businesses, take advantage of opportunities that only Lagos can offer, they want such opportunities to grow, they want to live peacefully among themselves, all of these and more may not have fully been accomplished over the past three and a half years, but surely a lot of improvement had been recorded under this present administration. Undeniably so.
I will be surprised if anyone can say there is any sector that Governor Babajide Sanwoolu had not touched.
It will indeed be a sad day and a mortal disaster if anybody aspiring to be the  Governor of Lagos State will be baked in the crucible that does not recognise the melting pot and diversity for opportunity identity of Lagos!
Any manifestation of divisive inclination and tendency like this one exhibitted in that video clip can not fit the match of anyone seeking to occupy the ALAUSE GOVERNOR’S ROUND HOUSE.
This kind of posturing can only come from a dark deeply steeped mindset of  politics is everything and everything is politics .. which is grim and retrogressive, and not fitting for Lagos.
If the previous Governors of Lagos State had manifested such tendencies, half of today’s billionaires raised from shoe strings, many of these persons ferried into Lagos by night bus from across Nigeria not only the east but from everywhere would never have become whoever they are today.
Dreams come true in Lagos.. that’s why the human traffic has not stopped, go to Ojota, Jibowu, Ojoo, Badagry, and that is why a steady and tested hand must shepard Lagosians. The future of Lagos cannot run on jigsaw puzzle prognosis.
With the growing complexity and complex complications of leading a metropolis like Lagos will be the rising and increasing demand for someone with some level of insight and depth.
These are far reaching considerations that will define the future of Lagos and not appeasing the gods of the tongue you speak!
Lagos has passed that post ages ago, aspiring to match leading a complex state like NEW YORK , another melting pot and that is the superiority in  the campaign of Governor Babajide Sanwoolu, he says look at what I have done with your mandate. Not divisive clannish posturings.
All that Sanwoolu had done in terms of development over the last three and a half years are now being used by Igbos, Hausas, Yorubas, etc  so what are we talking about?
That is the accommodating historical profile of Lagos that nobody should denigrate!
The temperament of the  21st century Governor that Lagos State deserves must sustain the legendary accommodating disposition of past Governors of Lagos.
This antecedent primed, prodded and promoted hitherto unknown persons like Ben Akwabueze and the likes of  Joe Igbokwe to who they have become today.
I recall that the President -elect told me several years ago that a former Governor and Minister of Education of Ndigbo extraction had approached him for land in Lagos, and in the spirit of A LAGOS THAT ACKNOWLEDGES OTHERS, THAT OFFERS, EMBRACE AND AVAIL  OPPORTUNITY TO ALL, he accented.
How can this now turn around to haunt Lagos?
The nature and profile of Lagos and Lagosians has been elevated far above the myopic politics is everything and everything is politics.
The real future of Lagos State must be appropriately contextualised now, and this is a DUTY AND A RESPONSIBILITY for ALL THOSE who recognise the central place of Lagos in our national and continental relevance, far beyond the polemic of political narrative of cultural affinities and situated within the imperatives of the dialetic of the expediency of sustained development of Lagos, the wellness and wellbeing  of her people, indigenes, settlers, residents and visitors.
As Saturday Gubernatorial elections gradually approach, A LAGOS THAT CONTINUES TO WORK FOR  ALL AND HOME FOR ALL should be what is of PRIMARY concern and interest to everyone, not narratives that seek to divide us.
I admire the energy of the younger Gubernatorial candidates,Gbadebo Vivour of LP  and Jide Adeniran, of PDP, my lovely brother respectively, but i must admit that Babajide Sanwoolu has a place among young people too,by age, fitness, attitude, outlook and comportment but more importantly, what I think stands Governor Babajide Sanwoolu head and shoulders above everyone else is the hands on exposure, experience and the demonstrated capacity and ability that he has showed over the past three and a half years.
The question to ask is does Governor Babajide Sanwoolu have anything to show for his stewardship over the past three and a half years, the answer is a reverberating YES! Undeniably so.
Now granted the relevance of Lagos in Nigeria, and indeed Africa, if not the world, and the  fact that Lagos is permanently on the spot, I am not too sure if Lagos can slow down for a day for any new Governor that would necessarily need the first two years to settle down to understand how the government of Lagos runs, from the complications of traffic management,  to security of lives and property, to sustaining generating revenue to meet the growing and dynamic  demands of leading a metropolis that Lagos is.
None among the candidates running today has that headstart and hands on advantage.
There is no other candidate in the race who can get into the Alausa Round House Governor’s office  after innauguration and hit the ground running like Governor Babajide Sanwoolu. That is not a joke.
Let us imagine a sudden outbreak of another pandemic [God forbid] weeks after innauguration, who is that person that has experience to respond quickly like Governor Babajide Sanwoolu among the candidates? He led from the front when COVID-19 broke, with the insider knowledge of how Fashola handled Ebola.
It is easy to whip up emotions, but the truth of the matter is that emotional outbusst will never replace fact and reason.
The job of Governor of Lagos State, is like being the President of a country, with REAL RESPONSIBILITIES that has far reaching implications if there is abdication, dereliction or inexperience.
Whoever will sit in that office, should  know that only requisite experience will help him or her greatly, this is a hot seat like no other state in Nigeria.
Lagos is not only microcosm of Nigeria but the gateway, to fit the shoes will demand  more that narrow parochialism of nativity!
Lastly let me add that the narrative of LAGOS IS A NO MAN’S LAND is a warped rhetoric and theatrical act, that can only find expression in the minds driven by politics is everything and everything is politics 🙄.
Lagos [EKO AKETE] is undeniably a YORUBALAND,  and I will advice that everyone fanning the embers of discord between native Lagosians and non native Lagosians should think of the future of Lagos, and a LAGOS THAT  HAS BECOME AND WILL STILL BE HOME TO MANY MORE beyond  March 11, 2023.
Let’s not poison the fountain that many are drinking from and more will still do from, as I write this, many luxury buses are on the road to lagos filled with people chasing their dreams, looking at their future dreams  becoming achievable,  with every kilometre,that brings them closer, innocent persons from the Eastern part of Nigeria and indeed everywhere, that should be a humbling reality to compel us to moderate this lousy discordant messages .
That the natives of Lagos have been accommodating should be seen as strength and not weakness, lest we plant a seed that could germinate and redefine the attitude to the diversity of the inhabitants of Lagos.
The future of Lagos cannot be separated from the steady growth that it has witnessed and that people have seen over the past three and half years, and all these have come from the combined efforts and inputs of all under a focussed and determined leadership over that period.
The future of Lagos cannot be wedged by divisive politics and inclination,  propensities and narratives.
If we let  “politics is everything and everything is politics” slip into the consciousness of this great state and city of Lagos we will all be doomed.
Now the objective of every well meaning person is to look at politics that will guarantee sustained tangible impact and development of Lagos and the wellness and wellbeing of her people.
To my mind, a Babajide Sanwoolu has demonstrated the temperament, showed capacity both personal and official to be a steady hand that can continue on that path, any other will be an untested emotional outburst and not reason based.
Lagos of today cannot survive or sustain development in jerky hands, which is what i think lagos deserves going forward, truthfully speaking.
The pace of work today does not have a place for “on the job training”, the pace of development in Lagos such as we all have seen over the past three and half years cannot slow down now.
The consequences of picking such a choice will result in incalculable damage to all.
By my validated overview based on the  aggregate and preponderance of contextualised evidences and realities from the last three and half years, Governor Babajide Sanwoolu is still better by facts.
The sustained greatness of Lagos and her future cannot be driven by appeal to base instincts and  narrow proclivities that can divide, disunite and dismember us instead of one that should unite us.
All things considered today #sanwoolubetterbyFACTS.


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