Opinion: Jimi Agbaje: The change Lagos needs – By YOMI DAVIES
Jimi Agbaje, a pharmacist and humanist in politics has remained focused and consistent in his quest to rescue Lagos State from the shackles of primitive governance and unbridled predatory politics. For some years now, he continues to put himself forward, even at the risk of great personal discomfort, as that change that Lagos State desperately needs.
Today, the average Lagosian knows that this Centre of Excellence is at crossroads for obvious reasons. For too long, a rapacious cabal has held the state, stunting the states potentials and unapologetically claiming ownership of a peoples’ common heritage and practically everything that belongs to Lagos State.
However, one thing that is indisputable is the fact that the long and winding era of oppression, imposition, slavery and primeval politics in Lagos is gradually coming to an end and Agbaje is a culmination of that inglorious era.
The PDP’s standard bearer’s biggest asset is preparation. Agbaje is entering this contest with a lot of experience, competence, exposure, compassion, stability and demonstrable ability as a thorough-bred professional who is tested. He will definitely bring this strength as he tackles all the issues that would shape the campaign. For those who may not know, Agbaje is also a compassionate Christian, a good family man, a consummate professional, an exemplary politician, a good mixer and a trust-worthy man who keeps his word.
He has managed to remain untainted as a politician in a country where trust is a very scarce commodity. Those rooting for the PDP candidate believe strongly in his leadership qualities, his strong character, his good breeding and enviable record of brilliance, his quest for a free and egalitarian society, his pursuit for excellence, his love for a greater Lagos and the fact that he is not going to be a governor by proxy.
Agbaje’s vision for Lagos State draws substantially from his character and disposition. And he has promised to run an inclusive and caring government that will take into consideration, all the outstanding issues, ranging from multiple taxation, the obnoxious Land Use Charge, extortion and unfriendly business atmosphere to exclusion, intimidation and the conversion of Lagos State as the private estate of an individual.
In making our choices next year, we must be honest about our reality and the under-performance of the last two decades. Why shall also be expected to evaluate the trillions the states generated in the years under review and how it was expended by a few.
But the more pertinent question is: what is our assessment of those who have monopolized our state’s political space? Have they performed in delivering the dividends of democracy? Have we been fairly led in the face of huge state resources and opportunities? Going forward, are we likely to experience a rebirth and the much-needed leap in the provision of infrastructure, health for all, employment opportunities, urban renewal, welfare services quality education at the state’s government level of intervention, effective traffic management, the quest for a cleaner city and hope for the suffering masses with Agbaje?
Lagos governorship contest has never really been this open and fluid for all the contestants since 1999 when the current rulers appeared. As a concerned Lagosian, I would urge Agbaje to reach out to other candidates because among all those in opposition, he is the only one with the reach, structure, appeal, goodwill and capacity to dislodge the arrogant APC government that does not have anything to offer. I think it is in our collective interest to vote out this arrogant and self-serving elite that are only interested in themselves and their cronies.
He must also reach out to non-indigenes, the churches, mosques, interest groups, professionals and other categories of people who bear the brunt of APC’s disastrous administration all these years. If we all do not unite under Agbaje, we will be doomed with another four years of pain and misery. A word is enough for the wise.
Davies, an engineer, writes from Lagos Island.