A Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, governorship aspirant for Lagos State, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, has pledged to concentrate on grassroots governance and education if elected.
Obanikoro, who is the immediate past Minister of State for Defence, stated this while delivering a speech at his formal declaration, which took place on Tuesday at the National stadium, Surulere.
“Under my administration, governance will be premised on three main pillars: 1st Grassroots Governance; 2nd Simple Solutions – where we immediately address our most critical challenges and 3rd Education”, Mr. Obanikoro said.
According to the aspirant, 70 percent of the patients in Lagos hospitals are there for malaria treatment and proposed the introduction of malaria centres across the state.
He said: “We will create malaria centres across all local governments in Lagos dedicated to providing preventive and responsive malaria treatment to our citizens. This initiative alone will immediately decongest our hospitals by over 50 per cent and allow our doctors focus on patients with more severe ailments”.
Mr. Obanikoro also touched on the additional traffic burden the Ilubrin housing project on Lagos Island will add to the already congested Lagos road.
“Do you know that Ilubrin was originally designed to decongest traffic in Lagos? It was meant to be a transportation hub assessable by large ferries conveying those from the mainland to island at which point they could either enter taxis, buses etc into the Island.
“This would have significantly eased the traffic pressure and alleviated the congestion and bottle neck on 3rd mainland bridge currently experienced by all of us when coming in the morning and going at the close of business day”, he said.
Obanikoro, in proffering solution, said his government will conduct a referendum where Lagosians will decide whether the Ilubirin Housing Project should be treated as a natural disaster “and return the space back to its intended purpose to serve the greater need of Lagosians or let the project be and we live with the added confusion and chaos it adds to our lives”.
He pointed out that for effective governance, government must be restructured in a manner where the common man is the ultimate beneficiary.
“Lagos is the 5th largest metropolitan city in the world with a population of over 17 million people and sadly it is being run by one man.
“Today, our Governor is overwhelmed and our Local governments are completely dysfunctional. So dysfunctional that the Eti-Osa local government primarily situated on Kingsway road Ikoyi was sold with impunity, and is currently being developed into a luxury apartment building and not a single protest witnessed”, he alleged.
According to Obanikoro, local governments have been reduced to positions of patronage without recourse to the qualifications, vision, or capacities of the individuals occupying the office.
“As an expert on public administration, I know all too well a governor alone cannot achieve the deliverables desperately required by a metropolis like Lagos. I recall being the first chairman in Lagos State to purchase WAEC forms for all students in Lagos Island Local Government in 1998.
“I recall being known by everyone in the local government area and all expecting so much from me. Sadly today, many of us don’t even know the location of our local government not to mention its Chairman. This must change, and it will”, the aspirant stressed.
The former minister said “in this Greater Lagos, instead of having one governor working for the people, we will have one governor and 57 Local Governors working day and night until this greater Lagos becomes our reality”.
He further told his supporters that the time to end propaganda portraying him as uneducated, a thug and a criminal has come and that propaganda against him will not work because Lagosians know better now.
He boasted about dislodging the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, from the Alausa House, Ikeja come February 2015, saying “the people of Lagos are tired of the pseudo-monarchy style of government under this APC Leadership and they want change”.
“I am too passionate about Lagos to seat down and allow the status quo continue to perpetuate itself. I am a true son of this soil, Lagos is where I am from, Lagos is where I grew up, Lagos is where I know, I am married to a Lagosian, and it is with the greatest sense of responsibility, great pride, honour and call to duty, that I Musiliu Olatunde Obanikoro hereby formally declare to run for the office of the Governor of our great state Lagos on the platform of the People’s Democratic Party”, Obanikoro declared to a crowd of supporters.