By Vivian Onyebukwa
The All Progressives Congress (APC) Governorship Campaign Group in Lagos State, has officially flagged off the re-election campaign of the incumbent governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his Deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat.
Speaking at a media briefing to herald the flag-off at Ikeja, Lagos, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said that the theme of the 2023 re-election campaign is: “A Greater Lagos Rising”.
The Commissioner said that from the social motivational perspective, the idea of rising captured the essentialism of the spirit of thousands of ‘creative and tech rebels’ who call Lagos home.
He said that the creative and technology experts were changing the false narratives about Nigeria with music, movies, fashion, sports and technological innovations, hence, putting Lagos state on the global map.
According to him, they are the ones helping to announce the rising of the Lagos city in distant shores, they are the Made-In-Lagos brands to whom the campaign is also dedicated.
According to the Commissioner, the campaign is not about Sanwo-Olu and his team alone but a tribute to all the youths who are putting Lagos on the global map.
He described the campaign as a celebration of the collective progress made in the last three and half years, against all odds. “We promised our people a greater Lagos. What do we see around us? Abundant evidence of a new city rising from the womb of time. We do not make a false claim of having reached the zenith of our journey. Our contextual usage of the word is as an adjective that suggests an upward swing, an increase and an upward movement. These are the signs the people of Lagos state can see all around the state,” he said.
He described the journey of Sanwo-Olu’s administration as a spirit journey of triumph of human spirit over the challenge of life. “Just a month after his assumption of office, it rained torrential, which impacted negatively on the state of the roads causing traffic snags. He rallied his team and launched fifty Lagos road campaign and set in rehabilitation move. Within October, 2019, the city woke up with the news of NNPC pipeline explosion caused by vandals activities in Ijegemo, a suburb of Ijegun. Again, he rallied round and restored hope to the hopeless. In 2 months again, Lagos witnessed an upsurge crime by the activities of the popular motorcycle operators popularly referred to as Okada. His administration again rose to the challenge and restricted the activities of the commercial motorcyclists and restricted to a number roads within the state, again respite came to the way citizens who applauded to move by the governor. Again following the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic in China, Lagos recorded the first index of the dreaded disease on 27th of February 2020, Sanwo-Olu in his rare display of bravery and courage in leadership, assumed the role of incident commander. He with his deputy, rallied the best brains of the Nigeria health sector to confront the dangers of the pandemic posed on millions of Lagosians. In no time, Lagos became a global examples in medical wards on how to fight the pandemic. People thought that when the pandemic broke out, we would have to be picking dead bodies on the streets of Lagos, but that did not happen. We also had the challenges of ENDSARS”.
He enumerated some of the planned and ongoing projects of Sanwo-Olu’s administration in various areas in Lagos. “Sanwo-Olu started on August 15 last year, the red line that will run from Oyingbo to Agbado, passenger operation will begin first quarter of next year. The blue line will also start commercial services there. We are building a new hospital, which will be the Paediatrics in Africa. A new federal hospital is springing up in Ojo. Lagos has an approval to build another airport. The 500 bed mental care and rehabilitation centre is getting ready in Ketu. It is the first of its kind. The third mainland bridge is also on the way. The Opebi link road is on. These are just a pointer of what a greater Lagos that is rising around us”.
He further stated that the official brand colour of APC campaign is bright yellow, which is associated with the sun and it symbolises energy, youthfulness, excitement, enthusiasm, joy, happiness and optimism. “It is called an attention grabbing colour in branding”, the Commissioner stated.
The special campaign strategy kicked off at 12 midnight Wednesday, 30th with the deployment of an array of campaign assets such as digital banners, digital bill boards, branded BRT vehicles, and vehicle all at strategic places in Lagos. “At 4am we embarked on the branding of Lagos lagoon along the 3rd mainland bridge to the delight of many Lagosians who use that root in the early hours of the morning. Also on social media, it is well amplified to reach millions of Lagos residents in every parts of Lagos. By 4.30 am, one thousand young Lagosians took strategic positions in Lagos, clouded in mascot to alert Lagos residents that the official campaign of Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy Obafemi Hamsat starts today. Also on third mainland bridge, Osodi, Lekki, Ikorodu, Ojota and Abulegba. At 6.30 am, hundreds of our citizens in the riverine communities also rolled out branded canoes in a special ship show to commemorate the re-election of Sanwolu and his deputy. At 9 am today, a multi-dimensional road show comprising bikers, and mobile advertising vans, also commenced on Ikeja through Ikorodu road and Lagos Island. As from 1pm today our campaign jingles will also hit the airwaves. By 7 pm, our first set of TV campaigns will also be deployed. Get ready for an exciting campaign”, the Commissioner said.
Also speaking, the Director-General, Sanwo-Olu-Hamzat Campaign Committee, Sen. Ganiyu Solomon said that Sanwo-Olu deserved a second term as he had touched on every aspect of his administration’s T.H.E.M.E.S developmental agenda.
”It is during his time that we witnessed the COVID-19 pandemic. It was during this time that the EndSARS situation also occurred, and all these did not stop him from performing and from ensuring that the T.H.E.M.E.S agenda is followed,” Solomon said.
The Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Sam Egube,while giving his goodwill message, said that Lagos had not made any mistake in choosing the right governor. “The greater Lagos is indeed rising with Sanwo-Olu. “When you hear our leaders in the entertainment industry shout for joy, then you know that today that scripture is fulfilled, that when the righteous is in authority that the people shout for joy. When we see those things, indeed, we say that Lagos is indeed rising. When we see the health facility, the Mother and Child care centres in Epe, Ajah, Badagry, Igando come alive, you cannot but agree with me that the greater Lagos which we talked about, is indeed rising.”
Present at the briefing were, former Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu; All Progressives Congress (APC), Zonal Organizing Secretary, Southwest, Lateef Ibirogba; Director General of the Lagos State APC Campaign Council, Senator Ganiyu Solomon; APC Chairman in Lagos, Pastor Cornelius Ojelabi; Lagos Commissioner for Housing, Fatai Akinderu; and APC Publicity Secretary in Lagos, Seye Oladejo.