By Sunday Ani
The governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Lagos State, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivor has urged Lagosians to ensure they elect a servant leader in 2023 to move the state forward. He said the only way to move Lagos State forward is for the people to elect leaders that would serve and be accountable to them, and not big men that would want to trample and steal from them.
He made the call over the weekend at a breakfast meeting he had with the Labour Party Lagos Grassroots Alliance and Victorious Abeh.
Speaking at the event, tagged, “Changing the narrative for Lagos,” the 39-year-old Rhodes-Vivor said he and his party were poised to change the narrative that Lagos belongs to one man as well as challenge the confidence of one man who said that when he sleeps, Lagos has slept. “We are taking Lagos and giving it back to the people; it is our Lagos and not anybody’s Lagos,” he added.
He promised to create an environment where health, housing and transport sectors would all work. He said he would replicate what the first civilian governor of the state, Lateef Jakande did with housing where those that needed houses actually got them not what has been happening in the state over the past 20 years where the government would build houses for the masses but distribute it among themselves and their cronies. “It will be a Lagos State where hospitals will work. We are going to invest in hospitals. Alhaji Lateef Jakande achieved in four and a half years what these politicians have not been able to achieve in over 20 years. And it is because he had the people’s interest at heart; he loved the people. He achieved massive reforms in the education sector, massive reforms in health and housing sectors. When he built affordable houses, the people that needed them got them. Unlike what obtains with the APC government where they build affordable houses and sell to themselves without allowing the people that need them to get them. We can do it because we have the resources to do it in Lagos State.”
He promised to run a transparent and accountable government where the taxpayers could have the right to demand for accountability from the government. “Lagos will work for everybody whether you are a market woman or an entrepreneur. It will no longer be a state where there are separate laws for the rich and the poor.
The law is going to work for everybody. Law enforcement agents like the police will not be intimidating you because you don’t know so and so persons. As it is today, the law applies only to the poor but that is not the Lagos we want to build. We want to build Lagos where the law will apply to everybody equally,” he said.
The LP candidate promised to create a Lagos where the local government system works and empowers the grassroots people, and not one that will be an appendage of a political party where one tout will become a local government chairman as a political patronage. “He does not have the vision to move the local government forward. We are going to put potential governors as local government chairmen; people that are excited about service, people that are intelligent and have the capacity to govern so that the governor’s work will be at the state level and the people at the local government level are doing what they are supposed to do,” he said.
He equally urged Lagosians to go and get their Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs), saying, “Lagos will be run with transparency and accountability under our government. We will deliver a bench mark that has been globally fixed. We will deliver projects at the best possible price and in the fastest possible time for the greater number of people. It is going to be a people-centred government; it is not going to be centred on one man. So, you must go and get your voter’s card. It is not just enough to register and we will issue a phone number where people that go for their PVCs and are not able to get them to call to complain. We will launch a petition to each of the Electoral Officers (Eos) in the local government. We are with you on this journey; you are not alone,” he said.
On youth unemployment and job creation, he said: “Our Lagos is one that is going to be livable. We are going to have a secured Lagos because the harassment that is going on in the state on a daily basis is becoming too much. Those that harass the good people of Lagos are backed by the state and that is why they have the confidence to do what they are doing. All they do is take money from people by force, terrorise and intimidate them. We are going to move away from that. We will provide them with an alternative means of livelihood and we will ensure that they have employability skills.
“There is what is called an in-demand job. These are jobs that you can do in America, Europe and Asia sitting down here in Nigeria; your skill will be sought after globally. We will create a massive hub to train people in the 20 LGAs because we must ensure that people have skills. Technology is the new revolution. It can lead many people out of poverty at the same time and that is what we are going to do when we come to power. With me, you have a government that not only has the cerebral capacity but the empathy; a person that feels your pain and wants you to succeed.”