The recent rejection by the Lagos State House of Assembly, of Seventeen (17) out of Thirty-Nine (39) persons on the list of Commissioners and Special Advisers forwarded by Governor Babajide Sanwoolu to the Assembly should be a great cause of concern to all well-meaning Lagosians and the public. As social stakeholders, the civil society community is not only taken aback by this resolution but gravely disturbed with likely fatal consequences this seemingly innocuous total politicisation of appointments into the State cabinet may have at disrupting the enviable developmental template of the State of Excellence.
Lagos as the fastest growing economy in the African continent, has been striving to transform itself into a mega-city with global standards and indices for to copy. It is equally the unequally the unchallengeable nerve centre of the nation’s economic and political development, which has since, the commencement of this Republic been jealously nurtured its developmental strides by a single political family from AD – to- AC-CAN-APC. Political stability, unity of purpose has contributed immensely to the sustenance of its developmental goals. We are most apprehensive on the prospects of slight rupture in the processes of the State governance which will know would invariably have viral effects on the country, sub-region and continent. When Lagos sneezes, societies would catch cold. We note that Lagos landlords the major seaports and airport in the country, the de-facto headquarters of all transnational corporations, businesses, financial institutions as well as first abode to all irrespective of creed, status, gender, age or whatever classifications.
The State’s governance craftsmanship over the years, have never been solely left to the whims, caprices of partisan considerations. Since 1999, persons of different hues have had cause to serve in the State cabinet, majorly on merit and professional criterial. This, no doubt has made the Centre of Excellence to tap from the reservoir of the best brains in the country. We do not only applaud this unique essence of Lagos governance, but we also unequivocally identify with it, strongly recommend same for States in the Federation as we strongly warn the Lagos State House of Assembly to be wary of throwing away the baby with the bathe water.
It is most disheartening that these Commissioner Nominees were reported to have been rejected on mere voice votes without the Assembly putting forward logical rationales that they were rejected for lack of merit. We are not aware that some salient interests are always considered when picking political appointees. For instance, concerns were raised on the imperative to balance religious composition, geographical spread and even for compensation of loyal political devotees. These, however, are never the overriding consideration, merit, needs, stands tower high above any other factors. This is why we are miffed, overwhelmed with awe on how globally acclaimed, credible professionals like Prof. Akin Abayomi of the Ministry of Health who bailed the country out of the Covid-19 pandemic; Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo and Gbenga Omotosho of the Ministries of Education and Information respectively, could have been rejected by any diligent, patriotic, growth-minded representatives of the people. These are rare breeds professionals, quiet, un -assuming social achievers that other saner climes are in dire search for their services.
Our last alarm to political leaders of Lagos State is to try and wake up from the slumber of any psychological shocks of the last general elections. We know that detractors of the State are keen at fanning embers of discord between Governor Babajide Sanwoolu and the Speaker, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, this must not be allowed to fester into conflagrations that would wreak havoc on the developmental agenda of the State. Lagos State is strategically positioned to play leading roles in the administration of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, caution should not be thrown into the winds with intra=party, adversarial rocking of the boat. History has severally validated the fact that when elephants fight, the grass become victims. It would be loss of Lagos State if eggheads are sacrificed on the altar of inordinate politics, common Lagosians and the civil populace would inevitably bear the brunt if round pegs are in square in the Commissionership of Lagos State.
Long Live Lagos
Forward to Greater Lagos
Forward to better Nigeria
E-Signed for Coalition of Civil Societies,
Comrade Balogun Hameed
Frontline Socio-Economic Research Centre
0706 095 2805
Comrade Enitan Obajare
Grassroot Youth League
Civil society organizations:-
Network Alliance for Global Challenge
Good Governance for the masses
Centre for Human Rights Advocacy
Lawyers Without Borders, Abuja
Youth Initiative Agenda for Democratic Process
Southwest People Parliamentary Agenda
Yoruba Youth Assembly
Peace Initiative For Better Nigeria
Boarders People’s Rights Agenda
Youth League Academy