Home News Governor Babajide Sanwoolu Should Intervene In The Proposed Anti-Settler Lagos State House...

Governor Babajide Sanwoolu Should Intervene In The Proposed Anti-Settler Lagos State House Of Assembly Laws –Uche Nworah, Ph.D

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I Was touched by the show of brotherly love and friendship shown by Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwoolu, to his predecessor in office, former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, when he visited him at his private residence on Thursday this week to share in the celebration of the former Governor’s 60th birthday.

Lagos has been progressively blessed with good governors. Perhaps it is one of the great strengths of the former Governor of Lagos state, President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, and Commander -in-Chief of the Armed Forces, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. His ability to chose and empower men to take over the mantle of leadership of Lagos state, Nigeria’s gateway state.

From the administrations of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, Babatunde Fashola, Akinwunmi Ambode to that of Babajide Sanwoolu, evidence abound of great improvements in governance, law and order, and infrastructural development.

Watching Governors Sanwoolu and Ambode exchange pleasantries and showering each other with words of encouragement really touched me. This is because of the bitter politics both men were engulfed in during the 2019 gubernatorial elections which saw incumbent Governor Ambode losing out to Sanwoolu after just one tenure. It was as if Ambode was disgraced out of office. Words, very unpleasant ones were said from both camps then.

Fast forward to 2023, with the Godfather and Kingmaker now busy with federal government duties in faraway Abuja, it appears that Governor Sanwoolu is coming to his own and the peace move to Ambode’s house is a welcome development. Hopefully, this will bear good fruits and just like Governor Ambode remarked, it would lead to more support for the programmes of Governor Sanwoolu to enable him leave a good legacy.

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There are lessons to learn by South East governors here, past and present. There is need to close ranks among former Governors and the incumbents. Enough of the bickering and personal wars. What should matter is the continued development of the various states so that the people will enjoy more dividends of democracy.

Since we are in the spirit of national reconciliation and unity, may I plead with Governor Babajide Sanwoolu to extend the olive branches to settlers and non-Lagosians living in Lagos. The elections have been won and lost and to the Glory of God, the governor of Lagos state is Governor Babajide Sanwoolu. Yes, there may have been perceptions of non-Lagosians swinging with Labour Party during the last election but all that is in the past now. As Ndigbo will say, let all that bit us last night be regarded as mosquitoes.

Lagos is on the move and settlers living in Lagos who have journeyed from all over Nigeria wish to be part of this movement. They want to be carried along. The rhetoric that Lagos is no man’s land which gained currency during the last election is false. It was only promoted by people bent on destroying the cordial settler-indigene relationship that has remained the hallmark of living in Lagos state over the years.

It is this falsehood that may have given rise to the reported plans by the Lagos state House of Assembly to pass laws that will protect indigenes and their rights regarding lands, properties etc. The said laws are set to disenfranchise settlers and rob them of their rights with regards to ownership of properties they bought in Lagos.

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History will continue to be kind to Governor Babajide Sanwoolu if he is able to help settlers avert this impending economic disaster. As the father of the state, the Governor should spread his umbrella arms to shield settlers. His government should integrate settlers through giving them political appointments, attend their events and make accommodating statements. After all, the strength of Lagos has always been its unique diversity, men and women drawn to the city of lights working hard, paying taxes and contributing their own quota towards the continuing development of Lagos state.

Nworah, a Media and Communications Consultant writes from Lekki.

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