In a remarkable challenge to the status quo, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) kicked off his gubernatorial election campaign in Badagry and subtly refuted claims by his Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) rival, Jimi Agbaje, that Lagos State is in bondage.
The campaign heralded by a live tweet session targeting residents of the state involved videos of the APC gubernatorial candidate personally reading tweets asking questions about his person, capacity and experience; started at about 2.30pm and trended for hours.
Sanwo-Olu provided insights into his plan for the state in his responses and offered practical solutions to some of the issue raised. The online real-time interactive session touched on topical issues such as traffic management, waste management, inclusive governance, health, education, infrastructural development, the candidate’s expertise and experience.
Interestingly, the online convergence, which attracted notable voices in the Nigerian twitter space, started like a playful engagement, with Sanwo-Olu saying “They say Twitter is savage… and wow, they are not lying”, turned out to a very fruitful interaction that facilitated exchange of useful ideas between the APC candidate and stakeholders.
Unlike the jamboree that usually characterizes campaign kick-off, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu launched his campaign in a methodical and highly engaging manner, which allowed for frontal engagement on pertinent issues.
By this, Sanwo-Olu has demonstrated his readiness and commitment to running an issue-based campaign, whereby he can be engaged on any subject or matter of concern by Lagosians, who will elect him as the next governor of the state.
Similarly, this matter-of-fact approach signals Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu’s view on governance and his resolve to bury bureaucracy in state administration through innovative deployment of technology.
At some pre-campaign engagements, Sanwo-Olu had declared his intention to run an accessible government, where the governor is reachable by every willing electorate. “Ours won’t be a government that will shut out the state by just sitting in the government house. We will be available, reachable and accessible to Lagosians, even when they live very far from Alausa”, said Sanwo-Olu.
Ending the live tweet-chat session, the APC gubernatorial candidate urged Lagosians to note down their concerns and issues pertinent to them for another live discussion on Twitter at this same next Saturday.
“Let’s keep the conversation going next Saturday. Let’s do like an opinion poll to identify the most important issues you want me to talk about when we converge next week” said an appreciative Sanwo-Olu.
But he insisted that Lagosians are free citizens and not in bondage in what seemed to be an overt response to the campaign theme of his opponent, Jimi Agbaje.
Sanwo-Olu stated this on Sunday at the Palace of the Akran of Badagry Aholu De Wheno Menu Toyi 1 during a consultative visit to the traditional rulers in the Badagry division.
In a direct response to the candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) Mr. Jimi Agbaje, who said Lagosians were in bondage, Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians had not been enslaved under the APC-led government, noting that the state had achieved accelerated prosperity since 1999 due to the tenacity and purposefulness of the ruling party.
Highlighting the numerous infrastructural needs of the Badagry division, the APC standard-bearer promised to speedily address some of the listed concerns of the people.
He said: “Some have started talking about freedom and insinuated that Lagos is in bondage. Unfortunately, we cannot begin to talk about freedom in the 21st century. This is insulting to humanity and the people of Lagos especially because slavery and bondage were abolished in Badagry several decades ago. When they talk about freedom, we ask them freedom from what? We have had our freedom and everyone in Lagos is free. We have since moved away from the era of slavery, to era of prosperity with deep-seated aspiration for greater Lagos.
“We are aware of the challenges facing the people of Badagry on the rehabilitation of the expressway and we are promising that our administration would immediately hit the ground running and ensure the completion of that important road immediately we assume office by your votes.”
Sanwo-Olu reminded the royal fathers of the economic importance of tourism to the GDP of the state, maintaining that he would ensure a speedy completion of all projects that will improve the quality of lives of the people.
“It is no brainer that once we fix infrastructure, it will automatically jump-start development in the area. That’s why it has become expedient for us to look critically into this before we can even think of other things. I am promising you today that Badagry will assume her pride of place in tourism if you give us your votes,” Sanwo-Olu said.