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APC should make policies to accommodate youths, working class, says Oshoniyi

By Seye Olumide
08 March 2023   |   3:24 am
That is a very big question, which is giving all the APC members, not just in Lagos some serious concern. Even the adherents of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are worried. But I tell you the incumbent is not only going to win but he will win convincingly.

Femi Atilade Oshoniyi

Tips Sanwo-Olu to win Lagos guber convincingly

Last election Dr. Femi Atilade Oshoniyi is a supporter of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State. In this interview with SEYE OLUMIDE, he appealed to the electorate to eschew bitterness and sentiments, and vote the incumbent governor for sustainable development. 

Do you think Governor Sanwo-Olu could change the pattern of voting in the last election in Lagos, to defeat Labour and PDP candidates?
That is a very big question, which is giving all the APC members, not just in Lagos some serious concern. Even the adherents of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu are worried. But I tell you the incumbent is not only going to win but he will win convincingly. I had a dream that he won and I want to believe and trust God that he will win. 
But let me add that what we experienced in the APC family in Lagos State during the Presidential and National Assembly elections was good for democracy. It is an indicator of growth and the need for inclusion with sincerity and commitment to the masses, which remains paramount. I know for a fact that the incumbent is doing excellently well in Lagos State, he is a young man, experienced, passionate and committed to the continued development of the state. 
To me, the youths are not bitter with the governor but unforgiving in the way the government managed the circumstances surrounding the 2020 EndSARS crisis. They also reacted to what I called the self-centered attitude and public display of affluence by the serving politicians, in their pattern of voting, which the ruling party needs to address. 
Sure you will imagine that everyone knows the worth of an officer before he or she gets to power, suddenly upon taking up public office, they become rich without anyone questioning the source of the wealth, in the midst of poverty among the voting public. So we need to address these actions.
Politicians generally must learn to respect the power and influence of the youth. I know time is of the essence, but education is important for people to understand that ‘to err is human, and to forgive is divine’. I will use this medium to call all our youths, and all the residents and traders in Lagos State to forgive Governor Babajide Sanwtoolu for any grievances or situation surrounding the sensitivity of the 2020 EndSARS crisis. 

I believe Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu is someone full of empathy, performing well with a great vision to continue the development of the state. 

From your assessment what really played out in the pattern of voting on February 25? 
We should separate religion and politics if we really love this country and aspire for its growth and development. 
  Democracy is evolving and people are getting wiser, they have realised they can use their vote to talk. The party should make deliberate policies to help the youths, appease them and also empower them. The party should find out why the elite in the state are bitter? 
Some people are trying to read religion into what happened. I don’t agree with such sentiment. I recall that the president elect, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu while he was governor of Lagos enjoyed good support of everybody. His successor Babatunde Fashola also enjoyed similar support; they were both Muslims with Christian wives. Former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode also enjoyed such support and Sanwo-Olu is also benefitting from the maturity of Lagosians in managing religion.
I also want us as a people to begin to separate politics from individuals. We need to vote for Sanwo-Olu on the merit of an individual this time and as a performing governor. We must also understand that his major competitors are also well educated, energetic, young, and vibrant, but there is more to governance. Experience, knowledge, leadership, and management are key. 
Today, Sanwo-Olu is a leader while his competitors are managers. We must therefore promote leadership and let the managers be executors of the leader’s visions by gaining more experience so they will master the journey and take over at the appropriate time.
I will give you an example, I am currently the President of the Rotary Club after being a member for over 18 years and doing exceedingly well by members’ rating. Why did I wait for that long? I was not ready for leadership and refused to be influenced to take it up so I could gain more experience. So, it is not always that we jump at offers but evaluate our capabilities and experience, which are germane at this crucial time in Lagos State. We must rethink and promote the current governor to perfect his development plan for a greater Lagos.
So, you think the incumbent governor has performed well enough to deserve a second term?
   Government policies will always affect either side of the divides no matter how small. If you consider the economic crises in the entire globe within the last few years, then you will agree with me that Sanwo-Olu tried his best and he can do more if allowed to complete his second term. 
There is no time to start analyzing all that he did but he is probably one of the few governors who didn’t abandon the projects of his predecessors. I believe that if he continues, Lagos will be much better for it than getting a new hand on board now.

You talked about deliberate policies to appease and reach out to youths, can you explain?
  One is in the area of enlightenment of the youth to do away with misconceptions, assumptions, and bitterness and relate to real issues.  I will implore the governor, who is the APC leader in Lagos, to do something to really douse the consequences of the EndSARS bitterness and continue to show empathy to affected families. He has done his best and he can still do better. 

As a technocrat in what ways have you contributed to the development of Lagos?
  For instance, some of us created employment through the enabling environment created by the government. My firm, which handled the construction of some major canals in the state engage experts, many of them are youths just like several other professionals are doing. 
I thank you for recognizing my developmental contribution to Lagos State, especially in housing, canal construction, and infrastructural development.  The older generations should accommodate the younger ones with the experiences we have gained.

What’s your message to the electorate in Lagos ahead of Saturday?
 My message would be to plead with Lagosians, indigenes and non- indigenes, especially youths to have a forgiving heart and not vote not because of vengeance, which will definitely defeat continuity.  Performance assessment index should be the yardstick and the candidate’s competence based on track records should be used while making their choice on Saturday.
I wish and pray for success for the Incumbent so as to continue the beautiful works ongoing in the state, while we await more work to be done in infrastructure and transportation systems in the state.