The picnic is over. It is all down to the brass tasks of governance. What more, of one of the world’s fastest growing city-states, Lagos, Nigeria.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) has not only won the electoral victory, in the Centre of Excellence once again but has the onerous task of bearing the beacon of what democracy should truly be. As often stated, “good leaders do not give excuses for failure, but find the reasons to succeed”. For the good people of Lagos, succeed the governor must.
There is therefore, no more room for infuriating blame games. And that is because one sweet victory leads to more challenges.
So far, so good, that the gentleman-looking and self-effacing Sanwo-Olu has hit the ground running. He has signed an Executive Order on the querulous issues of waste management and the seemingly intractable transport system with its nerve-grating gridlock.
There is zero tolerance for unruly behaviour of the commuters, not the least being the ubiquitous Okada riders. Not done, down to the long-neglected Badagry road he has gone, to see the mess for himself and calmed frayed nerves.
Furthermore, he has touched down at the Alausa secretariat to mingle with and motivate the civil servants. For me, this is one wise move as they are the catalysts to oil the engines of good governance. Still to bridge the leadership-led majority gap there is the Official Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu Mobile App. It was created to deepen the visibility of the administration of the governor and to galvanise continuous supporters for the administration.
In fact, one Williams Jones had this to say about the App on March 24, 2019: “This Sanwo-Olu app eh, it is a miracle worker!! I did not believe it when I was told. Since I downloaded it on my phone, my data never finish. More than two months now”.
Talking about challenges, they are not a few! These include inter-ethnic harmony, security, job creation, infrastructural development, sound and solid education and healthcare delivery. Others, as he has rightly identified include waste management and a multi-dimensional traffic network that flows. To succeed, Sanwo-Olu needs the visionary clout of the Jagaban of Borgu, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the single- minded yet holistic leadership matrix of Babatunde Raji Fashola (BRF) and of course, the futuristic approach to governance of his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode.
Let us begin with security. Over the years, insecurity might not have attained any form of nerve-racking incubus in Lagos. But the influx of armed herders who have metamorphosed into kidnap kingpins, with cells in the forests of the South-West only means that the Sanwo-Olu administration must be proactive.
Appropriate data collation and analysis of those who have found their way into the city, as well as sustained intelligence information gathering have become imperative. Who are these young people trooping in from up North, who in less than a week of getting to the city have some work of okada riding, shoe-shining and security guard waiting for them? Who hosts them? Have they any link whatsoever to the terrorists and bandits that have turned several states in the northern axis including Zamfara into the killing fields? What about the trucks that come in on daily basis? What are their contents and of course, their destinations?
Credible answers to these questions will go a long way towards preventing an upsurge in crimes and criminality. Still within Lagos there should be concerted attempts to nip in the bud resurgence of cult clashes. Forests and waterways should be constantly combed to identify the hideouts of those who smile at us during the day but turn into demons of destruction at night.
On inter-ethnic harmony, no effort should be spared towards ensuring that the bridge of trust is strengthened between the indigenes and other ethnic nationalities resident in Lagos. Truth be told, what transpired during the presidential elections with the premeditated attacks on some non-indigenes leaves a sour taste in the mouth. It should not rare its ugly head again!
As for the issues of infrastructural development, job creation, education, healthcare and housing there should be continuity in government. After all, the change of baton has always taken place between one APC member and another. In light of this, we expect the Abule-Egba bridge, the famous Oshodi Interchange as well as some other ongoing projects completed in record time. The pot hole-riddled inner roads are crying for attention and he has to walk the talk.
On waste management, traffic control and tax payment there should be sustained media campaign to enlighten the residents that governance that works must be all-encompassing. They should see themselves as partners-in-progress. Even then, the government should have in place some incentives and social buffers that would elicit their allegiance to the leadership.
Similarly, the focus on the development of entertainment and tourism sector should be sustained. Lagos can be turned into the next Dubai, with creative approach to upgrading the tourism potentials as well as pragmatic partnerships with those who have excelled at it.
A profitable synergy could be worked out between the state government and top Nollywood actors, musicians and artistes. In fact, there is nothing wrong with these brilliant and talented minds selling Lagos as a top tourism brand to the world. They can achieve this through musical concerts, movies, fashion and art exhibitions partly sponsored by the state across the major cities of the world.
For Sanwo-Olu, leadership models that work are anchored on the unfailing principles of building a network of already successful people who provide great advice, and with access to future political paradigms. This is the admonition from Tim Ferriss a New York Times best-selling author. He is well advised to stick with the wise counsel of his predecessors, political helmsmen and associates.
He should adopt clear task management guidelines, stay current by studying the latest leadership guidelines, practice servant leadership, give and ask for candid feedback, find a work–life balance, embrace change and stay humble.
As a young leader, it’s important to learn how to communicate, prioritize and self-teach. This will empower him to manage teams, and enable you to think strategically today and in the long run.
To do so, he should fulfill his THEME Agenda. The five pillars of development will focus on traffic and transportation, health and the environment, education and technology, “making Lagos a 21st century economy”, as well as entertainment and tourism. Something tells me that with Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, who succeeded as the commissioner for Works by his side, he will succeed.