Thursday, 20 January 2011

News Release: Coalition Of Activists On Implementation Of Lagos State 2010 Budget

Babatunde Fashola: Lagos State Governor
A number of claims have been made by those who pretend to be super-supporters of the present administration in Lagos state about how well Lagos has been governed within the past three and a half years.

We have challenged these praise singers to substantiate such claims with facts and figures to no avail. All we got at vox pops, even in news media are: “yes, the administration is trying, compared to what obtains in other states”; “Lagos is now a Mega City”; “the state has developed so much during the term of the present regime than its predecessors”; etc. When the claimants are challenged to itemize the indices of development and good governance, one would say: “I called the governor that a toilet at the LASUTH was unkempt, he personally responded that it would be done and one of his aides called to thank me and assured that the problem would be solved”. Another would say: “Oshodi was such a scary place I never liked to pass through until Fashola came and did the impossible on the situation there; now Oshodi is now a save place to move and do business”. And state agents would say: “It was rains that prevented us from fixing the roads; now that the rains are gone, we are working day and night to repair the roads”.

Even when the governor himself was asked to itemize his achievements in various sectors he ducked the questions. His responses were as confusing as the claims to performance are nebulous. Hear him: “we have created 10,000 jobs street sweepers through LAWMA”, 7,000 market men and women will benefit from the Oyingbo and Tejuosho markets”,  “we have provided school furniture and free books for school children”, “our projects are meant for the use of ordinary people of the state”; “we provide BRT to ease people’s movement”, “we provide ‘digi Bola’ for those with visual challenges”, “in ten year’s time no Lagosians will go out of their homes to fetch water”, “we are repairing many roads in Lagos, by the end of Mid-2011”, as if his administration could not plan road repairs to complete before May 2011 when it is expected to renew its tenure or hand over to another elected government.

Meanwhile, we have once reported that the home work we did on the subject matter shows that most law enforcement agencies are militarized and wicked in their operations – they invent street offences and lure unsuspecting citizens to commit them, hound them into mobile ovens called ‘Black Maria’, kept for hours under scorching sun for hours before they are charged into their ‘Mobile Court’ at the latter part of a typical Court sitting day, given bail that could not be perfected immediately and then remand them in distant prison custody.

We also discovered that 90% of Lagos roads are riddled with potholes, bumps, craters and majority of them flood with the slightest of downpours;  most of the solar-powered street lights are no longer functioning causing traffic congestion wherein street robbery occurs and avoidable  road accidents wherein many lives, limbs and several man-hours, are often lost on daily basis; Lagos workers are badly motivated to the extent that its Labour movement, medical doctors in its hospitals and lecturers of its higher institutions had to go on incessant strikes to press home their demands for better conditions of service; several courses of study at the Lagos State University and others are under perpetual threats of losing accreditation for lack of basic requirements like libraries, laboratories and workshops which necessitates it that undergraduates have to do ‘alternative to practicals’ and lecturers attend to students under tree shades; pupils in its “Model” high schools sit three on 3ft bench and are average of eighty pupils per class; most public school buildings are dilapidated, leaky and without necessary equipment and materials for learning.

Social services like access roads, towing of faulty vehicles, public sanitation and traffic guide are heavily commercialized; and people still die in droves of preventable causes such as road accidents, fires and floods. While we have the ‘facts’ of under-maintained ornamental plants everywhere, reconstruction of Oshodi motor parks and marketing places, resurfacing and amended of some privatized commercialized roads and others under perpetual repairs and of course Igando-Iyana-Iba bridge that collapsed a few weeks after its commissioning, there are no ‘figures’ to back up their true costs. Many of the street sweepers solicit for alms from passers-by to augment their inadequate earnings.

We are currently administering a questionnaire on the position and situation of Lagos State, its preliminary report speaks more on the state of the state’s degeneracy, the final report is most likely to accentuate this fact.

We therefore wish to advise all defenders of Lagos lies including Messrs Akinnola and Igbokwe who have called us names for seeking probity and accountability from Lagos state government to, rather than play to the gallery by their efforts to veil the manifest truth about the Decaying of Lagos by a deceitful and arrogant government; they should save their integrity by at least keeping quiet!!

Debo Adeniran
Executive Chairman(CACOL)

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