The leading gubernatorial candidates in Lagos State slugged it out yesterday trying to impress their plans for the financial capital of the country on prospective voters.
Top on the list of talking points in the debate organised by The Platform included, traffic grid lock, poor healthcare, and issues in the educational sector.
The debaters were Mr Bababatunde Badamosi (Action Democratic Party), Babajide Sanwo-Olu (All Progressives Congress), Mr Jimi Agbaje (Peoples Democratic Party) and Owolabi Salis (Alliance for Democracy).
For Owolabi Salis, the gubernatorial candidate of AD, if the commonwealth of Lagos is not decentralized, the state may reach its full potentials.
“I want to take away the commonwealth that is in the hands of an individual and give it to the people of Lagos state,” Mr Salis said.
Salis also expressed concern over the state’s finance, claiming it is held by one person and that has led to the high rate of poverty in the state.
He also made case for funding of education for the poor who cannot afford to train their children in schools.
“The less privileged have a problem with educating their children.
“If you go to some schools in Apapa or Amukoko you will see the children sitting on the floor while some carry chairs on their head to go to schools”.
Babatunde Gbadamosi, candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), was vociferous on how to tackle the the traffic nightmare in Lagos.
He said he’d solve it by focusing on three things – rail transport, use of barges and devolution of powers.
He said, “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about devolution of power.”
Gbadamosi also said the first thing he will address if elected as governor is public sector pay.
He said, “The first thing I am going to be looking at very quickly is public sector pay.
“Our civil servants are very disgracefully paid, and we want them to deliver the 21st Century service to us in Lagos State. That is not going to happen at the sort of pay levels we are offering them right now. So, we are going to upgrade civil service pay very quickly.”
Meanwhile the candidate of the All Progressives Congress, Babajide Sanwo-Olu dismissed claims that he is going to be a proxy governor, asserting that ‘I Am Going To Be In Charge
He was responding to the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate Jimi Agbaje who queried the ability of his APC rival to lead the state.
Agbaje said, “I believe the question is to look at Lagosians and say I am going to be in charge, that the bulk is going to stop on his table.”
But the APC candidate swiftly responded, “Mr Sanwo-Olu had had a unique opportunity of running the state budget.
He went on to list his achievements as a commissioner in Lagos, including the introduction of the Lekki Free Trade Zone.
Other projects Sanwo-Olu highlighted are the 767 – 112 control and command centre, security trust fund, as well as the first pension board in the country.
The APC candidate also to tackle the problem of traffic jams if elected into office.
“First on the list, I will tackle the traffic problem of Lagos frontally,” Sanwo-Olu said during ‘The Platform’s debate which held on Sunday in Lagos.
“Out of the two traffic gridlocks that we have identified, some are low-hanging that we can resolve within the first 60 days … the first 60 days is to solve the ones that are low-hanging.
“Within the first 100 days, I will tackle the gridlock in Apapa … I will make sure that it’s not nightmare anymore.”
Highlight of the gubernatorial candidate for the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje was his arguing that said the state government is being run in a ‘very opaque’ manner.
Agbaje said when he becomes governor, he will “Let Lagos know there is a new sheriff in town by carrying everybody along”.
He also stated that he has earmarked technology to play a key role in drive the various process that makes the state a mega-metropolis.
On the educational sector, Agbaje said the lack of access to the internet by children in public schools will be solved when he wins.
“Technology is a new world and our children in public schools have no exposure to technology,” the PDP gubernatorial candidate opined.
He also promised that “every primary school will have the internet facility” adding that “with an internet connection, you must have power, technology will drive the process of education”.
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