Below is the speech delivered by APC aspirant, Babajide Sanwoolu at his formal declaration of his intention to contest for the Governor of Lagos State at the City Hall, Lagos Island on Sunday September 16, 2018.
All protocols observed.
With great enthusiasm and encouragement of family, friends, associates and well-wishers, I want to express my sincere thanks to everyone for creating the time to participate in this historic event of my declaration to contest the 2019 governorship election in Lagos State on the platform of our party, the All Progressives Congress.
Since 1922, when the first election was decreed in Lagos, our history has been shaped by the values of democratization and the primacy of the people in deciding who rules them. The process has thrown up great men like Herbert Macaulay, Sir Kitoye Ajasa, Dr. John Randle, Sapara Williams, Henry Carr, Candido da Rocha, Dr. Adeniyi Jones and Dr. Caulcrick among others. May the souls of these great Lagosians continue to rest in peace.
There is no way to review the history of Lagos in the last 50 years without placing on record the contributions of Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson, the first ever governor of Lagos State, Pa Lateef Jakande, the first civilian Governor and many other helmsmen who led the development of our people.
Modern Lagos State since the inception of the current civilian republic has been blessed with innovators and visionaries. Permit me to recognize, specially, the man who laid the foundation for the modernization of Lagos State; the celebrated tactician and renowned certified accountant who has applied his knowledge to democracy and development, our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
The press, as ‘‘The Fourth Estate of The Realm’’, has planted in our consciousness the courage displayed by our leader in reforming and modernizing the revenue collection operations of Lagos State, converting government operations from analogue to digital and establishing a transparent, measurable and predictable system for running Lagos as a modern smart government.
The preparation of the visionary programme, ‘‘The Lagos State Economic Empowerment & Development Strategy’’ (LEEDS), listing out the path to development of modern Lagos on four pillars across 25 years of expansion continues to provide the development blueprint for our people. This vision, put together by eminent economists and passionate patriots, prepared our State ahead of its growing challenges. It remains to this day the most concrete manifestation of Asiwaju’s leadership and love for the great people of our State. I feel privileged to be part of the process that made it happen. I assure you all that it shall continue to be the roadmap when I become the next civilian governor of our dear State.
This foundation has survived the test of time because Asiwaju was able to recruit excellent and brilliant successors. But without the ratification of these men by Lagosians who voted massively for them during the general elections, his wish could not have become the popular choices of the people.
I wish to commend the former Governor of Lagos State,Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, for his contributions to this glorious path.
I am inspired by the courage and achievements of all the leaders who have charted the path of development for our great LAGOS. I have decided, like the great American President John F. Kennedy, not to continue to wait for what my State shall do for me, but to challenge myself on what to do for my State.
When I look back at my experience in public sector, I realise that God has prepared me for this moment. I served Lagos State Government for the first time as a Special Adviser to the then deputy Governor,Otunba Femi Pedro.
I believe that my contributions to the governing process made possible my appointment as the Acting Honourable Commissioner for Economic Planning &Budget and later Commissioner for Commerce & Industry in the final months of the Asiwaju Bola Tinubu administration. Following the inauguration of the Fashola administration, I was appointed the Honourable Commissioner for Establishment, Training and Pensions.
My public sector career has crowned the glorious achievement of my journey through the private sector where I had worked in senior managerial positions in financial institutions such as Lead Merchant Bank, United Bank for Africa (UBA), First Atlantic Bank (now FCMB) and participated in major economic projects such as the privatization and commercialization of Federal Government-owned companies and parastatals.
The All Progressives Congress has been established as a grassroots party of the workers, artisans, middle class professionals and all those who desire the progressive development of Nigeria. The manifesto of our party promises welfarist programmes and building the capacity of our economy so that we can provide jobs for the youths and make our country stable and secure.
• These are the values that I believe in.
• These are the values I am ready to defend.
• These are the values I am determined to propagate.
• These are the values that drive my present desire.
If elected, I shall immediately embark on the full restoration of the glory of Lagos and make you the people the cornerstone of government revamp the environment that has become a cause of serious anxiety to Lagosians and relieve Lagos of the persistent gridlocks that have made our lives brutish and nasty.
Our government’s focal point shall be to provide the greatest good for the greatest number of the people of Lagos State.
I have invited you here today to join me in the journey to take Lagos State to a new dimension by transforming the manifesto of our party to the programme of action. I am sending a clarion call to our party members, men and women, youth and the elderly, that there is a lot of work to be done to achieve the Lagos of our dreams.
I present myself as a capable, competent and tested hand to make Lagos greater.
I declare that, I, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu shall be a true party man in the real definition of the word by running an inclusive government according to the ideology of the APC and the long-term benefits of the great citizens of Lagos State. Loyalty is the currency of politics. I shall be loyal to the people of Lagos State, the organs and the leadership of the party.
I call on party members and citizens to join me to elevate our State in all facets of human endeavour through improvements, enlightenment and development.
I urge you all to come out with your membership cards and slips to vote for me at the direct primaries ordered by the party so that we can continue the journey towards peace, order and development for the good people of our dear Lagos State.
History is not made in a day, but it is made on the day that you start to make the labours of the past and the hope for the future the touchstone of our endeavours. That day is today.
I pray that God Almighty shall crown all our efforts with resounding success.
Thank you and God bless.
Long Live the All progressives Congress
Long Live Lagos State
Long Live Federal Republic of Nigeria
Some of the APC party chieftains present at his declaration include Tayo Ayinde, his wife Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, Chief Sunni Ajose, Demola Seriki, Cardinal James Odunbaku, Tola Kasali, Abdulahi Enilolobo, Senator Gbenga Ashafa, Chief Asipe Ikorodu, members of the house of reps and house of assembly, Conference 57 members, past commissioners, market women, CDCs, Muslim and christian association, NURTW Lagos chapter, Student Unions, Civil societies, Traditional rulers, Igbo and Hausa groups, 57 LGA chairmen, all ward chairmen, Comrade Daini Olusesan, Director of Media and Publicity for BOSCO and chairman Igbogbo Bayeku LCDA anchored the programme and countless APC faithfuls.