Babajide Sanwo-Olu: 59th Edition of God’s Gift to Humanity

By Gboyega Akosile

THERE IS no gain saying that God in His infinite wisdom does not make mistakes – I know that most of the widely accepted religions, in the world, Islam and Christianity, hold strongly to this belief. He does as He pleases Himself in the affairs of man, with absolute precision.

This can be said of those that God has chosen and used to run the affairs of men in the world. From the days of prophets, Kings, Queens and rulers up to the present day leaders, we believe that there is a hand of God in their individual emergence as controllers of men’s affairs.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the 15th Governor of Lagos State is a good example of “Godsend” and a perfect description of God-does-not-mistakes.

Calm, humane, urbane, visionary and exemplary in many respects, Governor Sanwo-Olu personifies character, giving credence to what we describe as Omoluabi in Yorubaland.

I remember one of his election slogans, “When Lagos speaks, Sanwo-Olu listens”, which attracted some criticism from naysayers who believed at the time that no leader would fulfill such a promise. They dismissed it, concluding that it was a mere political talk. Five years after, I see a man who does not only listen to the yearning of his people but takes immediate action to address their concerns. Yes, Sanwo-Olu listens!

In a space of five years, Governor Sanwo-Olu has touched many lives in a million ways than one could have imagined. In fact, his THEMES+ development agenda was carefully and deliberately designed to help the course of humanity. And he has painstakingly worked on each of the pillars in ways that they directly impact the lives of Lagosians.

It is common for politicians to go to the market with bricks and mortar- after all that is what the people can see and physically feel. He has done more than enough of the physical infrastructure and millions of Lagos residents can attest to such projects as roads, hospitals, schools, museums etc that Governor Sanwo-Olu has constructed to make life abundantly easy for Lagosians. Other areas of his magic touch, which perhaps are more major in my estimation are those that are not necessarily bricks and mortar in nature but those that help to build the minds of our people.

In education, Governor Sanwo-Olu revamped the educational system in Lagos, and today, Lagos ranks among the top five in the West African Examinations Council performance index. He has created additional two State-owned universities and he is already proposing a university of medical sciences. That to me is a bigger achievement.

The health sector has received so much attention that Lagos has been adjudged one of the best 10 cities in health delivery across Africa. Work is still going on in physical infrastructure in the health sector.

There are several other areas like the environment, technology and tourism, which have stood the Governor out as a thinker and doer. I consider most of these as the real deal because they provide the basis for the future of Lagos and her residents.

Lagos State has grown increasingly in global livability index, using some of the above factors as parameters.

The huge impact of the country’s economy has challenged most of the leaders. In Lagos, Governor Sanwo-Olu has risen up to the challenge and has provided leadership.

As a leader, he recognises the importance of food security in the State. He initiated the widely acclaimed subsidised food market and the Ounje Eko food palliatives to cushion the effects of the economic downturn for the vulnerable people in the State.

There are many sides to Governor Sanwo-Olu, that I have been privileged to witness firsthand. His genuine love for the masses, his uncommon generosity, humility and simplicity are worthy of emulation. Perhaps these personal qualities are what endear him to the people he currently serves.

Today is his 59th birthday and in celebrating, the Governor would be laying a foundation for what would give birth to sustainable water supply at the Lagos State International Water Conference as well as open talks for safety at the Lagos International Fire Safety Conference.

One would wonder why he would approve those very important assignments on his birthday, when others like him would prefer to stay at home to receive guests and probably party. It is because Governor Sanwo-Olu understands the enormity of the tasks of governance and the expectations of the people whose needs he must attend to at every hour of the day.

I want to wish my boss, mentor and benefactor a special birthday full of happiness, peace and great health. May God continue to direct every single of your steps as you work very hard to leave Lagos State better than you met it.

Congratulations, sir.

Gboyega Akosile is the Special Adviser to Governor Sanwo-Olu on Media and Publicity.

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