Lagos Governorship: Why I prefer town hall meetings to rallies – Jimi Agbaje

Former Minister of Works, Prince Gbemiga Ogunlewe, The Ayangburen of Ikorodu land, Oba Abd’Kabir Adewela Shotobi, and the Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje, at the palace of the royal monarch on Tuesday
Former Minister of Works, Prince Gbemiga Ogunlewe, The Ayangburen of Ikorodu land, Oba Abd’Kabir Adewela Shotobi, and the Governorship Candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), Mr. Jimi Agbaje, at the palace of the royal monarch on Tuesday

The Ayangburen of Ikorodu land, Abd’Kabir Shotobi, received the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje, on Tuesday, and used the opportunity to condemn military rule while urging politicians to eschew violence.

Mr Agbaje promised that none of the five divisions of Lagos would lag behind in development under his government. He also explained why he preferred town hall meetings to political rallies.

Ikorodu was on lock down as the PDP candidate visited several leaders, palaces and places in the town in continuation of his state-wide town hall meetings.

The Ayangburen said: “There is no more room for military rule. We have experienced the military but we were worse off during their time. In fact, worldwide military rule has become frowned upon and rejected.”

However, he urged politicians to realise that politics was not a do-or-die affair and only one person would win a contested seat.

He sued for Ikorodu to be considered for development projects and the indigenes for appointment.

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He said: “It must be emphasised that Lagos Island is only one of the five divisions in Lagos. Lagos State’s resources must be shared equally amongst all the five divisions. I always pray that an indigene of Ikorodu will be Lagos governor so that we can make demands of him. There should be equitable distribution of Lagos resources among the five divisions.”

Mr Agbaje, who has his maternal roots in Ikorodu, promised that development would not be restricted to Lagos Island but would be evenly distributed.

Saying he counted himself fortunate to visit on the monarch’s birthday, Mr Agbaje led a birthday song for the monarch who turned 62 on Tuesday.

The PDP governorship candidate explained the rationale for adopting town hall meetings.

According to him, while rallies were organised by politicians for politicians, town hall meetings afforded the message and manifesto of a candidate to be presented directly to voters through invited representatives of market leaders, community leaders and clerics.

Present on the occasion were: Former Minister of Works, Gbemiga Ogunlewe; Chairman of Ikorodu PDP, Bayo Adekogbe; House of Representatives Candidate 1, Omotolani Popoola; and House of Assembly Candidate Ikorodu 2, Biodun Moshood.

Mr Agbaje also visited the palace of the Adeboruwa of Igbogbo Kingdom, Semiu Orimadegun 1; the monarch of Ijede, Obateru Adeoriyomi; and the Grand Imam of Ikorodu Division, Seifudeed Olowooribi.

Mr Agbaje said that compared to the Second Republic tenure of Lateef Jakande that lasted only four years and recorded landmark achievements, the current stream of leaders had made little developmental impact.

“These ones, who have been there for 20 years cannot boast of any landmark achievements,” he said. “If 20 per cent of our children could only manage to score five credits, what is our pride? Where would they qualify to get jobs? Our children still sit on the floor and some sit under the trees to learn. All this is happening in Lagos State.”

He vowed that his government’s number one priority would be to enhance the quality of education at all levels, as well as build capacity in skills acquisition.

According to him, efforts would be devoted to reducing the travel time of Ikorodu residents who, he said, studies indicated spent two months of their year on the road because of the problem of traffic jams.

One way of solving the traffic problem, Mr Agbaje proffered, was to ensure that Ikorodu, like all other Lagos divisions, received equal developmental projects.

His words: “That is the reality. Development should not just be confined to Lagos Island, Ikoyi, Victoria Island and Ikeja. But if we develop Ikorodu, citizens would not need to seek jobs in faraway places and they will spend less time in traffic. Right now, the roads are not working and we have slums all over the place.”

He said that the local governments that were only currently dedicated to political mobilisation, would be empowered for service delivery because they were closest to the people.

Telling the monarch that he had for the last 20 years told Lagos authorities that they ran a faulty healthcare model that would not work, Mr Agbaje said his PDP government planned to run a health insurance scheme that would see the government pay the premium for the treatment of people.

He also spoke of plans to improve power by 3,000 MW in his four years, saying, therein lay the road to improving industry and employment.

“There are two kinds of politicians, the developmental and the selfish. Jakande was for development. We are for development too,” Mr Agbaje said. “I am a son of Ikorodu. And there is nowhere I go that I don’t talk of my origin. And no way will I be in government that Ikorodu will lag behind.”

The Grand Imam of Ikorodu Division, Seifudeed Olowooribi, told Mr Agbaje, “I salute your tenacity. Nothing good comes easy. I commend your not giving up. May God assist you. And may the elections be peaceful with no violence.”

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