Nigeria News

NIGERIA: Change and Agbaje’s Rescue Mission

 For  some  politicians belonging to the ruling  APC  in  Lagos state it  is unthinkable  to think  of their  party  not  being  in power in the state. It  is not their  fault since they have been the ample beneficiaries  of three  back to back political  and electoral  victories of  the party in various shapes , formations  and names  and a fourth  victory  is just seen as regular  and just an icing on the cake. This haughty assumption  pervades  the entire echelon  of the APC  such that its leaders and  followers  do not see  what is very much  in plain sight  and is bound to be  the party’s nemesis  at the 2015  gubernatorial  elections  in  Lagos state .  

That  is the  masses  resentment  against  the government machinery  in the way  it has gone about  its onerous  and very successful  but  rich  harvest of collecting  revenue  from  all the nooks and corners and  commercial  streets of the Lagos Metropolis and sprawling  suburbs of the    state  without  thinking  of  the discomfort  and pain  it has  cost  the citizenry  and  electorate in the process  of enriching its  coffers  for governance.

This then  is why  change  is of necessity  in Lagos state and a priority  for  the Lagos state  electorate  to vote  in the PDP  candidate J K  Agbaje  in order  to  get  immediate  and absolute  respite  from  the  Eko  Oni  Baje  dictum  of persecution  of Lagos  state which  the APC  wants  to continue with ‘ Ambo ‘    –  ‘we  are  coming ‘  slogan of  APC  candidate Akin  Ambode, another  handpicked  candidate  of the party .

The  election  of Jimi  Agbaje  is a task  that must  be  done  like former  head  of  State  General  Yakubu  Gowon  said  about  crushing  the Ojukwu  rebellion  during  the Nigerian civil  war. This is because  on  a daily  basis  Nigerians  face  the torture  of  government agents  in  Lagos state in pursuit  of their  task  of collecting  government revenues . On  the roads  LASMA  officials are  busy charging  at drivers  without driving belts while making no  effort  to  make traffic  flow which the State  governor  said  was  their  primary  duty.  They  jump  at trailer  drivers at  great  risk  to their  lives  like area  boys  and force  them  to pack to  collect revenue  for  one type  of infringement  and another .

At peak  hours when  people  are  looking for their daily  bread,  uniformed  Vehicle  Inspection Officers, VIOs –  swarm  the streets and way lay traders ,  market women and  businessmen  to ask  for particulars  and  take bribes  where  they  are  not available. This  is a daily nightmare  that  has made  Lagosians  dread  waking up to  each  working and business  day to earn  a  living. It  is not that government should  not  collect its revenue but that in collecting it, it should  give  the masses  that put  it in power  a right of way and  passage  to earn  a  living. This  is why  the Lagos electorate  is waiting for  a change  of parties  and personalities at the helm  of affairs  in Lagos state and cannot wait  to elect  Jimi  Agbaje  on the platform  of the PDP  and thus end 16 years  of the shenanigan  and oppression  of the ruling APC .

Again  we  believe  it is the duty  of  government to collect taxes  from  its citizenry  for  the development  of the state .  It  is also  the duty of government to  look  after  the welfare of its citizenry with the tax so collected . That  is not  the case in most parts  of  Lagos streets especially  with  innermost  city  streets  far  inside the metropolis where  the teeming  masses line. Bad  roads  have been  the order  of the day  on Lagos  roads  with  no linkages  to  the well  laid out roads  in city centers  and business  areas. It  is not unusual  to see  – Pay  Your Tax –  road  signs at  junctions  of roads  leading nowhere  where LASTMA    officials lurk to  arrest , fine or take bribes  from road  users  who inevitably  take one  way routes  to come back  from roads that end abruptly which  are quite many  in  Lagos state .

The  overhead  bridge  which is supposed  to link  Okota  with  Surulere is  a classical  case  of government’s  indifference to the plight  of  its citizenry  in  Lagos state .  The  Okota  end  of  the  bridge cannot  link  Okota’  gateway  at Apple  Junction  just  because the  road  in between  which  should have  been ready  before  the  construction  of the overhead bridge  is simply  impassable . So  of what use  is the overhead  bridge ?  This coming  gubernatorial election makes  the election  of Jimi  Agbaje the solution  to this Okota Apple  Junction linkage with  the Okota – Surulere  overhead  bridge.  The  important  thing  about  elections is that  they  provide another opportunity  to  make  a choice and elect  to power those  people  feel  will  listen  to them.  Not  those who oppress  them  and  turned a deaf ear  to their  pleas  for improved welfare  and  free  movement of goods  and services  to make ends  meet . Agbaje  represents a breadth  of fresh air for Lagosians  to  make a change  that will affect  their environment for  good and  make  them  have a sense of belonging . Not  the present army of occupation which  pursues those who elected  it as if once elected the  government is to make  life  difficult  for those  who  elected it.  The  election of JK Agbaje  should  change  such electoral  fraud  and  horror and Lagosians  look  to his  coming  this year with enormous  joy.

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