The Lagos Gubernatorial debate for 2019 held yesterday at the Landmark Events Center, Victoria Island, Lagos. It was hosted by the Platform Nigeria, a civic discussion initiative of the Covenant Christian Centre, while discussions were moderated by British-Nigerian media practitioner, Victor Oladokun.
The following candidates were all present at the debate: Babatunde Gbadamosi, candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, candidate of the current ruling party in Lagos, All Progressives Congress (APC), Jimi Agbaje, candidate of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) , Salis Owolabi, candidate of the Alliance for Democracy party (ADP) as well as their supporters and other Lagosians.
A panel also asked critical questions about issues facing Lagos state. The panel was made up of Israel Aye, Ndidi, Yemi Adamolekun and Yemi Osinaike. A fact-checking team of independent analysts to validate the accuracy of the data given by the candidates particularly for the debate and post-debate events if necessary was also present.
Victor Oladokun kicked off the debate by stating all instructions and went ahead to ask them questions.
Qualifications for becoming the governor of Lagos State, Africa’s 7th largest economy
Salis said he was more concerned about loyalty to the citizens rather than a single individual. He was interested in the welfare of the citizens which he believes is a major factor to qualify him as governor of Lagos state.
Sanwo-Olu stated all his qualifications, the work he had done in the private and public sector for the past 30 years and how he had served 3 different governors. Hence, he felt he was qualified enough.
Gbadamosi stated that like the one-time governor of Lagos state, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, he has never held any public office but he had done well enough in the private sector. He was able to build an estate with pretty much what he plans to do for Lagos state and he has done very well in running the estate.
Jimi Agbaje said he was an indigenous Lagosian that believes in Lagos state as well as a pharmacist who has done well in his line of business. He also stated that he believes in the youth and a need for new ideas.
Top 3 priorities within 100 days
Gbadamosi said he was going to look into the public sector pay as the gap between what is paid to the civil service and what is expected from them is wide, he would ensure there is a pay rise across all borders. He also stated that he would look into traffic and power supply in Lagos state.
Sanwo-Olu stated that he was going to clear the traffic in Lagos within 60 days and clear tankers in Apapa, engage with the private sector, organise a town-hall meeting for the public service to listen to them and also ensure his cabinet is ready within those 100 days.
Jimi Agbaje said he would ensure leadership in every ward so as to carry everybody along, introduce more technology to handle traffic, and strengthen the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA). He also added that he will look into the challenges associated with power supply.
Salis said he would appoint 50 special assistants to help him see to the development of the local governments in the state, clear violent brigades, solve the traffic issues in Lagos and invest in the youth.
What aspects of education in Lagos still require some work?
Gbadamosi picked the primary education. He talked about the alarming number of children on the streets. He said he would build more schools, put those schools in the communities and hand it over to the local government to manage.
Sanwo-Olu mentioned the primary education but he was going to focus more on the quality of the teachers, the curriculum and then the infrastructure building of the schools.
Jimi Agbaje talked about infusing technology into the curriculum as that was the future of work.
Salis stated that he intends to bridge the gap between the poor and rich. His focus would be on poor people in Lagos as he believes rich people can afford a quality education.
The brain drain of the health sector and health policies
Salis reinforced his opinion on bridging the gap between the rich and the poor. He believes that poor people cannot afford quality healthcare and hence he would focus on them.
Jimi Agbaje spoke on running a health insurance model and ensuring that the primary healthcare facilities are running properly while catering to minor health cases which make up about 75 percent of health cases in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu mentioned that he would look into the welfare of doctors and speed things up with the health insurance policy. He also talked about the budgetary allocation to the health sector and hopes that it can be increased over time.
Gbadamosi reinstated that it was the brain drain problem in the sector that was the focus so he would look the welfare state of the doctors. He then referred to his earlier answer regarding the pay of civil servants so that they can work better.
Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, candidate of ADP seemed to have captured the hearts of the people with his excellent and brilliant answers to all the questions. The other candidates were also cheered for by the people present.