A Lagos-based socio-political group, the Lagos for the People Association (LPA), says it is coming out to propagate a new wave of thinking aimed at directing public scrutiny to the activities of current and past administrations in Lagos State since the inception of the new political dispensation as a way of exposing the agenda of the ruling party to systematically turn the state into an elitist society in the long run.
In a statement signed by its Director of Publicity, Azeez Salako, LPA noted that Lagos has, since 1999, been turned into a cow to be milked mindlessly by a cabal under the leadership of a notable empire builder whose major focus is to frustrate and annihilate the poor masses in the state.
“Today, after 15 unbroken years in the saddle by one party, something that ordinarily should have served as a beautiful testimony regarding delivery of fruits of democratic consistency to the people of the state, it is really saddening that all we have to show is a Lagos that has been plunged into debt of nearly 500 billion naira while on all critical indices of people-centred development, there is no appreciable gain”.
The statement noted further that in the areas of Health, Housing, Infrastructure and Employment, the state government has failed to deliver dividends of democracy to the masses.
“The last 15 years have witnessed too much propaganda in Lagos State, regarding the performance of the government. Where are the improvements in the lives and living conditions of the Lagos masses now as compared to the pre-1999 era? We have all seen the astounding wealth already amassed by the leading lights of the government. But can we see any improvement in the fortunes of the people?”
“How can a government that is busy constructing 16million Naira 2bedroom flats as low cost housing or 4million naira lock-up shops say it is working for the people and its policies seek to promote the poor and vulnerable in the society?”
According to LPA, the failure of this administration and the preceding one is most glaring in their inability to provide affordable housing for Lagos residents in the last 15 years when it took the Second Republic administration of Lateef Jakande just four years to build massive Low Cost Housing Estates – the Jakande estates that are still standing and currently housing millions of average Lagosians today.
“Since 1999, we have been witnessing continuous demolition of slum settlements in a deliberate attempt to make Lagos the ‘haven of the rich’ as all these demolitions have ended up replacing those settlements with houses and estates meant for wealthy Lagosians and promoters of government and their allies. We ask: Must the attempt to turn Lagos into a mega city be done at the expense of the poor?”
While calling on Lagosians, especially the masses, to pray for a God-fearing leadership to take over the affairs of the State in the next dispensation, the association said the time has come for all well meaning residents and friends of Lagos to openly decry and reject the personalities that have held the state hostage and prevented it from achieving true development since 1999.
“All Lagosians need to decry god-fatherism, imposition, kleptocracy and the grand attempt to turn Lagos into the personal estate of a few fat cats who have been using politics to enrich themselves and their cronies at the expense of the people”, the statement concluded.