By: Adefolarin A.Olamilekan
Political Economist & Development Researcher
Dear Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, I am obliged to address you openly since access to you personally maybe barred by your bureaucratic and routine security protocol, while it may be pleasing to use this conventional channel of communication in this wake in our state history and nation at large.
True heresy is not the “pride of a saint or superman” but a comrade’s voice helping others, and in this open letter I shall essay to analyses some of the fundamental issues that have divided the government from Lagosian (indigene and residents) in our state and country.
I read and listened to your speeches and official statement, full of positives, direction and genius to your administration, an excellent per Excellency. However, some still point to the long familiar hackneyed, sophistries and rhetorical phrases that could be boring for many who considered it too commonplace in moving us forward.
The younger generations have no patience for long messages, their understanding outstrip speeches and press statement that lack pacts and pragmatism. What they want today is a vital social ideal for which to live and labour in. A system that will ensure their voice count, equitable distribution of wealth and resources is guarantee now and for future.
I trust you must have realize this since the protest turned looting, thuggery and violent. It has shown that government policy at all level with elaborate media celebration is no longer enough in modern Lagos, especially in Nigerian elitist project of development that are in fact a cover up for swindling.
The trust deficit and loss of faith in you as the governor of our esteem love state is in dire need of trust rebuilding, confidence and assurance. Am particularly hoping you do this in earnest, so that it won’t go down in history as one governor who lost his fort to secure his people out of obscurity and perpetual distrust in governance.
My dear governor, please note this, our, youths who leaves schools in recent time are in large numbers, many cannot find means for descent livelihood. Many who desire to advance their education further cannot do so. Many of them do to pressure fall prey to employment scammers and exploiters in our cities. The hard life experience push many to drug peddling, organized group engaged in stealing and all sort of crimes. More worrisome our lovely young beautiful women and girls are turn to prostitution, suffers as victims of rape and gender based violence (GBV).
Even though many have attributes the problems of our nation are rooted in the forces of corruption, injustice, poverty, unemployment, deindustrialization, widen-inequality, ethnic tribal sentiment and religious bigotry. However, one thing we cannot rule out is the foul play ethical values of capitalism, the mode of production and economy Nigeria subscribe to, that position the acquisition of property for individual taking prominence over acquisition of property for the use of the millions, hence, the propensity to commit crimes in order to own is more intense.
Thus, inequality is deepened, poverty is weaponized, and exclusion from resources distribution taken the centre stage, wealth accumulation is for a few. All these practically exist in Lagos and Nigeria at a larger scale. Poignantly, the masses of our young people with no privileges faced difficulties of life, and compelled to commit crimes against the property of the exploiting and parasitic political and business class.
Significantly, young men and women in Lagos today are not ready for any frustration from any politician or businessmen and women, as well as other VIPs. Instead, they are hoping for honest and capable men and women not crooks and mediocrity whose mission and vision is to turn dreams to nightmare.
Succinctly, it going to be a great pleasure if his Excellency administration would avoid lips service to youth’s plights, but work concretely with them, not just with celebrities and most opinionated social media activist alone. Along, we must not forget to accommodate the army of young people that do not posses any skill and therefore would not fit into any formal employment description.
In addition, it imperative for your Excellency not to leave out a huge population of this non-skilled manpower, neglecting them leave combustible social vacuum whose consequence would be seized by crimes, militancy, banditry and even terrorism. A shared of this is what we experienced through the thuggery and violent, erupting from the hijacked protest.
Conclusively, it stands a reason to say here that of all governors currently serving and has a leader; you command the necessary loyalty, reputation and admiration to mobilize Lagosian (indigene and residents) against the forces that encumber development of our dear state.
The resourcefulness of Lagos youths are enormous and leading, of which I know your Excellency is very much aware of this than my humble self, going by the details information at your disposal as our governor. Interestingly, also as we hope the protest lead us to a new and better Lagos and a united Nigeria, the losses must be accounted for, while the gains, exposes us more to re-thinking in governance that demand sensitivity on the paths of leadership and followers, but more on the former.