The much anticipated Lagos State gubernatorial debate put together by The Platform held to high expectations yesterday, Sunday, January 13, 2019, with four governorship aspirants airing their varied opinions on how to move the state forward.
The debate which was moderated by British-Nigerian Christian broadcaster, Victor Oladokun, had in attendance the candidate of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) candidate, Jimi Agbaje, the candidate of the Alliance for Democracy (AD), Owolabi Salis and the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babatunde Gbadamosi.
The debate focused on varying issues bordering on Lagos state and how best to proffer solutions to them. Although the aspirants differ on the methodology to be adopted, they all seem to agree that traffic gridlock in the state is a major issue that requies an urgent attention.
During the debate, the APC candidate, Babajide Sanwo-Olu promised to tackle the problem of traffic gridlock if elected into office. For him, the gridlock in the Apapa axis of the state will be a thing of the past in less than four months. “First on the list, I will tackle the traffic problem of Lagos frontally,” Sanwo-Olu said during debate.
On his part, Mr Owolabi Salis, of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) said he will revive the train system which has been “abandoned for 15years by the Federal Government” adding that the government is not paying the necessary attention.
Harping on the gridlock challenge further, the candidate of the Action Democratic Party (ADP), Babatunde Gbadamosi, said the traffic nightmare that Lagosians have had to contend with for years can be solved by focusing on three things – rail transport, use of barges and devolution of powers. According to Gbadamosi; “There are a number of ways to tackle this problem. The most obvious one is rail. Secondly, barges to lift containers from the actual wharfs and take them to lighter terminals all around Lagos, and, thirdly, devolution of powers. It’s time we started this discussion about the devolution of power.”
On his part, the PDP gubernatorial candidate, Agbaje said the key is to “get the local governments working again” adding that the grassroots play a great role in making state function optimally.
Agbaje thinks planning ahead is crucial if Lagos is to overcome its problem with traffic gridlock. He notes that town planning is very crucial in addressing the issue of gridlocks in Lagos.
“The idea is to have even development across Lagos state so that you are having less of movement from one end of Lagos to the other,” the pharmacist said.
The Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections are slated for March 2, 2019.