Several civil society groups in Lagos State have endorsed the gubernatorial aspiration of the candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, for the 2019 governorship election in Lagos State.
Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR), Humanity Services Project (HSP), Centre for 21st Century Issues (C2CI), United Action for Democracy (UAD) and Free Bond Labour Services (FBLS) were amongst the seventy (70) groups that gave their commitment to support Sanwo-Olu for victory in the coming election.
The groups said their decision to endorse the APC candidate was premised on the outcome of the integrity test conducted on all the gubernatorial candidates in the State, in which Sanwo-Olu trounced other contenders in all the parameters used by the organisations.
The leader of the groups, Comrade Rasaq Olokoba, speaking at an interactive session with Sanwo-Olu yesterday, stated that the candidate symbolized the progressive thinking and yearnings of the generality of the Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in Lagos State. He added that Lagos State was clearly on another journey of social justice, welfarism and good governance.
“There is a resolve that Lagos State will never fall in the hands of reactionary leaders. What we have witnessed is successive progressive government in this State. So we are very delighted that a great leader like Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is the candidate of the APC. We know his contributions to progressive movement and the less privileged of the society, who are the major interests of all of us here. We want a government that will listen to and answer the cries of the people with little or no voice in the society.
“So we are very convinced that Sanwo-Olu is the answer. He has overwhelmingly surpassed other candidates in our integrity test. That’s the reason we are openly endorsing him and giving our commitment to his victory in the coming election. Lagos State is certainly on another glorious journey of welfarism and good governance, ” Olokoba said.
On her part, the Director, Centre for 21st Century Issues, Ms. Titilope Akosa, said it was important for Lagos State to continue to lead on all development fronts, adding that he was certain Sanwo-Olu was up to the task of taking Lagos to greater heights.
She, therefore, added that the candidate should work towards attaining the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), and renewing the government’s engagement with the civil society community if elected.
“Lagos state must take leadership on the attainment of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the state must renew its partnership with the civil society community to help speedy achievement of many of its goals. So we humbly ask that, when you are elected, you will prioritise these areas which include improvement of the education system in the State and the empowerment of our women.
“The gender equality and opportunity bill has been lying idle all this while. We do hope that when you are elected you will help to give the necessary support and boost for this progressive proposal. Lagos State must continue to show an outlook of a 21st century state in all forms. A state that will give adequate support to the women, children and the needy in the society. We believe in you and we hope that you will perform beyond expectation”, she said.
The governorship candidate, while acknowledging the presence and support of the various organisations, stated that the civil society groups were important stakeholders.
He said they were the eyes and ears of the vulnerable people in the society, adding that they were also the watchdog consistently putting government on its toes to perform optimally.
“I want to assure you that you’ve found a partner in me. I value your role in building a better society. That’s why we are committed to opening access to government to achieve our dream of greater Lagos.
“I commend you all because not many people have the strength to get on this noble but demanding path you have chosen. With this partnership, I’m absolutely certain that we will reach the Lagos of our dreams sooner than envisaged”, he said.