Lagos the city of aquatic splendor, centre of excellence, the citadel of swag, the commercial nerve of Nigeria. Eko akete ilu ogbon(meaning Lagos heap, city of wisdom). It has been 50 years of leading Nigeria into her dream future. The hustle and bustle of Lagosians in the morning is synonymous to the Cat-Rat race. One democratic governor to another has changed the way we see Lagos from 1999 till date.
50 is a landmark, from lekki gardens, to shopping malls springing up everywhere, to the free trade zone, to BRT and LAGbus, to the little improvement in the education sector, to a better road network, etc Each of this was great but more applauds to the traditional 100 days accountability townhall that kept us abreast all the works of the government before it was suspended. Publishing the audited financial details of the government was a laudable stride to an open government that led to citizen trust in the government. Today, we are looking forward to the return of the 100 days accountability townhall/press briefing and the financial document on all government online portals since the current governor was auditor general in one of the past administration.
I want to ask why we need to spend so much on Lagos @ 50 when there are still so many grounds to cover. The government is throwing celebration when we are in recession. Did they forget there is no money to spend? What value does this celebration have for the present and future of Lagos?
What value does this jamboree or felicity have on the provision of quality education, water, housing and et cetera? Why many economists keep advising a cut in cost of governance, politicians keep thinking about a rise in the cost of governance.
In a state where government can’t provide water for the citizen and even in the governor’s house (the state house uses borehole). Is celebration the next thing? In a state where many children do not have access to quality education, is celebration necessary? In a state where to cut the cost of governance we have to break the law (constitution) by installing sole administrators in LGAs and LCDAs, is celebration not adding to this cost? In a state where government audited financial document are hidden from the electorate, is celebration priority? In a state where health facilities are in shambles, is felicity a top list? In a state where depression and suicide are increasing because of the economic depression, is festivity our major concern?
Who is the celebration for, the elites or commoners? How much will be spent on the celebration? Who will fund this celebration? What is the value of this celebration to the ordinary man in Lagos? Are there no ways we can invest in the future to mark the 50 years of Lagos.
Lagosian open or shine your eyes, when did our city of wisdom become a city of fools? We must ask question now from the government of the day on how the tax payer money is spent. We must demand compliant to the rule of law from this government. We must demand transparency and accountability from this government. The government owes us some explanation on how our funds are spent. We must ask now else we return to the dark days.