Forty five minutes with Babajide Sanwo-Olu

A little over a month back, I was engrafted into a private sector-driven entourage billed to pay the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, a courtesy visit. It was an opportunity to meet him for the first time and subject his grips and grits to intense mental interrogation. For the about forty-five minutes the visit lasted, I held a sieve to the tall, slim, dark man. As the leader of our entourage made his presentation, Sanwo-Olu’s southpaw hand fluidly made notes as if he was in a classroom.

At the time to respond, he took me by storm. Critical, informed and potentially dissembling questions shot out of him. He asked his orderly to fetch a map which he instructed laid beside his office table. Like a scientist studying a fallen object from Mars, his pen dimensioned the map and his audience’s area of operation. Sporadically, he asked what Lagos State stood to benefit from the endeavour of his guests. I emerged from that chanced meeting believing that Lagos had a cerebral, perceptive and up-to-the-task governor. I had believed the contrary hitherto.

As a caveat, I was one of those who believed that Sanwo-Olu’s wonky process of emergence would hamper good governance. Thank God he didn’t ask for name introduction of his guests, he probably would have tossed me out of his Marina home. Holding strongly  to the belief that intangible aspects of governance are more substantive and superior to  building infrastructure, and confronted with Lagos’ leadership model under Sanwo-Olu which solidly tethers   to those elements that may look inconsequential but which shape the total architecture of governance, I stood at a crossroads, lost.

Sanwo-Olu has defrosted the Emperor-like ice which encrusts the office of governor of a Nigerian state. He was the first governor to walk into the midst of the #EndSARS protesters, not minding the jibes and harangues that usually follow such actions. Still dwelling on the superficial, he most times does not mirror that sartorial typecast of the Nigerian occupier of office – flowing agbada and all that. Getting addicted to Twitter where I gauge the feel of youngsters, I see his seamless communication of Lagos’ challenges and triumphs as key element of governance.

As he celebrates 500 days in office, though not a Lagosian, I have gone in search of his fare and I must say, they project a developmental strategy that could bail Lagos out of its challenges, if properly harnessed. Lagos ostensibly still has rough roads on which its people travel, literally and metaphorically, but Sanwo-Olu’s fare in road construction in 500 days is said to be ennobling. His office flaunts a record of 357 completed roads from May 2020 to date, tabulated with description and venue for the citizenry to interrogate and disclaim if unreal. His record-breaking interventions during the COVID-19 pandemic, the four new Isolation Centers for the disease treatment constructed during the period and other health/environment interventions give hope that with him in the saddle, Lagos may still be the projected oasis in Nigeria’s governmental desert.

As said earlier, Lagos still has a long way to travel under Sanwo-Olu. The gigantic filth pyramid of Lagos, its bothersome and notorious traffic snarl, though didn’t come in a day, urgently require a push to ensure that Lagos is indeed the desirable 21st Century economic hub that it should be.



The All Progressives Congress (APC) has told a Federal High Court in Abuja, that the Comrade Adams Oshiomhole-led National Working Committee (NWC) was sacked to solve the internal leadership crises rocking the party. The party also said that immediately the Caretaker/Extraordinary Convention Planning Committee was put in place after the NWC’s dissolution, the crises that had characterised its affairs were laid to rest…


The Emir of Zazzau, in Kaduna State, Alhaji Shehu Idris has died in his palace at the age of 84. His son, Aminu Shehu Idris, confirmed in an interview with the Tribune Online that his late father who was appointed on 15th February, 1975 and spent 45 years in the throne died on Sunday after a protracted illness…


Post COVID-19: Kano based industrialist tasks FG on economy 

A Kano based industrialist, Chief Kalu Ogbonnaya, has advised the Federal Government to take necessary steps to stimulate the nation’s economy to prevent a recession post COVID-19…

You might also like

This website uses cookies to improve your experience. We'll assume you're ok with this, but you can opt-out if you wish. AcceptRead More