If every Naira of tax-payers monies collected and (mis)appropriated by state governments were a reason for the electorate to vote out such governments, then Lagosians already have thirty-four billion reasons to vote out the APC.

Lagos State earns N34bn monthly in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR). This is asides the monthly allocation it receives from the federal government. Yet, according to BudgiT, of the 36 states of the federation, Lagos ranks 36th (the very last) in terms of transparency in use of public funds. In other words, the first has become the last. The first in the generation of income has become the last in the transparency of expenditure.

The annual budget of the state does not come by line items but in lump sums. There is zero due process in the procurement of goods and service. Contracts are not tendered for, just awarded at the whims and caprices of the executive. The records of revenue receipts are not made public, which makes it safe to assume that even the N34bn IGR reported is far lower than what actually comes in. But even if we were to take the state government at its word, a look at the glaring infrastructural deficit all around Lagos is sufficient proof that the 34bn tax-payers money generated monthly is being grossly misappropriated.

Even at the ludicrous, and staggeringly exorbitant N1bn/km cost at which the Lekki-Epe expressway was rebuilt, N34bn is sufficient to construct 34km of 3 lanes dual carriageway every single month. With N34bn the Lagos state government should be able to build, equip, and staff 68 primary health care centres every month; construct 8,500 units of low-cost housing every month; build, equip, and staff 16 primary schools every month, and the list goes on. But look around Lagos, what do you see instead? Dilapidated roads, poorly equipped health centres, a massive housing deficit, and a decadent education system.

With N34bn monthly, Lagos residents should be enjoying 24 hours uninterrupted power supply, instead, darkness envelopes the city. This must not be allowed to continue.

The bane of this issue is that one political party has 100% control of both the Executive and the Legislature. When you have lawmakers, who are unwilling and unable to checks and balance the executive arm of government, profligacy becomes the order of the day. A vibrant Legislature would force the Executive to be more prudent in its use of public funds. There is a need for more independent minded legislators who will compel the Lagos state government to open its books for public scrutiny. Lagosians must, therefore, unite to bring to an end the tyrannical reign of the APC in the state. This is the time for voters to rise up and insist on the injection of new blood into the system.

In searching for an alternative, Lagos voters cannot afford to consider political parties like the PDP. The mess the PDP has made of Nigeria at the federal level is ominous enough for Lagosians to avoid them like the plagues. Several states across the federation have PDP at the helm of their affairs yet stories from there are not much different from what obtains in Lagos. Add to this, the failure of PDP to offer credible opposition in the 19 years it has played second fiddle in Lagos; not to mention that seven out of eight of its members who got elected into the Lagos State House Of Assembly in 2015, defected to the APC within a year of being sworn in, and it is clear for all to see that PDP and APC are two sides of the same coin.

In light of the foregoing, the time has come to say enough of APC and its looting of the Lagos state treasury! Enough of Lagos PDP and its inability to provide virile opposition. New democrats, true democrats, are needed to revamp the system. Such can only come from political parties that are

neither off-shoots nor offspring of the current political class. An example of such a political party is KOWA Party.

In the forthcoming elections, KOWA Party is putting forward candidates to represent Lagosians at the State House of Assembly and the federal legislature. The KOWA candidates are all results-oriented,, and have proven backgrounds in the private sector, which we now intend to deploy for the public good.

Mr Ayo Lijadu for Lagos East Senatorial Zone, Mr Siraj Adebakin for Mushin 2 Federal Constituency, Mr. Olotu Ikponmwosa for Eti-Osa 1 Constituency, Mr. Akan Imoh for Ikeja 2 Constituency, and my humble self – Mr. Abang Emenyi for Lagos Mainland 2 Constituency are the team sent by KOWA Party, on a mission to salvage Lagos state form the conundrum it currently finds itself.

Lagos voters must make the collective decision to try something different, something better. The 2019 general elections provide the perfect opportunity for all Lagosians to express their displeasure in the way and manner they are being governed. We must rebel...by using our voter’s cards wisely! We must revolt...when thumb-printing on the ballot! We must reclaim...when casting our votes on election day, our rights to a better standard of living. History beckons...may Lagosians fall on the right side of it this time around.

 

Abang Emenyi

KOWA Party Candidate

State House Of Assembly

Lagos Mainland 2 Constituency.

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