Vice President Oluyemi Osinbajo today in Lagos stood in for President Muhammadu Buhari to commission a series of projects by the Lagos State government. Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, several ministers, state commissioners and other government officials accompanied Vice President Osinbajo to the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) response unit at Cappa Oshodi, Lagos. Oba Rilwan Akiolu of Lagos was also present.
In his speech, Governor Ambode outlined the reasons for the establishment of LASEMA, and urged all Lagosians, including the enforcement agencies, to cooperate with LASEMA. “Many people lost their lives and sources of livelihood not because of the initial incident but from the delay in the response time due to inadequate resources and training. Our initial goal is to significantly bring down response time by our responders,” the governor said.
He added that the state was working on the next phase of the project, to establish dispatch centers across key areas within the state in order to further reduce the response time. “LASEMA is empowered by law to coordinate all the first responders’ activities, the Lagos State Fire Service, Lagos State Ambulance Service and the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency,” said the governor.
He implored all residents to call only when there was a genuine emergency. “Anytime you place what is known as a false call, you divert resources and attention from someone who may be genuinely in need. LASEMA needs the cooperation of the Nigerian police force and other law enforcement agencies to carry out its objectives successfully,” Governor Ambode said.
Vice President Osinbajo and his entourage commissioned the LASEMA response unit before moving on to Okota Isolo to commission the Ago Palace Way, which was recently completed by Mr. Ambode’s administration.
The Ago Palace Way stretch of road had been in bad shape for many years. Mr. Ambode had inherited the ongoing renovation from his predecessor, former Governor Babatunde Fashola. On a visit to the area last year, the current governor promised to speed up the road’s renovation.
As part of his whirlwind engagements, Vice President Osinbajo also went to Tafawa Balewa Square (TBS) where he commissioned security patrol vehicles and motorbikes acquired by the Lagos State government to strengthen crime fighting in the state. The state government plans to hand over the vehicles to various security enforcement agencies. Different political groups staged a grand rally at the arena to welcome the vice president.
On arrival at the venue, Mr. Osinbajo declined to take his seat under a canopy provided for him and other political dignitaries. Instead, he walked around the arena in a heavy downpour, waving to Lagosians and APC supporters who had come to welcome him and his delegation.
A state banquet was later organized for the vice president at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.
Today’s events caused massive traffic holdups in the different parts of Lagos visited by the vice president. A police source said the city is likely to witness serious traffic jams tomorrow as Mr. Osinbajo’s two-day visit continues with the vice president’s stop at the Lagos State House in Marina, Lagos Island for a breakfast session with corporate chiefs Lagos. The vice president is also scheduled to hold a short session with members of the public service at the State House in Alausa, Ikeja.
President Muhammadu Buhari, who was earlier scheduled to make the visit, canceled late yesterday on account of an “ear infection.” The vice president then stepped in to represent him.
SaharaReporters had disclosed that Mr. Buhari canceled the visit to show displeasure about a meeting Bola Tinubu, the national leader of All Progressive Congress (APC), held with organized labor last week without clearance from the president’s office.