Only Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labor Party, Abdul-Azeez Adediran of the PDP and Olufunso Doherty of the African Democratic Congress (ADC) attended the debate.
Three gubernatorial candidates highlighted their plans to move Lagos state forward in a public debate on Sunday.
However, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, who is seeking re-election as the All Progressives Congress (APC) candidate, boycotted the debate citing the alleged involvement of the main opposition Peoples’ Democratic Party (PDP) in political violence in the condition.
Present at the debate organized by The Platform, a civic discussion initiative of the Covenant Christian Centre, were Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labor Party, Abdul-Azeez Adediran of the PDP and Olufunso Doherty of the African Democratic Congress (ADC).
The debate that took place on Sunday at the Marriot Hotel, Lagos, was moderated by a broadcaster and communications strategist, Victor Oladokun, and lasted for two hours.
He made the applicants speak on topics ranging from insecurity, traffic jams in the state, education, health to innovation.
While the candidates differed on plans and methods, they publicly rejected political violence when the moderator cited incidents in which APC and PDP supporters allegedly violently disrupted campaigns.
Sanwo-Olu withdrew from the debate on Saturday, saying he would not “share the podium” with the PDP candidate after an attack in Surulere.
Speaking about the incident, Adediran blamed the APC candidate for playing the victim card, saying the ruling party had been “at the center of attacks since the beginning of the campaigns.”
“The event two days ago was very unfortunate. I was there to campaign and I certainly don’t think I would have gone there to shoot the people I went to campaign for. So for me and my supporters, we’re going to make sure that We are continuing our electoral campaign in the most peaceful way possible,” he said.
To curb insecurity, Adediran said his administration will put car park leaders “on high alert” to make sure perpetrators of violence in the state are arrested. He said he will introduce “intelligence community surveillance” that will allow citizens to share information about attacks and other issues directly with the government.
For his part, Rhides-Vivour said that “youth unemployment is a threat in the state and an idle mind is the devil’s workshop,” noting that the solution is to ensure that young people get employability skills, vocational tools, formal and digital.
He said his government will provide a hotline that people can call when they are harassed and “we will be acting aggressively against violence to make sure we are not in a lawless state.”
ADC’s Doherty said his government would prioritize the welfare of security agencies in the state “that are going rogue and acting in ways they shouldn’t.”
“We need to make sure that the well-being of security officers is looked after because if we deploy security agencies in our community and we don’t take care of their well-being, it’s only a matter of time before they start to see them become predators of the citizens themselves.” , said.
Lagos, the second worst city to live in the world
Citing a 2022 intelligence report that ranks Lagos as the second worst city to live in in the world, the applicants were asked to reveal plans to reduce the impact of inadequate transport infrastructure on the mental and physical well-being of the inhabitants of Lakes and to improve productivity.
LP’s Mr. Rhodes-Vivour said that the basic foundation needed to move Lagos forward is to have a proper rail network system, saying that it “will deliver about 60 kilometers of railway in four years as Lagos has only delivered 16 kilometers in 14 years.”
He added that another of his plans is to have a circular route linking the entire eastern Lagos.
“We will create a coastline from Victoria Island to Ibeju Lekki, Ikorodu to Epe and connect it with short bridges no more than six kilometers away, which is much more efficient than the third mainland bridge they are trying to do.” , said.
Agreeing with the LP candidate, Doherty said the rail project is a welcome development that should be complemented by the addition of waterways to the multimodal transport system, “which we must pursue and deliver in a short period of time.”
Adediran said the solution to the traffic jam on the Lekki Aja expressway is to provide a flyover at every intersection, adding that the state needs more alternative routes connecting to the places.
Speaking about the container that killed pedestrians on Sunday in Ojuelegba, he said that the state has to restrict the movement of containers during the day.
Education, children out of school
On how to improve the quality and quantity of primary and secondary schools, Mr Rhodes-Vivour said he would improve students’ employability and vocational skills and also introduce after-school programmes.
“Another thing we’re going to look at with education is that we need to start infusing digital technology into higher education, so we don’t get left too far behind. It’s extremely important that all primary schools have access to computers and digital technology “, said.
For his part, Adediran said he would partner with the state’s 5,000 registered private schools to admit out-of-school children, adding that he would also work with faith-based organizations to use their spaces during school hours for some of the children. .
Mr. Doherty promised to “move the education system in a direction that engages and produces a skilled workforce and allows us to become an attractive destination for business.”
Other issues discussed by the candidates were poverty, food insecurity, flooding, poor sanitary conditions, and unemployment.