Governor Ambode Seeks Support For Hitch-Free Lagos Marathon, General Elections

Governor Ambode Seeks Support For Hitch-Free Lagos Marathon, General Elections

…Urges Residents To Report Suspicious Activities

…We’ll Deal Decisively With Lawbreakers, CP Edgal Warns

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday urged residents to cooperate with security agencies in keeping the peace and ensuring safety of lives and property in the build up to the Lagos Access Marathon and the series of political events to herald the forthcoming general elections.

Addressing Government House Correspondents shortly after the Security Council meeting held at the Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, the Governor said the security agencies have assured that they would leave no stone unturned to ensure that the peace enjoyed in the State would not be compromised.

Governor Ambode, who chaired the meeting which had all heads of security agencies in attendance, particularly sought the cooperation of residents for the Lagos Marathon coming up on February 2, urging them to comply with the restriction of vehicular and human movement which would be observed within the routes for the competition.

“We have just finished the security council meeting this afternoon and as you are all well aware that the general elections is coming up and in another two weeks we would be having the presidential election and then on March 2 we would have the Gubernatorial election and it’s very clear in our minds also that in this month of February, on the 2nd, we would be having the Lagos Marathon and also some political activities that would be coming up at the weekend and throughout the month of February.

“I just want to appeal to Lagosians that just as we have been doing in the past, we have ensured that the Lagos Marathon is very successful and alongside that there would be some kind of vehicular restrictions in some parts of the routes for the marathon.

“The security agencies have assured me that we would keep the peace and make sure that there is proper security of lives and property and also ensure that we have a hitch free marathon. I want to assure Lagosians that they should just keep the city safe and also ensure that whatever restriction that we are going to make on that Saturday, they bear with us and also ensure that within the few hours that the marathon would take place they should also keep the peace,” he said.

Likewise, the Governor said a lineup of political activities in the build up to the February 16 Presidential and National Assembly elections as well as the March 2 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections which would take place in the State, could require some restriction of movement, just as he appealed to residents for understanding.

He also urged residents to report any group or individuals planning to foment trouble in the State to the security agencies, assuring that the peace the State has enjoyed since the commencement of his administration would be sustained.

“I want to appeal to all of us to cooperate with the security agencies, all the head of security agencies are alive to their responsibilities and we need the cooperation of Lagosians to make sure that we have a successful season.

In the last three and half years, you can also notice that security in Lagos has improved tremendously and we intend to keep that for the rest of the year and also ensure that whenever we notice any untoward behaviour or activity from any group please be free to notify any of the heads of security agencies and we would make sure that this city is safe and prosperous,” Governor Ambode said.

Also speaking, the Commissioner of Police in the State, CP Imohimi Edgal said the Police have been holding series of stakeholders’ engagement to carry everybody along, assuring that security agencies were prepared to ensure that the inconvenience as a result of the Marathon and other political activities is minimized.

The CP also warned persons planning to use the series of upcoming activities to cause chaos in the State to desist from such, warning that security agencies are on red alert to deal decisively with such persons if caught.

“Having said that, let me also use this opportunity to inform Lagosians that in the coming days, they would be seeing a lot of police, military and other security agencies operations and activities across the State. Don’t be alarmed, it’s in order to ensure that we have hitch free exercises and anytime you are approached to vacate a location or suspend activities in a location, please cooperate with security agencies,” he said.

Lagos, NIWA Begin Talks To End Age-Long Conflict On Waterways Regulation

Lagos, NIWA Begin Talks To End Age-Long Conflict On Waterways Regulation

…Resolution In Best Interest Of All Parties

…Posterity ‘ll Judge You Rightly, Mamora Tells Lagos Gov

 

The Lagos State Government and the National Inland Waterways Authority (NIWA) on Monday expressed readiness to go into talks to facilitate amicable resolution of the age-long tussle between the federal agency and the Lagos State Inland Waterways Authority (LASWA) over regulation and control of the waterways.

The State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, who said this while receiving NIWA’s Managing Director, Senator Olorunnimbe Mamora and top management staff of the agency on courtesy visit at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, said putting the perennial conflict between NIWA and LASWA behind was the most patriotic thing to do, and that it would also in the best interest of all, especially the economic prosperity of the people.

He said without prejudice to the matter currently before the Supreme Court on the issue, the State Government nonetheless was ready to implement strategies to engender peaceful resolution of the grey areas and points of conflict in the overall interest of the people.

The Governor said it was particularly instructive and beneficial that NIWA was being headed at this particular point in time by Mamora, just as he expressed optimism that the development would translate to the end of hostilities that had been going on for decades between the federal agency and LASWA.

According to him, “We are doing this not just for ourselves; we are doing it for Nigeria and Lagos. I believe strongly that the appointment of Senator Mamora is divine and even prior to his assumption as MD of NIWA and ever since he has taken over, there has not been any major complaints from the controversy between the State Government and NIWA and we are very happy for this.

“Let me reiterate here that I give my total support for the amicable resolution of the issue irrespective of the legal tussle that we have been having over the decades and we also respect the rule of law. We know that whatever the decision of the Supreme Court, it would still have to be implemented by the operators and so I give my commitment and total cooperation that anything that is outstanding, we would resolve amicably.”

While commending the NIWA management for championing mutual relationship, the Governor directed key officers of the State Government to dialogue with the NIWA team with the view of coming up with structured approach to solidify the partnership.

“I give the go ahead to all my management team and key officers to sit down with the management team of NIWA. Whatever grey areas should be resolved. I think in the areas that we have talked about, issues relating to right of way, revenue and so on, we can resolve and I can observe that things have been very peaceful in these areas but we can document and put in proper shape to let other people also understand that we have moved forward progressively.

“The approach the NIWA MD has taken is commendable because once we continue to dialogue, it is for the peace and prosperity of Nigerians and not about ourselves and once we are able to get that as the main objective, I think every other thing will just fall in place. We are one government and one nation and there is no reason why we should not create progress and prosperity for Nigerians and I think this is what the renewed relationship is out to achieve,” Governor Ambode said.

Earlier, Mamora said his team was at Lagos House to raise the bar for the good of the people by amicably resolving issues relating to waterways transportation, right of way of waterfront and sensitization of waterway users on the need to always fully comply with waterways transportation code.

Mamora, who is a former Speaker of Lagos State House of Assembly and Senator representing Lagos East at the Senate, also commended Governor Ambode for his achievements in office, saying posterity would be kind to him.

“With this reception, I want to highly commend your Excellency and this is highly appreciated because you have taken very bold step forward and we can always rely on your support. I also stand here to commend what you have done for Lagos State and for your achievements, I am sure posterity will judge you right,” Mamora said.

 

How Governor Ambode Is Changing Ugly Narrative of Lagos Airport Road

How Governor Ambode Is Changing Ugly Narrative of Lagos Airport Road

By May this year, Akinwunmi Ambode will be stepping down as the governor of Lagos State. He would have spent four years in office by that date.

Although a one-term governor, overseeing the affairs of Nigeria’s most populous and dynamic commercial state for only four years, Ambode will, however, be leaving behind a legacy that will give Lagos and Nigerians a positive showing locally and internationally for years to come.
If all goes well as recently hinted by Adebowale Akinsanya, the Lagos State commissioner for works and infrastructure, the Lagos airport road, which links the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) from Oshodi, will be completed and handed in a couple of months.
Ambode secured the approval of the Federal Government to redesign and expand the road in June 2017 and eventually flagged off the reconstruction work in September of same year.
What is currently happening on the federal road leading directly to the international wing of the airport had been long overdue, but successive governments had turned a blind eye and showed less concern about the pain that Nigerians, international tourists, visitors and motorists had been subjected to for years as a result of the poor state of the airport road.

But that narrative is changing and, in the words of John Amadi, a resident of Ajao Estate, which is situated along the airport road, the redevelopment of the road “bears a testimony to the commitment of Ambode to changing the ignoble past and making Nigerians proud again”.
For decades, the airport road had been left in a state of squalor despite being the entry route into Nigeria for international visitors and investors arriving the country through its busiest airport by far, MMIA. Before the current intervention, the road bore a sad narrative of Nigeria’s shameful infrastructure trajectory.

For many years, the airport road elicited concerns from all quarters and provided uncomplimentary headlines for local and international media.

Government after government only paid lip service, as promises never got translated into reality.
For air transport passengers using the road, it was always a case of getting stuck in traffic congestion and missing their flights in the process.

For several others, in the bid to keep appointments around the airport precincts, commercial motorcycles (popularly also known as ‘Okada’) had become the alternative mode of transportation, thus mocking Africa’s biggest economy as perhaps the only country in the world where air passengers ride on motorcycles into the airport.

Apart from the fact that the two-lane road fell short of the standard expected of an international airport road, it was almost perpetually in darkness as the streetlight poles only stood menacingly to remind that government in this part of world cares less about the safety of the citizens and international visitors.

According to Adelekan, the reconstruction of the road also shows that what public office holders need to bring about positive changes at all levels is political will.

He is of the view that the often flaunted excuses of paucity of funds are most of the times not the real reason why governments fail to deliver value to the citizens.

Akinsanya, the commissioner for works and infrastructure, who visited the site last week in the company of Governor Ambode, is optimistic that the project will be completed before the end of the first half of 2019.

Although initially targeted to be delivered in December 2018 as a ‘Christmas Gift’ to Nigerians, issues bordering on relocation of utility facilities had pushed forward the projected completion date.

The road is designed as a six-lane dual carriage expressway (three major lanes on both directions), plus two-lane service roads on both directions. The reconstruction is with a ramp bridge designed to provide a U-turn from Ajao Estate to the airport. Also incorporated is a flyover at NAHCO/tollgate, and drainage works.

The road, which is nearing completion, is also coming with two new pedestrian bridges at Ajao Estate and NAHCO/Hajj Camp, as well as slip road to provide access to Ajao Estate, lay-bys and streetlights to meet required international standards.

Governor Ambode, who undertook an inspection tour of the road and other projects in the state, said his administration took the decision to reconstruct the road because it is one of the busiest roads in the state, with average vehicular volume of 50,000 daily.

According to him, the poor state of the road was not acceptable for the status of the state as the fifth largest economy in Africa and the nation’s commercial hub.

The road will link up with the Oshodi Transport Interchange (OTI), also being constructed by the government, to provide a seamless and stress-free ride for passengers arriving the airport and driving into the commercial city.

Credit—BusinessDay