Honourable Segun Olulade, popularly called Eleniyan represents Epe Constituency II in the Lagos State House of Assembly on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC). He is the Acting Chairman, House Committee on Health Services. In this interview with TEMIDAYO AKINSUYI, he spoke on the performance of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode in the last two years insisting that the governor has performed creditably well to merit another term. Excerpts:
With just 15 months to another governorship election in Lagos, there seems to be no activities in the state. We are yet to see posters of governorship aspirants both within APC and the opposition anywhere in the state unlike what happened in the past. What do you think is responsible for this?
It is simply because there is no vacancy for the position of governor in Lagos state. There is no vacancy in Lagos Government House. If anybody in his imagination thinks he can defeat the peoples’ governor, Akinwunmi Ambode in 2019, I have nothing but pity for such a person because he will only waste his resources, time and energy pursuing a futile ambition. I repeat, there is no vacancy in Lagos Government House! Every wise politician both within and outside the APC knows this. Lagosians appreciate a good product when they see one and Governor Ambode is a perfect example of a good product. They can see their tax at work in every aspect of the society. With what the governor has done in Abule- Egba, Okota or Epe in terms of infrastructural developments and good road network, do you think anybody will go to them to canvass for votes as governor and the people will listen to such a person? That 2019 is around the corner and we have not seen posters of governorship aspirants or anybody showing interest to succeed Ambode is significant. Nobody in his right senses will want to contest against a performer who is well-loved by all Lagosians. I believe Ambode’s second term is guaranteed and Lagosians should expect much more rapid transformation in the Centre of Excellence in the days to come.
How will you assess his performance since coming to power in May 2015?
For me, I am always dazed by his performance. He has always has something new to offer Lagosians on a daily basis. He has shown to us that governance is about the people and he has demonstrated beyond reasonable doubt that he is a great and visionary leader. He is passionate about the welfare of the good people of Lagos, he is passionate about impacting positively the lives of Lagosians and he is also zealous about the transformation of the state into a megacity, a city that works for all. When you look at his performance in the area of security, education, economy, healthcare and so on in the last two years, you can’t but give him kudos for a brilliant performance so far. He knows his onions and why he was elected as the governor of Lagos state. We thank God for making it possible for a man like Governor Ambode to be in charge of the affairs of our dear state at this moment. I don’t think we can pray for anything more than this in terms of purposeful leadership. Ambode to me has performed beyond all expectations. He is the poster boy of our party in the whole of the country today. He has not disappointed our great leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu who stood out his neck for him when many were opposed to his candidature. He has not disappointed our great party, the APC and many of us who campaigned for him, above all, he has not disappointed Lagosians who gave him their mandate over two years ago. He has shown us what good governance is and we were not surprised at all when the governor of the state of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola proclaimed him as the Governor- General of Nigeria. The kind of achievements we have recorded in the last two years is unprecedented. If some governors can do that in their states for eight years, that government will forever remain indelible in the minds of the people of the state. Ambode has not only provided good governance, he has also inspired other governors in other states of the federation. The Ambode model in Lagos has been well executed and I give kudos to the governor and his team, especially his media team who are communicating his good works to the world.
As the Acting Chairman Committee on Health, what can you say about the achievements of the governor in the health sector?
There was a time I had to write an article on how the governor’s good deed has saved my own life as a person. In the area of health, for the first time in the history of the state, all our General Hospitals can now boast of regular power supply , ambulances and medical equipments. Under the Ambode administration, we have witnessed unprecedented infrastructural renewal in our health sector. Just yesterday (Tuesday ), I was in Ojodu to commission a Primary Health Centre (PHC). That also applies to other local governments and LCDAs across the state. The government has renovated and constructed over 100 health centres in the last two and half years. This to me, is commendable. Governor Ambode has made my work much easier as the chairman of the house committee on health. He has turned the health sector into construction centres where you always see daily construction works aimed at upgrading the General Hospitals and equipping them with state-of-the-art facilities. The governor has also created an enabling environment for medical personnel to work and that is why you can’t hear of brain drain in the Lagos health sector. In fact, I can tell you that health workers and medical personnel are struggling to get employment in the Ministry of Health. Recently, the governor commissioned the State DNA and Forensic Centre, Lagos Island, which is the first of its kind in West Africa. We also have the helipad in LASU for medical emergency. When accidents occur in Lagos today, within the twinkling of an eye, you will see LASEMA workers, especially the LASEMA Response Unit (LRU) on ground with their gigantic equipments rendering assistance. So, no doubt, the governor has done excellently well in the health sector. If I am to rate him, I would score him nine out of ten, which is an excellent grade.
Are you in essence saying that we don’t need a change of governance in Lagos ?
Sincerely speaking, I don’t think any sane person will pray for a change of governance in Lagos between now and 2023. We are having it good in Lagos and as journalist, I charge you to go the streets of Lagos and hear what the people are saying. Everywhere you go, it is ‘continuity’ and ‘ Ambode leekan si (Ambode one more time) you hear. The government of Ambode has been able to touch the lives of both the poor and the rich irrespective of the area you reside whether you are in the urban or rural area. No matter where you reside, you will always feel the impact of the Ambode administration. Look at the two roads he constructed in the inner streets of Lagos across the 57 councils. He has done well in the areas of education, gainful employment for the youths, and care for the physically challenged and so on. So, I think we are happy with the current administration in Lagos and Lagosians are committed to ensure that Akinwunmi Ambode returns in 2019 by the grace of God.