Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the APC Governorship Candidate for Lagos went up against Jimi Agbaje, the PDP Candidate for Lagos, Babajide Gbadamosi, the ADP candidate for Lagos and Owolabi Salis the AD candidate for Lagos at the Lagos Gubernatorial debate organised by The Platform Nigeria, a creation of Pastor Poju Oyemade’s Convenant Christian Centre.
Arriving at the venue of the debate early, he posted a selfie with the hashtags on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram #SanwoOluDebates and #ThePlatformDebates which a tweet from his handle a few hours ago had started a trend across Social Media. The selfie post received thousands of likes, comments and retweets across the different social media platforms.
Dressed in a white native attire, Babajide Sanwo-Olu immediately started the debate strong answering a question from the debate moderator Dr. Victor Oladokun about what he had done that qualified him to be the Governor of Lagos with his impressive resume in the private and public sector.
He spoke about how 17 years in the private sector and 13 years in the government managing different key portfolios like Budget and Planning; Commerce and Industry; and Establishments, Training and Pensions have prepared him to drive fiscal governance, manage an important relationship with the private sector and ensure growth and development of the civil service.
He also talked about his experience creating PPP housing projects as Managing Director of the Lagos State Development Property Corporation which prepared him to manage housing and other social projects required to make Lagos a 21st century economy. The other contestants who had minimal experience in the private sector and zero experience in the public sector tried to focus their answers on what they would do rather than what they had done.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu went on to answer questions about what he would do during his first 100 days of office; how he would solve transportation issues in Lagos; how he would stop the brain drain in the health sector, how he would communicate with the private sector and the population; ensuring accountability in government financing; external influence in government and finally gave promises he would fulfill to Lagosians in his first year.
He talked about resolving the Apapa gridlock, getting trailers off the streets of Lagos, setting up of a strong cabinet, fixing of potholes, and installation of traffic lights, assessment of teachers training needs, driving enrolment in the Lagos Health Insurance Scheme and other low hanging fruits he would tackle in his first 100 days of office.
On government openness, he talked about how the Lagos government presents its budgets on time and also carries out quarterly reviews. He talked about how his administration would take that to the next level.
He spoke about how his experience training over 1000 teachers as commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions had given him an idea of the needs of the entire civil service and also how he planned to integrate technology into teacher training and the education development curriculum for Lagos.
Making a promise for the next 4 years, he spoke about the great plans he had for building a greater Lagos and how he wanted Lagosians to hold him responsible for those promises during the election cycle.
He had what may have been one of his greatest moments close to the end of the debate when asked about external influences by confidently stating, “I Am My Own Man”. He cited family governance with the high flying performance of his wife and family; education discipline with his constant quest for knowledge and his integrity in government as evidence that he would be fully accountable to Lagosians in the next 4 years.
Speaking to the wife of the convener of the event, Mrs Poju-Oyemade in a post event interview, he went on to talk about Project THEME, his 5 key pillars agenda to drive a greater Lagos. Traffic Management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st century economy with improvements in power, food security, housing, etc; and growth in the Entertainment and Tourism sector as things he would focus on as governor.
In a post event message on social media, he thanked the conveners of the platform and Lagosians for the opportunity to present his plans for a greater Lagos. He talked about how excited he was and how important it was for Lagos to continue to take the lead like this. He went further using the hashtag #JideSanwoOluDebates and #ThePlatformDebates to reiterate some of the things he said at the debate.
A few hours after the debate, with over 50 thousands votes across 4 polls by newspaper platforms like Punch Newspapers, The Nation Newspapers, Budgitng, a government accountability bureau and popular individuals on twitter like @segalink, BabaJide Sanwo-Olu was leading the debate performance polls with the closest other contestant being Babajide Gbadamosi of the ADP.