6 Reasons Lagosians Hate Danfos

Danfos are the pariah Volkswagen commercial buses painted yellow, the official colours of Lagos State. They are always on the road for nearly 24 hours every day.

For Lagosians who are yet to own cars, the danfo is an effective way to move around the ever busy and bustling state.

If you are always on Lagos roads, you would have noticed the shenanigans of these drivers which can be very frustrating and annoying. Thus, the hatred for them.

Jumia Travel shares some of the reasons why Lagosians hate danfos.

  1. Danfo drivers are very reckless

Danfos are self-acclaimed kings of Lagos roads. They are uncontrollably reckless when driving. They will never listen to the caution of anyone except that of LASTMA. If the LASTMA officials are not on the highway, it’s a free-for-all. They will even tell you to take over the steering if you attempt to caution them.

  1. They don’t respect anyone

The danfo drivers and conductors don’t respect; anyone not even the elderly. They address you with so much disrespect that you wish you will never board one again. It is even worse if you don’t have change. To avoid trouble, you should always have your correct change.

  1. They are always dirty

There is no argument about this – danfos are always dirty. Only a handful of the drivers clean their buses.

  1. Indiscriminate fares

Whether there is a fuel hike or not, the fares of the danfos are always fluctuating. When they observe quite a number of people at the bus stop, they immediately hike transport fares.

  1. They can delay

If you are in a hurry, you should completely avoid danfos because there is a very high possibility that you will miss that appointment. They will always stop to buy fuel, pick up passengers as well as stop passengers to alight.

  1. They are the major cause of traffic

Although everyone is culpable when it comes to Lagos traffic, the danfo drivers take a large percentage of the blame. They stop in the middle of the road indiscriminately without minding other road users. In fact, danfo drivers only think about themselves and how to make quick money. That’s all. So, you have to be extremely patient!

Contributed by Adeniyi Ogunfowoke, PR Associate, Jumia Travel

Skype: Sleeksavvy

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Just Before You Vote, Lagosians Let’s Talk By Gbolahan Yusuf

Lagos, the city of hustlers, the noisy city, the city of sharp minds, the city of the high-end citizens and the city of the lowlifes, the city where business thrives, the city where entertainment lives, the city that is home to all, regardless of tribe, or religion. We could afford to go on and on, but the fulcrum of this analogy is that whichever way we choose to look at it, Lagos is THE CITY.

This is the reason, along with my residency of this “Mini-Nigeria” to borrow the words of the President-elect Muhammadu Buhari, why I am particularly interested in the Lagos gubernatorial elections amidst all other electoral bouts holding nationwide this Saturday. Like the presidential elections, there are quite a few contestants but just as well, only two candidates are really in the equation. However, against the backdrop of APC’s victory at the presidential polls, there have been notions, ridiculous as they may seem, for the PDP to be gifted the nation’s commercial capital as leverage for their loss of the presidency. These people feel, in other words, that Lagos, Africa’s largest metropolitan area, should be served as a compensation package to PDP, who are now being rejected by the majority of Nigerians, as the presidential and National Assembly polls show clearly. And I worry.

Yes, we should look at the contestants and not just the party, but just as well, we cannot look at the contestant, without looking at the party. A political party should have unique ideologies pertaining to governance, and so, it is no surprise that after the merry go-round of the PDP gubernatorial aspirant, Jimi Agbaje, from one party to another, he ended up in the party with no clearly laid out manifesto containing these ideologies, or might we say, he is “currently” in that party. APC is clearly, the more popular party within our polity as it stands, and so if there were to be any serious contest for the control of Alausa, and Lagos at large, it should be that the PDP contestant in the state had too much in his armoury of governance, to be ignored based on the political party, whose card he currently carries. However, a genuine and total appraisal of both candidates regardless of their parties, Jimi Agbaje and Akinwunmi Ambode, the APC aspirant, still leaves the mind tilted well towards Ambode’s corner.

Agbaje has been a popular name, in the circles of Lagos politics for quite a while. Without much research, one is tempted to think he was one of the founding fathers of Lagos State. Well here it is, JK, as his supporters call him, has NEVER, at any level, been involved in governance. He is totally immersed in the private sector, but started running for the office of the governor, since 2007, when he aspired to become successor to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As things would turn out, Asiwaju favoured his then chief-of-staff, who, it must be emphasized, had worked under him, studied, and learned from him, Babatunde Raji Fashola. After losing out to Fashola in the primaries in 2007, Agbaje turned down offers for him to work in other roles in government, only to start the movement from one political party to another. For this eloquent speaker called Jimi Agbaje, public service was only about one office. The Office of the Governor. It was that, or his pharmacy.

Ambode, on the other hand, has a different perception of what public service means. AMBO, like he is fondly called, started his service of Lagos around three decades ago at the Lagos State Waste Disposal Board(now LAWMA) as an accountant. He worked in several capacities across Local Governments in the state including, as Assistant Treasurer, Auditor and Council Treasurer, from Badagry to Shomolu, Alimosho to Mushin, among others. Ambode also served as acting Auditor-General for Local Government before being appointed as the permanent secretary of the ministry of finance in the state, Ambode, by 2006, was given the added responsibility of accountant-general for Lagos State, overseeing the state’s finances through difficult periods. Periods Agbaje devoted to cross-carpeting from one party to another, in a desperate search for the state’s number one seat.

It is true that change in governments is essential for any democracy as it keeps every party on its toes, but the our fingers must not itch so much to press the eject button for any government, more especially, as is the case in Lagos, where the incumbent government has not failed, and the only other option, is unproven, untested and thus, not trusted. The rate of progress of Lagos State, under APC governance, for the past 16 years has been steady, and the government of Babatunde Raji Fashola and its innovative ideas have kept the party close to the heart of many Lagosians. The BRT scheme, expansion of night-life entertainment, the state’s resort to mini-IPPs for in-state power generation for some areas, safer and better road networks are just a few of some introductions in the BRF era, with large scale projects like the urban rail mass transit, and the Eko Atlantic City, still in sight. To keep things short, among Lagosians, the consensus is that, Lagos is working. So what change?

Many would have us believe that the policies of APC’s governance in the state, have been tailored to favour the rich alone, which leaves any serious mind wondering, if some roads in the states are limited to people with a certain minimum balance in their bank accounts, or if the BRT scheme has been utilized more by the rich or poor. Or was it possible that in the state’s response to the Ebola virus, only rich victims were attended to? Special attention paid to industrial zones, with a view to maximizing industrialization, which employs many of the poor, has been misinterpreted into serving just the owners of those industries, who are the rich. Most of the roads not yet attended to in the state, are the federal roads, and the state government has been spending to maintain these federal headaches too, seeing as they cannot be left ignored by people in Abuja, for those in Lagos to be suffering plying these routes.

In this light, if any change is needed in the state, if anything can speed up the development process currently being enjoyed in the commercial capital of West Africa, it is for the state to be aligned with the Federal Government. Which is why I find it utterly amazing how, after the struggle to regain the country from the failed ruling PDP came to fruition, any well-meaning Lagosian would be considering, even minutely, the idea of handing over our Lagos to the same party. Coming just when the state should start expecting the backing of federal might, it would be a major setback, and the ensuing change in government with so many projects in progress, might just knock the progress of Lagos into thin air. We agree that APC is working, party-wise. Candidate-wise, we agree, as proven, that Agbaje has no experience in public service or governance, while Ambode is a veteran as far as serving Lagos State is concerned. My question to fellow Lagosians therefore; is this a risk worth taking at all?

Gbolahan Yusuf is a political commentator, currently serving in Abia State.

gbolly1992@gmail.com

Tweets via @G1gbolahan.

 

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Fashola’s Address To Lagosians On The April 11 2015 Gubernatorial Elections

Dear Lagosians,

First let me thank you all for turning out to vote on the 28th March 2015 and for doing so peacefully to make history by electing the All Progressives Congress candidates in the Presidential and National Assembly elections.

Once again, I must address you as we approach Saturday’s elections, when you will be electing a Governor who will continue after me and consolidate on the progress we have built together.

You will also be electing members of the State House of Assembly who will make laws on your behalf to assist the Governor and his team in the Executive arm.

Although your votes will be cast for one political party or the other, let me remind you that you will actually be voting for your wellbeing, security, prosperity and future.

You will also be voting for the future of your children. You will be choosing candidates and a party that you will entrust your lives to.

Think hard, think clearly, think deeply. Ask yourselves a few questions.

Who has shown a better record and example of protecting and securing you between the political parties?

Which of the parties cares more when disasters happen?

What is the record of the parties as it relates to the promises they have made to you in the past?

Which of the parties do you see regularly and which one do you see once in a while?

Which of the parties do you see when your life or property is threatened by epidemics like Ebola or by unfortunate accidents like plane crashes?

Which of the parties is showing that you can become home-owners without knowing anybody?

Which party has responsibility for providing electricity for you, and which one is taking up the responsibility to light up your streets and communities at night?

Which of them cares more about your children and their safety?

Indeed ask yourself; which of the parties threatened you with thugs on that sad Monday of March 16th and which is seeking to protect you by supporting the police; with patrol vehicles, fuel and other equipment?

Ask yourself when last you saw the Federal Fire Service in Lagos. The proud men and women of the Lagos State Fire Service have taken over admirably.

Ask yourself who should be supporting the police and who is actually doing it?

Dear Lagosians, your choice of who to vote for will be easy if you answer these questions within yourself honestly.

Indeed, you have clear choices to make between parties that use your resources to develop your society and community on the one hand, and the party that chooses to bring money to you for distribution when election beckons.

So you can choose between schools for your children, hospitals for your community, roads for your transportation or in the alternative, you can choose to have these services monetized once in four years.

Remember, that choices have consequences and your vote will decide the choice that shapes your lives.

Dear Lagosians, it is tempting to take the right and opportunity to vote for granted. It is tempting to think that it is too much trouble.

I agree that the process can be made much easier. But it is no excuse to refuse to vote.

Out of 5.8 million registered voters and 3.8 million PVC collections, only about 1.5 million turned out to vote, on the 28th March 2015.

Think of all the pain, the effort, the sleepless nights it took to get the PVCs to you. Think of the best way to show that the effort was not wasted or in vain.

It seems to me that the best way is to have all these 3.8 Million voters come out to vote.

By refusing to vote, you surrender decision making to a few and you will be bound by the consequences of your choices.

By refusing to vote, you do a great disservice to many who have lived before you, who fought very hard at great personal costs to themselves, to earn you this right.

By refusing to vote, you dishonour the sacrifice of patriots before you who fought for the right to vote.

Remember that when they were fighting for the right to vote, they were not fighting for yesterday, they were fighting for today and tomorrow.

They have handed today to you and I, can we secure tomorrow for the next generation?

Remember that since the capital of Nigeria was moved from Lagos 24 years ago in December 1991, Lagos has been abandoned by the Federal Government.

Ask yourself when the last major new road in Lagos was built by the Federal Government. It was the 3rd Mainland Bridge completed in 1990.

The assets the Federal Government left behind almost became a burden but for our resilience to maintain them. Today the Federal Government is owing Lagos N51 Billion which remains unpaid.

This is not in accord with the spirit of the promise made to Lagos when the Federal Government first declared Abuja as the capital in 1976.

The Head-of-State at the time, the late Gen Murtala Muhammed, said then and I quote him:

“…Lagos will, in the foreseeable future, remain the nation’s commercial capital and one of its nerve centres. But in terms of servicing the present infrastructure alone the committed amount of money and effort required will be such that Lagos State will not be ready to cope.

(But we have coped at great sacrifice)

“It will even be unfair to expect the state to bear this heavy burden on its own. It is therefore necessary for the Federal Government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be expanded.

“There is need in the circumstances for the Federal Government to maintain a special defence and security arrangement in Lagos which will henceforth be designated a special area. These arrangements will be carefully worked out and written into the new constitution. Kaduna and Port Harcourt are to be accorded similar status and designated as Special Areas…”

Sadly, no Federal Government and indeed not the PDP Government has done anything to redeem that promise for the 16 years it was in power or to protect Lagos.

Instead of assisting Lagos, they attacked her. If you remember FERMA, in 2006, the same PDP seized your Local Government money and resisted the attempt to bring Government closer to you by creating more local Governments.

On Monday 16th March 2015, the same PDP continued in their tradition of assaulting Lagos. Their supporters took over a major road in Lagos and threatened your peace and security.

On Wednesday 18th March 2015, the President-Elect, Muhammadu Buhari came to Lagos and said Lagos will receive compensation for the role she has played in maintaining Federal Government Assets.

Yesterday on Tuesday the 7th of April 2015, he was here in Lagos in his first political engagement since he became President-Elect and he reiterated his commitment to support Lagos.

This is what I will vote for. This is what I urge you to think about as you vote on Saturday.

This is the place that every Nigerian calls his home. It is the home of displaced people. It is the place where the homeless arrive and are made welcome.

It is the place where generations of Nigerians have arrived without knowing anybody but have, through the opportunities and inclusion, become somebody.

This is the place where the Late Chief Adeniran Ogunsanya and Owelle Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe consummated the handshake across the Niger and played politics without bitterness.

Tell those who try to divide us that our greatest strength has always been our diversity.

Tell them that you feel safe here, and that I have continuously assured you of your safety as the basis of our mutual co-existence.

Tell them that our waterways have been assets of prosperity and sustenance, for transport, recreation and fishing and they will remain so.

Let nobody now attempt to re-write that history for you.

When they reel out false statistics about Lagos, please ask them the statistics about the places they governed for 16 years.

When they reel out statistics, please remind them that those statistics don’t stand in isolation, they are the burden of a whole nation and many parts of West Africa that Lagos state bears.

When they promise you heaven and earth, remember their broken promises on power, security and many more.

Ask them to show you a plan, if they can produce one, which is doubtful, ask them whether they have implemented it elsewhere.

Tell them that you have seen the Lagos Development plan for 2012 – 2025, that the Lagos Light Rail Project, the Adiyan Water Works Phase II of 75 Million gallons a day, the solar power for all schools and many more which are part of the plans for you and your children and which are already being implemented.

Tell them that you will vote to keep a plan that you can see, that is already working, instead of a plan that you have not seen.

Ask them what happened to Vision 20:20, to the 7-Point Agenda and to Transformation.

Tell them that your bird in hand will not be traded for a dozen unseen birds in the bush.

Tell them that this election is not about money, tell them that it is not about ethnicity and it is not about religion.

Tell them that this election is about the place you call your home, the place you earn your living and the place where your investments are the safest.

Tell them that you will not play ethnic or religious politics with your survival. Tell them that you will not vote with anger.

Tell them that you will vote with common sense and for experience.

Tell them that you have seen Lagos survive without Federal support, and you wish to see her flourish with Federal support.

That will be the most historic thing you will have done, putting Lagos in the centre with your votes.

History and tomorrow beckons. Don’t turn your backs.

Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN

Governor of Lagos State.

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Lagosians, Keep the Faith….. By Toibudeen Oduniyi

Folks, let us make no mistake about this, there MUST be continuity in Lagos State. And here are my reasons for saying so.

The state has witnessed tremendous growth in many areas in the last sixteen years, people who LIVE in Lagos will confirm this. There have been great strides in providing infrastructure amidst an ever increasing population and exploding demand on public services. We have seen a government driven by a quest for good governance, an inclusive team and a commitment to excellence. APC has in Lagos a state that has pioneered IGR that remains a model for many states in Nigeria and many countries in Africa. It remains an incubator for leaders and ideas that spread to other parts of Nigeria. So my people, if it ain’t broke, why fix it?

Yes, there is much more that could be done but changing a winning formula for an untested one doesn’t make governance the positive engine of growth that it should be. We all know how much more Lagos State could have achieved but for the obstruction placed by the PDP federal government. A good example is the power projects, majority of Lagos homes would have had good regular electricity a long time ago if the PDP federal government had allowed Lagos state to implement its power programme. The PDP federal government has for years frustrated Lagos’s development plans.

I am yet to see or hear anything from Jimi Agbaje that beats the APC’s master plan for Lagos other than populist ideas like scrapping the tolls and LASMA. Many people say he is a nice guy but he appears to me a man of telegenic appeal but little substance. PDP as a party has no precedence of performance or innovative ideas that suggests they have something that could surprise us positively. On a merit and competency comparison basis, Ambode beats Agbaje hands down. Ambode came from a humble background and rose to top level of his career whilst Agbaje’s record appears devoid of any tangible achievement or stint in public service. Besides, I am yet to see any concrete plans or policies from Agbaje that beats what Ambode stands for.

Let’s call a spade a spade, the driving force behind Agbaje is really the anti-Tinubu gospel but Iet us be mindful of the saying that “don’t cut your nose to spite your face” Despite what people are led to believe, Tinubu has done more for democracy than all politicians gunning for him combined together has done. Overall, he has done more good than harm to our body polity. But for him, Nigeria will practically be a one party state today. At the height of PDP’s intimidation with federal might, he stood rock solid in insisting on true federalism, in the process strengthening our democracy.

The risk of playing along with a party bearing Greek gifts is too much. A retreat from the centre to Lagos will mean an alternative wallet and cash cow for PDP. The rot in PDP is simply too much for them to be trusted with Lagos State. This rot starts from the top and goes all the way through the body of the party. Let them fix this rot first before seeking our mandate to govern the City of Excellence. The bitter, old and spent political opportunists are looking to camp their tents in Lagos State for the next four years. For the first time in recent times, we have an opportunity with APC in government at the centre and this promises to be Lagos State’s finest hour. All the special privileges which the state deserves but which it has been denied would now be easy to obtain. To change the ruling party in the state at the threshold of great opportunity would only serve to make the state’s governance dysfunctional and mediocre.

Four years of Ambode is like four more years of Fashola with a greater development pace, while four years of Agbaje is another four years of Jonathan with a far deeper rot. Brothers and sisters in Lagos state, keep the faith in APC – the party that has been tried and tested, and keeps delivering.

Please vote for continuity of good governance in Lagos State.

Vote Akinwunmi Ambode for Governor on April 11th.

Toibudeen Oduniyi FBCS CITP

muyiwa@oduniyi.com

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