By Razaq Bamidele
A renowned activist and public commentator, Comrade Razaq Olokoba has thrown his weight behind the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu on the call for a special status for the state, saying, doing so has even been long overdue.
Olokoba, who is the National Convener of the Campaign for Dignity in Governance (CDG), in a media chat in Lagos Thursday, insisted that, Lagos State, being the former capital city of the country deserves a special status after the capital has been moved to Abuja, reminding that, “even then, the state still remains the economic capital of the nation.”
“Lagos State is the country’s economic capital. So, it would be a disservice to abandon a state that is responsible for almost 80% of the country’s earnings in form of the Value Added Tax (VAT). Therefore, it is taken that, special consideration for a state that performs such a feat should be compensated and honour with a special status.
“Granting Lagos a special status would safeguard the numerous Federal infrastructures in the state from going bad. It would also serve as morale booster for the residents to pay their taxes, dues and levies with enthusiasm. There should be a sort of give back from the federal government to Lagos State in form of special status. In other countries where their capitals are relocated, the former capitals are not neglected of abandoned but treated with special consideration,”Olokoba submitted
Olokoba made the contribution in support of Governor Sanwo-Olu, who has demanded for a special economic status for Lagos, at the opening of the two-day Senate zonal public hearing on the review of the 1999 Constitution under the leadership of Senator Oluremi Tinubu, held at Marriot Hotel, Ikeja in Lagos State Wednesday.
The vocal public analyst agreed with the governor that the progress and prosperity of Nigeria is linked to the progress and prosperity of Lagos State, adding that, “Governor Sanwo-Olu’s demands for a State Police and entrenchment of fiscal federalism are equally in order.
Olokoba, who was of the conviction that the so called 1999 constitution is not in agreement with the realities on ground in the country therefore enjoined the people of the state to come out to contribute to the review exercise with the hope of giving birth to a constitution that would be a true reflexion of the people’s yearning, pointing out that, this is the time to voice out.
Going by the position of Lagos as home for all Nigerians and beyond, Olokoba stated that, demand for a special status for the state should not be seen in the premises of self-centeredness, asserting that, rather, it is in the best interest of the generality of all Nigerians irrespective of their places of births.
The youth leader therefore stressed the need for the people to avail themselves of the public hearing to contribute to the success of the review, just as he solicited support for Governor Sanwo-Olu and his team in their efforts at ensuring their welfare, reminding that, governance is a joint responsibility of all and sundry.