By Oji Odu
Lagos State has been shut down for Thursday, March 29, 2018. State and Local Government workers are not to work on that day because the state government has declared it work free to welcome President Muhammadu Buhari who is on a two- day working visit to the state, the first since winning the 2015 Presidential election, and about a year to the 2019 general election.
Why is the President in Lagos? Why is it now that he deems it fit to visit the state that literarily won the 2015 election for him? Why should the economic hub of the nation be shut down in this 21st century when such visits in other climes which we claim to copy will never shut down the economy of their countries?
Why should the masses be expected to line up, ‘waving their palm fronts and laying their clothes on the road for the “Messiah” to walk through, thereby increasing their hardship, because at the end of the day, there will be no food on their tables, for they did not engage in any kind of economic activity that day?
+Lagos State Government declared Thursday, March 29, a work-free day in the State ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s two-day visit to the state. A statement on Tuesday, March 27, 2018, by Kehinde Bamigbetan, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, said the declaration was to enable residents to come out en masse to welcome President Buhari.
In the same vein, the Commissioner of Police in the state, Imohimi Edgal, at a Press Conference in Lagos, said there would be temporary road closure and diversions in some areas including Ikeja, Agege, Maryland, Ikoyi, and Victoria Island. He made the announcement to update the public on security plans for the President’s visit.
The Police commissioner said that President Buhari would be attending a colloquium marking the 66th birthday of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu at Victoria Island, and also be at the official flag-off ceremony for the construction of the Lekki Deep Sea Port Project in Epe.
The Police Commissioner also disclosed that the President would also tour the Eko Atlantic City and inaugurate the Ikeja Bus Terminal, among other engagements.
“The temporary road closure and diversions would be within Ikeja, Maryland, Agege Motor Road, Victoria Island and Ikoyi axis.
“Security engagements are in top gear, as we are working with the Federal Road Safety Corps, Nigerian Navy, Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency.
“We have done a threat assessment and engaged all stakeholders such as the National Union of Road Transport Workers and commercial bike riders. We are appealing that they abide by our agreement at the meeting,” he said.
Reacting to the Buhari’s visit, former Presidential News/ Media aide, Reno Omokri, condemned Lagos state government for declaring a public holiday ahead of President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state.
In a post on his Facebook page, Omokri accused the state government of setting back human capital for Buhari’s visit.
“When Bill Gates said President Buhari prioritises physical capital over human capital, people like Nasir El-Rufai came out to attack him. But just a week after Mr Gates apple truth to power, Buhari is going to Lagos and the APC government declared a public holiday tomorrow for him.
“Does this not vindicate Bill Gates? By preventing workers and businesses from opening for business for one day, the government is setting back human capital just for the physical capital of opening a bus stop.
“This is a pure example of why Bill Gates said Buhari prioritises physical capital over human capital.”
In a chat with the Magazine, Samuel Udoh, a political watcher said: “ Why will the President not come to Lagos now? He has seen that he cannot mess with Jagaban, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu if he and the All Progressives Congress (APC) want to go far in the 2019 general elections. That is why he wants to come and mend fences with him with about a year to the elections.
“ Well it is left for Tinubu to decide what to do, whether he will allow himself to be used and dumped again and again.”
For Wasiu Adepoju a.k.a Oganla, a commercial bus driver, “ I don’t understand why the President did not see a thing that will reduce the people’s sufferings now to commission in Lagos State that decided his victory in 2015 election, but ‘Motor Park’. It shows that something is really wrong.
“We are not deceived, he has come to campaign for 2019, and, maybe support Governor Ambode for a second term in office,” he lamented.
With Lagosians expected to come out in their droves ‘waving their palm fronts’ and laying their robes on the wayside to welcome the President on empty stomach, not a few are unhappy with the August visit which is alleged to be full of hypocrisy.