Yes we are in a global pandemic and there is no denying the fact that the number one citizen of Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has surprised
Yes we are in a global pandemic and there is no denying the fact that the number one citizen of Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has surprised even his strongest critics by how well he has stirred the affairs of the state in managing the coronavirus ravaging countries of the world. He has been referred to as the model governor that all other governors in Nigeria should emulate in managing COVID-19.
But away from COVID-19. Are you aware that the youthful governor has a few aliases coined on his behalf? This has nothing to do with how he detests being referred to as ‘His Excellency,’ at least for the time being, a title usually reserved for state governors and one which he says gets on his nerves. And his reasons are not far-fetched. He believes the title should be reserved for leaders who have excelled in their tasks and finished the job they were elected to do. But having proved his mettle in the way he has handled the COVID-19 pandemic in the state, perhaps he would consider reverting to being addressed to as ‘His Excellency.’
So back to his aliases. The governor has been referred to in several quarters as ‘Cashier’, ‘Pointus Pilate’ and ‘Bulldozer’. I am not quite sure he knows that he has these monikers but here is why he has them.
Riding to power on the political, financial and social strength of former governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu now leader of the ruling party, All Progressives Congress, APC, governor Babjide Sanwo-Olu is viewed not to be his own man. This is because he has to seek validation from his ‘God-father’, Tinubu before critical decisions affecting the state are made and also because he doesn’t want to tow the path of his predecessor, Akinwunmi Ambode whose alleged ‘sin’ that prevented him from getting a second term ticket, was being his own man and not seeking validation from his erstwhile political backer. For this, civil servants refer to him behind his back as ‘Cashier’. Sources within Alausa say some civil servants don’t see him as his own man but someone who only signs the cheque after the real power players have deliberated and made their decisions on how things should happen.
With his godfather, Bola Ahmed Tinubu
Last year saw quite a number of demolition exercise carried out in some places in Lagos. At Mile 2, Badagry expressway, the state’s taskforce on Environmental and Special Offences on the orders of the governor, pulled down illegal structures, mechanic workshops, containerized kiosks etc. around a government public school. At Allen roundabout, Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s statue erected by his predecessor in honour of the late Afrobeat progenitor was pulled down, despite millions of naira expended to erect the statue. This also included Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s statue. At Marwa Waterside area of Lekki, a demolition exercise carried out by the Lagos Environmental and Special Offences unit brought down over 2,500 structures. The governor defended his actions by saying he was trying to bring sanity and development to the state, solve the perennial problem of vehicular gridlock as well as prepare for the commencement of the construction of the water way. Infact, the coming of covid-19 prevented the governor from carrying out the demolition of some roundabouts on the Lekki-Epe Expressway Lagos. For the demolition exercises, the governor was nicknamed ‘Bulldozer.’
Before and after the demolition of Fela Anikulapo Kuti’s statue
Governor Sanwo-Olu has been photographed countless times always pointing his index finger at an imaginary or perceived thing while making a speech or generally in a relaxed mood with colleagues, friends or family. A reflex action, one that the governor obviously can’t control except through a very conscious effort, earned him the nickname, ‘Pointus Pilate’ or ‘Point and Kill’ by social media users.