Home Opinion S/West governors’ forum: What Sanwo-Olu brings to the table as chair

S/West governors’ forum: What Sanwo-Olu brings to the table as chair

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About a fortnight ago, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu was unanimously elected to lead the South-West Governors’ Forum as chairman.

Sanwo-Olu stepped into the position following the vacuum created by the death of the former Governor of Ondo State, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, who chaired the regional caucus until his death late last year following a protracted illness.

Governors Seyi Makinde (Oyo), Dapo Abiodun (Ogun), Lucky Aiyedatiwa (Ondo), Ademola Adeleke (Osun), Biodun Oyebanji (Ekiti) and Sanwo-Olu (Lagos) were all physically present at the meeting, which lasted for four hours.

Addressing a meeting in Alausa, an elated Sanwo-Olu, whose new role serves as an imprimatur of support from his colleague-governors, brimmed with ideas on how to turn things around for the rather beleaguered region in search of new vista of leadership that the Lagos City head honcho represents.

Sanwo-Olu, who would later present the 11-point resolution adopted in the communiqué  by all the six governors, was more than convinced that the measures outlined by the Forum would turnaround the fortunes of the region.

Reading from the communiqué, the governor said: “The Southwest Governors’ Forum, at its meeting today, 10 June 2024, deliberated extensively on contemporary issues in the South-West States and resolved to commend President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, GCFR on the groundbreaking of the Lagos-Calabar Coastal Road, and the proposed Lagos to Sokoto road. We, however, encourage the Federal Government to rehabilitate other federal infrastructure in the region.

“On security, the Forum commends the relative peace in the South-West region and notes the collaboration between all security agencies and the Amotekun Corps. We reaffirm our full support for State Police. We acknowledge the efforts of the Federal Government to strengthen food security. We decide that Commissioners for Agriculture of all the South-West states should begin to meet and set up a working template, which will ensure collaboration based on each State’s comparative advantage”.

The Forum hailed that the Federal Government’s efforts on exploration policies on mineral resources, but called for collaboration with States in the process to grant leases to investors.

The South-West Governors adopted a popular song composed by Afenifere, a Yoruba socio-cultural group, titled: ‘Ise wa fun ile wa’, as common anthem across the six States. They condemned, in strong terms, nefarious activities of a group of people agitating for Yoruba nation, stating that the region remained an integral part of the country.

“The Forum agrees to strengthen the DAWN Commission on operational efficiency and charges the Commission to focus on economic integration, cooperation and investment promotion of South-West states. To that end, each State is mandated to appoint a State focal person”, Sanwo-Olu said.

The Forum reviewed security across the region, pointing out that South-West had been relatively peaceful in the Southern part of the country. They, however, used the platform to renew their call for creation of State Police to further strengthen safety in the region.

The Governors also called for more collaboration between security agencies and Western Nigeria Security Network, known as the Amotekun Corps.

The Forum commended the House of Representatives and members of the Southwest caucus in the National Assembly for their efforts at passing the South-West Development Commission Bill, urging the upper chamber of the federal parliament to speed up the bill passage.

Expectedly, according to political pundits, Sanwo-Olu’s emergence as the Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum is not just a breath of fresh air but a badge of honour and recognition of the great leadership abilities of Mr. Governor.

For those who have worked closely with him, they are more than convinced that he would bring his leadership sagacity, sociopolitical engineering as a mobiliser, forward-thinking foresight, commitment and determination to bear on his new role to the benefit of all.

Indeed, if Sanwo-Olu’s topnotch performance in Lagos state is anything to go by, then it bears stating here that the entire Southwest region would benefit immensely from what promises to be an enduring legacy of performance-driven leadership in the next four years.

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