Lagos Needs Govt that Touches Lives, Says Doherty

A gubernatorial aspirant for Lagos State under the platform of African Democratic Congress (ADC), Mr. Funso Doherty, has called for a government that will meet the yearnings and aspirations of the people.

Doherty said this on Thursday at the virtual conference tagged ‘Reimagining Lagos: 2023 And Beyond’ hosted by Pastor Ituah Ighodalo and had hundreds of participants from across the state and beyond.

Addressing participants at the event, Doherty noted that the reason why there is large scale voter apathy in Nigeria especially Lagos is because many have lost faith in the integrity of the electoral process. He however added that even though such an attitude has become somewhat entrenched, it cannot remain so for too long especially at a time the pervading sociopolitical and economic environment has become inhospitable.

The people, according to him, will have to rise up, “As a general principle things can stay the same for years but when it is about to change it takes just a week or two.  This is an idea whose time has come and nothing will stop it because people are fed up and are desirous for change and the message of change, the present crops of leaders seem to be the worst in decades and people are giving up so we are telling people to be hopeful.” 

According to him, there is a need to take the message to the people and help them understand that they have the capacity to instigate change within the polity. Adding that with the developments within the mainstream political parties, Nigerians should take this opportunity to look elsewhere.

“We need to get the people to know that the power is in their hands and if they take it and run with it we will achieve this change. So if they run with it, then we will achieve our aim.

“People do not believe voting for the people will have any positive impacts on their lives, and it is not quite irrational because it is a national reaction.

“But 2023 provides an opportunity to change such narratives, first with the Electoral Act, a lot will change, technology will bring transparency and change.

“We need to step into the race and make the case for the people.

There are a substantial number of people who do not vote in Lagos, of the six million registered voters only about a million step out to vote on election day. However, even within the one million are purchased votes, these people were lured to vote in a particular way through monetary inducement.

“We are reaching out to these people to bring them out and help them understand and appreciate the need for change and also stand against such practices.  We will talk to market groups, religious groups, geographic groups and other groups to understand that it is in their own interest.”

The ADC gubernatorial hopeful said that the choice of his platform to pursue his ambition was informed by the identification of a political party with shared values and sufficient common grounds for values and governance.

“When we decided to be part of this process we knew it was neither APC nor PDP.  We chose the ADC because there are sufficient common grounds for the values of governance.  We also saw a platform that will provide us the necessary avenue to instill the change we want in the system.

“The downside of the major parties is that the process of emergence is such that before you emerge you may have compromised your agency of change. And when you eventually get there, you become so encumbered by varying interests that you won’t be able to achieve anything worthwhile.”

The conference was hosted by the African Leadership Group (ALG) under the aegis of their Nigerian Leadership Series as part of their knowledge development in leadership in Nigeria. The ALG has been at the forefront of demands for good governance, accountability, equitable and judicious use of both human and natural resources and created to address the leadership dilemma on the African continent.

The focus of the group is to be part of the effort to move the continent and the nation in the right direction and create a good democratic system for all and sundry.

Doherty has in most of his outings highlighted that the focus of his priorities would be to give Lagosians a sense of ownership and responsible leadership where the people are truly part and parcel of governance. It is in bringing governance home to the people whose lives are daily affected by government policies that one can feel the heartbeat,” he said.

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