One of the most accepted conceptualisation of politics, is that, politics is ensuring the greatest happiness in the greatest number of people. This conceptualisation by Harold Lasswell, a Political Scientist, explains how the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, celebrated the residents of the state during the yuletide period, most especially on the eve of the Christmas, new year eve and even on the first day of the new year.
The residents were caught unaware with the largesse that were distributed by the Governor through the office of the Senior Special Assistant to the Governor On Political Matters, Mr Peter Ajayi at strategic locations in the state.
The beneficiaries of the Governor’s gesture were selected from all the 377 wards of the state by the people of the wards supervised by the elders and leaders in the wards. The interesting fact is that, all strata of the society were frorm the units from which the beneficiaries were selected. This is ranging from the youths, women to the senior citizens in all the wards.
Surprisingly, many of the beneficiaries were not majorly politicians but non-political residents who were never card carrying members of any political parties in the state. That is to show that the Governor did not only focus his yuletide gifts on the politicians but also on general public who are purely residents of the state.
Mammoth crowd stormed the Ayoola Coker Street, GRA, Ikeja, to pick their yuletide gifts from Sanwo-Olu. The gifts which comprise of sealed rice, chicken and bottles of groundnut oil were massive to the extent that it went round the crowd who came from all the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas.
One of the beneficiaries, who could not hide his joy, Azeez Okewole, a resident of Alimosho, showered praises on the governor, saying it would be his first time of benefiting such gifts from government since he came to Lagos in 1996.
Okewole, who is a roadside vulcanizer, stated further that with the rice, chicken and groundnut oil that he collected, he would be able to save his money for other responsibilities that may arise after the yuletide.
Another beneficiary, Mrs Shade Olatunbosun, who stays in Ikorodu local government, advised other state governors in the country to emulate Sanwo-Olu on the distribution of yuletide gifts to the people.
Olatunbosun, who is a sign mother of 3, said before she was called to come to Ayoola Coker office on the eve of the new year, she had been thinking of how she and her children would celebrate the Christmas and new year.
Afolarin Ibiyemi, a resident of Oko-Oba, Agege, whose hope of celebrating the yuletide in a style came to reality through the collection of the Governor’s yuletide gifts, could not hide his happiness as he knelt down to pray for the governor immediately the gifts were handed over to him.
Ibiyemi, who is an apprentice of vehicle mechanic, expressed joy for the rice, chicken and groundnut oil he collected.
The most interesting part, according to Prince Yemi Odua, a resident of Onigbongbo is that no one has complained of taking less than the exact amount as approved by the governor. ‘Mr Ajayi announced the amount of 20k and he encouraged us to confirm the amount and return the envelope if less the amount. The same thing he did when he gave out 30k during the last salah celebration. This is a new thing in Lagos where we used to believe that money meant for politicians is never completed”.
Sanwo-Olu did not stop at doling out food items to the residents of the state, he also consider the fact that some residents might not have the cash to buy ingredients that might be needed to prepare the food items for consumption as he doled out cash of N20,000 each to beneficiaries. This according to the beneficiaries was to enable them to have a complete enjoyment of the yuletide period.
It is worthy to point that Sanwo-Olu had shown the way in which other governors of the federation can put a smile on faces of their state residents during yuletide periods. He did similar thing during the celebration of Eid Mubarak and now for celebration of Christmas and new year.
Saheed Lamina, writes from Kosofe in Lagos.