There is a new voice for calm in the feuding rocking the Lagos State Government. It is that of the leadership of the Unity Schools Old Students Association (USOSA), the umbrella body of all alumni associations of all 104 Federal Unity Schools which is calling for peaceful resolution of the tense Executive – Legislative arms relationship in the state. USOSA – the Incorporated Trustees of Unity Schools Old Students Association – Pro Unitate which advertises itself as a non-partisan association “of products of Nigeria’s best investment in human capital development (the unity schools)” say they are not immunized against the on-going conflictual reality in Lagos State where a huge number of their members are socio-economically engaged.
Mr. Lawrence Anirejuoritse Wilbert, the President General (PG) of the association is saying there is no alternative to peaceful resolution given what he calls the socio-economic credentials of the state and which the threats of impeachment by the Lagos State House of Assembly against the governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, could lead to unnecessary chaos that could weaken the state’s socio-economic competitiveness. “Lagos is Africa’s fifth largest economy contributing to about 90% of the country’s trade flows and about 65% of manufacturing activities in Nigeria”, he said, drawing attention to how Lagos received about half of Nigeria’s capital importation in Q4 2017. Describing Lagos as Nigeria’s most attractive city of opportunities, the PG contends these are credentials that make a peaceful relationship between the different arms of government absolutely imperative. And worth struggling for among stakeholders in the state.
The PG is also not sure if this is the time to start throwing threats across the board if, according to the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), there are about 6.6 million Lagos residents who are eligible to vote in the coming elections. Calling the challenge of conducting peaceful and credible elections in such a place a unique one requiring consensus between all arms of government, Mr. Wilbert explained that USOSA, through its network of Old Students Associations, is currently canvassing the need for peaceful elections. “We are currently running a campaign encouraging our members to vote peacefully, putting the interest of Nigeria above personal and pecuniary interests. We hope that our about one million members across the country will not only conduct themselves peacefully but also advocate for peaceful conduct at the polls”