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After the massive celebration and congratulatory messages on his inclusion in the Lagos State Government’s cabinet list, there had been serious drop in pleasant comments following his designation as the Special Adviser, Drainage and Water Resources.
Otherwise, opinions started to divide on the real targets of the appointment of Engr Joe Igbokwe in that strange position and what actually the Governor, Mr Babjide Sanwo-Olu wants him to do in essence, for the state.
Already, analysts have started seeing his official duties as sharing coterminous boundaries with Mr. Tunji Bello’s Environment and Water Resources Ministry and Mr. Kabiru Ahmed Abdullahi’s Special Advisership on Urban Development.
Whereas experts see deep contradiction in terms of operational spaces for the trio in the discharge of their duties, indications are rife that the key target is to end open defection and related nuisance stressing the state.
According to observers, all the government want to achieve is to see that blocked drainages are kept clean.
No doubt, across the state, every sane resident must be disturbed on the jumping rate of open defecation especially by youths who are mainly Okada and Keke riders’.
Challenges for sanitation and health, especially open defecation, contents that eventually get into the blocked drainages and on to the roads seem enormous in the state, but the vague involvement of the three may create room for complacency when only one is serious and inter-agency rivalry when the trio rise to the demands of their positions.
Open defecation currently remains a disturbing menace in several states and mostly in Lagos.
Statistics show that at the moment, only 13 Local Government Areas (LGA) out of 774 in Nigeria are free of open defecation; in Cross River (6), Jigawa (4) and Borno (3) States respectively. This means that no Lagos LGA is free from open defecation.
Apart from the open defecation crisis especially in drains and since recently, bushy highways, the intractable issue of flooding will also be a strong teaser for the three political appointees including Joe Igbokwe.
But one thing may become a world class history; That is Uncle Joe can drive a campaign to clean up the drains and gutters in Lagos today, he may become a household name and shall be forever, remembered as the man that cleared our opened gutters and make Lagos free of flood, open defecation and threatening sewage.
Down to the basics, experts say whereas it is inappropriate to get defecated materials emptied into the canals, rivers, the Lagoon and then the ocean, Uncle Joe may start off his duties by working on the psychic of the governor to start by having drainages at appropriate places and getting them to function well by seamless flow regime.
Given the above, no doubt, Uncle Joe actually got a big job to do as Special Adviser on Drainage and Water Resources. Also, we believe Governor Sanwo-Olu has expressed trust and confidence in Uncle Joe by this appointment otherwise.
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