The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Community and Communications, Kehinde Bamigbetan. He was the Special Adviser on Communities and Communications. In this interview with Integrity Reporters, Bamigbetan, former the Chairman of Ejigbo Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Lagos State revealed the success story of One Lagos Fiesta which was held last December across all local councils of the state.
What called for decentralisation of One Lagos Fiesta across all the local councils last December?
When our governor was coming into office, he announced that he would run an inclusive government, this is the perspective that led to a critique of the count down to the new year; that a single venue for Lagosians to count the year down was not enough for One Lagos Fiesta.
Now there are two levels of division; Ikeja, Badagri, Lagos Island, Egbe; you can use the 20 LG structure and you can use the 57 LCDAs structure. The government moved from one to the five divisional structures. It is actually a 400 percent leap. It means that the logistics were expanded overnight. So if you know where the state is coming from, you will know that it is a major giant leap.
Now the second is, even with the five divisions, they are now stretched for eight days from one day, events are happening simultaneously in all the locations, with over 100 artistes.
Any challenge so far?
The major challenge now is the artistes that will fill the time table, we do not event have enough artistes.
People are coming to the event, and they are standing, most of them stands from 8-1, so they would need an artiste that would make them not to realise that they are standing. So we have looked at it, where we are now is the best we can achieve for now.
Can you tell us the success achieved in this programme?
The aim of pulling people over to come and enjoy entertainment have been achieved.
The communities have experienced lower crime rate, fewer gang or cult wars among other benefits.
So cumulatively and quantitatively, that has been a major achievement. Even, we have used this program to bring up youg artistes who are not known, every one in the communities is happy. Even a 10-year-old boy is now a celebrity, he won N1.5 million. So there is no how you can talk about clique here, instead, we are decentralising and democratilising. We are bringing right entertainment to the Lagosians.
How are you able to manage the security to prevent activities of cultists?
Planning for security is part of the process. Lagos state has a board meeting where all the security operatives are involved. The planning of this program is down over six months before the event. The program is an interagency thing. Everybody is involved.
When you look at the environment, in terms of logistics and every other thing, you would know that it is a planned environment; you know where you are supposed to be and where you are not supposed to be. If you do what you are supposed to do, you won’t get into any problem. You see security vehicles around; you know that you are protected.
How will the government ensure that this project is not a failure?
When you want to move from bachelor to a father, it is a process. There is what we call a project cycle; in that cycle, there are transition challenges. We just need a little bit of patience and we would get there. Local governments has been asked to pick street waste on the highways, but as soon as the contractors are been put to site, every things would be alright. So we should just be patient and sacrifice a little for now.
How do you see your work?
I don’t see my duties as a work but as a passion. What you just need to do is to have passion for public service, developing solutions to public problems. It is a passion because it adds value to my satisfaction and to my happiness. But for somebody who have been seeing it as work, it would be a problem to that person.
Who is Kehinde Bamigbetan?
I’m just a normal person. I live a normal life. I do go to parties if I am invited, dance when others are dancing.
Where do you see yourself in the next two years?
We you talk of politics, it is God that is in charge, you may have the money but unless God paves the ways, you may just be wasting money. I have gotten this far because God has been helping me. I have always been a public person right from my secondary school days. From Part 3, I have already writing weekly columns. So since God sees me my passion and paved the way for me, I thank him.