Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the governorship candidate of the Labour Party, LP, in Lagos State, has promised to put an end to the menace of touts and thuggery in the state, popularly known as the ‘Agbero’ system. Speaking at a campaign rally in Lagos, Rhodes-Vivour said that the ‘Agbero’ system has caused untold hardship to the people of the state and has contributed to the deterioration of law and order.
He gave the assurance on Thursday, March 9, 2023, while speaking at the Youth O’clock breakfast meeting organised by the ‘Obidient Movement’ in Ikeja GRA Lagos, vowing that the Labour Party would resist any form of voters intimidation or harassment.
Rhodes-Vivour, an MIT-trained architech, said that his administration will prioritize the safety and security of the people of Lagos State, and will work towards eradicating the ‘Agbero’ system, which he described as a major source of insecurity in the state.
“We cannot continue to allow a situation where a few people who call themselves ‘Agberos’ terrorize the people of Lagos and make life difficult for everyone,” Rhodes-Vivour said. “We will put an end to this system, once and for all.”
The ‘Agbero’ system is a well-entrenched system of informal transport management in Lagos State, whereby touts collect fees from commercial drivers and motorcyclists in exchange for allowing them to operate in certain areas. The system has been blamed for a range of crimes, including extortion, assault, and even murder.
Rhodes-Vivour said that his administration will work closely with the police and other law enforcement agencies to dismantle the ‘Agbero’ system and bring the perpetrators to justice. He also promised to provide alternative livelihoods for the touts, many of whom are unemployed youths.
“We will not just dismantle the ‘Agbero’ system, we will also provide alternative sources of livelihood for the touts who have been involved in it,” Rhodes-Vivour said. “We will create job opportunities and training programs for them, so that they can contribute positively to the development of Lagos State.”
He challenged the notion that unemployed youths are lazy, many of them actually want jobs to earn a decent living.
“They want jobs, so we are going to ensure that we give them employability skills and domicile these skills at the local governments,” he said.
He promised that when he emerges as governor, the health care system, education, transportation, clean pipe-borne water system, and other infrastructure work effectively.
Rhodes-Vivour’s promise to eradicate the ‘Agbero’ system has been welcomed by many Lagosians, who have long suffered the abuses of the touts. However, some observers have cautioned that dismantling the system will be daunting, given its deep roots in the state.
Despite the challenges, Rhodes-Vivour has remained steadfast in his commitment to eradicating the ‘Agbero’ system. He said that he believes that with the support of the people of Lagos State, his administration can succeed in creating a safer and more prosperous state for all.
Responding to the claims that he’s not a Yoruba man and that he doesn’t understand Yoruba, Rhodes-Vivour said the people of Lagos want good governance regardless of the language a leader speaks or the tribe he belongs to.
He noted that he is a proper cosmopolitan Lagosian having roots with the Yoruba people and having been trained in the best institutions in the world.
The LP candidate said added that Lagos has always existed in harmony but politicians whip up ethnicity to divide the people of the state.
He noted that the Obidient project is bigger than anyone and by God’s grace, it will produce thousands of quality men who will continue to serve the country with sincerity and purpose.
He said that the security and safety of voters are paramount in the March 18 election, adding that any form of intimidation and harassment would be resisted.