Ambode’s last days in office…


By Bolanle Bolawole

turnpot@gmail.com  0705 263 1058

As would be expected, a flurry of activities is hallmarkingGov. Akinwunmi Ambode’s last days in office. Last Wednesday, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Lagos on a one-day working visit during which he commissioned many signature projects of the Lagos State governor. Critics say the projects were hastily commissioned and that they were notreally completed and ready. They hinged their criticism on the admission of Ambode himself that some of the projects will become fully completed and operational between early and late May. Two reasons advanced for this “rush” to commission “uncompleted” projects is that Ambode is bent on taking the credit for his projects instead of letting the in-coming administration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu do so. The issue of Ambode’s failed second term bid is still fresh in our memory. We shall return to that shortly. The other reason adduced is that the out-going governor is preparing the grounds for his future by worming his way into President Muhammadu Buhari’s heart. While it raged, the fight for second term between Ambode and Sanwo-Olu was said to have been resolved with the promise of Ministerial portfolio made to Ambode. So, inviting Buhari to Lagos to commission five-star projects is said by many to be the right step in the right direction and an exercise meant to further cementAmbode’s claim to Lagos State’s ministerial slot. Note that I said “further cement” because the governor is said to have done a yeoman’s job during the last presidential election in winning his Epe constituency handsomely for Buhari while many other APC top-notch lost scandalously in theirs. While we cannot confirm – or deny – the assertion, the governor was also said to have been generous in bankrolling the APC in the elections, both at National and State levels. Ambode, the critics further said, had to hurriedly bring the president to Lagos because Buhari was slated to travel out of the country again for medical tourism. On the occasions that Buhari had travelled in the past, who could vouchsafe what would happen or say equivocally when he would return? So it was wise to bring the president the time Ambode did.

Another school of thought, however, is that it was a pragmatic and wise decision for Ambode to forge ahead with his signature projects. Commissioning the projects in their various stages of completion is demonstration of commitment. It is also a way of tying the hands of the in-coming administration not to abandon the projects. This argument makes a lot of sense. I live in the Agege area of Lagos and would very much love Ambode to also fast-track as well as commission the flyover at Pen-Cinema before he throws in the towel next month. There are so many other construction projects embarked upon by Ambode that made people say he has turned Lagos into a huge construction site. Critics say he put too many iron rods inside the fire at one and same time; meaning, he was biting more than he could chew. Those who were happy he did not make his second term bid – for now, to me, and we shall soon return to that – accuse him of over-confidence. They say he was too sure of second term and never contemplated the ground could be made to shift from under his feet the way and manner it did. Our elders have a saying, to wit, “Esin ota eni kii ga l’oju eni” That is true: You enemy’s horse can never be tall enough in your reckoning. You will always find a way or reason to ridicule it even when you know in your heart of hearts that you are merely playing petty politics. 

The official reason the powers-that-be gave for denying Ambode second term was that while he was a good governor, he did not make a good politician; a euphemism for not putting enough money in the pockets of the party and party leaders. But other reasons peddled by Alausa (read: Civil servants and political appointees) are that the governor blocked all avenues and loopholes for “ilabe”; that he over-centralized award of contracts, concentrating all the levers solely in his own hands; and that he was responsible for the “miserable” salary scale in force in the State when he could have given them a better deal. “Ilabe” is euphemism for corruption. Ambode as an accomplished accountantreportedly blocked many of the loopholes through which the state’s treasury could leak. In this wise, close to 80 percent if not more of Lagos civil servants and political appointees prefer ex-Gov. Babatunde Raji Fashola to Ambode. They chorus that Fashola was more liberal and democratic! None has denied, however, that Ambode is more of a darling of ordinary Lagosians than all former Lagos governors. Short ofhis tax review which set him on collision course with a wide spectrum of Lagosians, Ambode is seen as a governor who has delivered on the dividends of democracy more than his illustrious predecessors. Some of his critics howevercomplained about the quality of the jobs executed by many of Ambode’s contractors, especially on road projects. Roads are a sore point in Lagos at this point in time. Virtually all the roads are riddled with gulley and ditches. “Pot holes” are inadequate to describe the sorry state of Lagos roads. Just as some close aides of Ambode have assured, last-minute efforts are being made to ameliorate the situation, including clearing blocked drainage. Driving from my Tabon-Tabon area of Agege to my church in the Alapere area of Ketu or to my office at Ikeja, I see palliative measures all the way; but the rains usually wash them away in a jiffy.

Ambode appears to be trying hard to make the best of a very bad situation and ensure that he finishes well and strong; he isconstrained, however, by some factors. One: Despite that the struggle over second term is over on the surface, the conflagration it kindled still seethes underneath. The government is sharply divided into pro- and anti-Ambode forces. During the fight for second-term, most of the political appointees and civil servants abandoned the governor to side with party leaders led by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. APCrank-and-file were no match for the tested and accomplished political gladiators. Only a few big-wigs publicly identified with the governor. The anti-Ambode forces won the battle but how can they go before the sitting governor and stare at himeyeballs to eyeballs? So, many are just bidding their time and praying for May 29th to come quickly. The Ambode loyalists are also counting their days of relevance because they know they must pack their loads and leave with the governor. Some of them in the service are said to be perfecting their papers so they can leave with their entitlements before the other side takes over. Expectedly, therefore, Government is not running as smoothly and as speedily as it should. Another reason why many projects appear to be at a standstill is because of paucity of funds. Government functionaries may be reluctant to admit this and politicians may be quick to “debunk” it, gargantuan funds went into the fight for second term ticket on both sides. After this, a lot of funds also went into prosecuting the Presidential and Governorship elections. As in 2015, the Lagos State treasury bore the brunt. Then, of course, the shock and disappointment of failure to bag second term took its toll, expectedly, on Ambode and his loyalists. If a man performed creditably as Ambode did and yet would not get second term, where are the reward for good work and the incentives for performance? 

With just one month left of his term; Ambode appears to have shrugged off the despondency and frustration that came over him after the loss of second term. Thanks to the strident complaints of Lagosians about the rudderless state of affairs aftermath of the Lagos APC governorship primaries. The State appeared to have been on auto-pilot. Those fighting to have the governor throw open the State treasury threatened to impeach him. The governor ran from pillar to post to starve off impeachment. In the interim, governance and Lagosians suffered. Somehow, the politicians sorted themselves out. Critics boasted that their carrot-and-stick approach worked on Ambode: Do our bidding, get nomination as Minister or stand against us and risk impeachment. The Ambode people, however, countered that it was the intervention of well-meaning party leaders and the governor’s love for the welfare of Lagosians that persuaded him to toe the path of reconciliation and peace.  All is well that ends well, as they say!

Mark my word: The loss of second term may be a blessing in disguise for Ambode. They might simply have helped him shift his second term forward to a more opportune time. Ex-Gov of Ekiti State, Peter Ayodele Fayose, said when ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo was hounding him out of office in 2006, he thought it was for evil, not knowing that God was only postponing his second term to a more auspicious occasion when he would be more relevant to his people and nation. And, indeed, see how relevant and greatly celebrated Fayose was during his second term! Between 2014, when he made his come-back for second term, and 2018 when he eventually left office, how many of Fayose’s colleagues during his first term (2003 -2006) did Nigerians still remember or were of any political relevance? This is the more reason Ambode must bend over backward to ensure he finishes well and strong. As many of his legacy projects that he can complete up to whatever percentage, he should not hesitate to do so. Indeed, if there is any new project he thinks he should flag off these wee hours, it will be wise if he does so. In 1971 when the now late Gen. Adeyinka Adebayo was leaving office as Military Governor of the then Western State, he embarked on a whirlwind “thank-you” tour of the State, laying foundation stone of new projects everywhere. I was in Form Two at Owo High School, Owo, which was opposite one of such project sites. I remember we were lined up from morning till evening to await his arrival. Eventually, he camevery, very late and turned the sod of the Owo Medical Centre, now Federal Medical Centre, Owo. It took many years or evendecades after the foundation laying ceremony before the project became a reality – but it eventually did. If Gen. Adebayo had not turned the sod, only God knows whether Owo would have had the project.

When I met Ambode in December 2017, I placed some project requests before him – the Alapere canal, which I asked him to help us concretize on both sides, and the Bakare and Owo-Ade streets, which I asked him to help us pave. I also placed a personal request before him. No doubt he has but a while to vacate office but as our people would say, even in these late hours of the day, the Sun is still vibrant enough to dry washed clothes – if only his aides or anyone will bring this to his attention. Where there is the will, there is a way!    

48 thoughts on “Ambode’s last days in office…

  • April 7, 2021 at 8:50 pm
    Permalink

    685855 340107I want reading by way of and I conceive this website got some really utilitarian stuff on it! . 472257

  • April 10, 2021 at 7:17 pm
    Permalink

    Pretty section of content. I just stumbled upon your web site and in accession capital to assert that I get in fact
    enjoyed account your blog posts. Anyway I will be subscribing to your feeds and even I achievement you access consistently rapidly.
    asmr 0mniartist

  • April 28, 2021 at 4:33 am
    Permalink

    It is appropriate time to make some plans for the future and it’s time to be happy.
    I’ve read this post and if I could I wish
    to suggest you few interesting things or suggestions.
    Perhaps you could write next articles referring to this article.
    I want to read more things about it!

  • April 29, 2021 at 10:53 am
    Permalink

    Hello there I am so glad I found your weblog, I really found you by
    mistake, while I was searching on Google for something else,
    Regardless I am here now and would just like to say many thanks for a tremendous post and a all
    round enjoyable blog (I also love the theme/design), I don’t have time
    to browse it all at the minute but I have book-marked it and also added in your RSS feeds, so when I
    have time I will be back to read much more, Please do
    keep up the great work.

  • April 29, 2021 at 11:36 am
    Permalink

    It’s awesome designed for me to have a website, which is useful in support of
    my knowledge. thanks admin

  • April 29, 2021 at 4:08 pm
    Permalink

    Every weekend i used to visit this web page, because
    i want enjoyment, since this this site conations actually good funny material too.

  • May 4, 2021 at 3:02 am
    Permalink

    Does your site have a contact page? I’m having problems locating it
    but, I’d like to shoot you an email. I’ve got some ideas for your blog you might be interested in hearing.
    Either way, great site and I look forward to seeing it expand over time.

  • May 4, 2021 at 9:16 am
    Permalink

    I am curious to find out what blog platform you’re working with?
    I’m experiencing some minor security issues with my latest website and I would like to find something more secure.

    Do you have any recommendations?

  • May 7, 2021 at 1:49 pm
    Permalink

    Unquestionably believe that which you said. Your favorite reason seemed to be
    on the internet the easiest thing to be aware of.
    I say to you, I certainly get irked while people think about worries that they plainly do not know about.

    You managed to hit the nail upon the top and also defined out the whole thing
    without having side effect , people can take a signal. Will probably be back to get more.

    Thanks

  • May 8, 2021 at 4:46 am
    Permalink

    352504 632918Maximize your by how a large amount of gear are employed internationally and will often impart numerous memory making use of that your is also fighting that can be a result from our team rrnside the twenty 1st centuries. everyday deal livingsocial discount baltimore washington 302601

  • May 8, 2021 at 6:39 am
    Permalink

    Hi would you mind letting me know which hosting company you’re working with?
    I’ve loaded your blog in 3 different web browsers and I must say this blog loads a lot faster then most.
    Can you recommend a good hosting provider at a honest price?

    Thank you, I appreciate it!

  • May 9, 2021 at 10:00 am
    Permalink

    Terrific article! This is the type of information that are meant to
    be shared across the net. Disgrace on Google
    for now not positioning this post higher! Come on over and consult with my site .
    Thanks =)

  • May 15, 2021 at 2:46 pm
    Permalink

    scoliosis
    hello there and thank you for your information – I’ve definitely picked up something new
    from right here. I did however expertise some technical points using this web site, as I experienced to reload the website many
    times previous to I could get it to load correctly.
    I had been wondering if your hosting is OK? Not that I’m complaining, but slow loading
    instances times will often affect your placement in google and can damage your
    high-quality score if ads and marketing with Adwords.
    Anyway I am adding this RSS to my e-mail and can look out for a lot
    more of your respective intriguing content.
    Make sure you update this again soon. scoliosis

  • May 16, 2021 at 2:34 pm
    Permalink

    scoliosis
    Hi! I’ve been following your site for a while now and finally got the
    bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out from Huffman Texas!

    Just wanted to mention keep up the excellent job! scoliosis

  • May 19, 2021 at 10:34 am
    Permalink

    scoliosis
    Howdy! Do you know if they make any plugins to safeguard against hackers?
    I’m kinda paranoid about losing everything I’ve worked hard on.
    Any recommendations? scoliosis

  • May 19, 2021 at 2:42 pm
    Permalink

    One other component of business style invoicing
    entails making use of vat-registered receipts. Vatt-registered receipts are basically deposit slips for
    companies executed. Having said that, rather than being
    sent out as a report expense, they are converted into a Vatt-registered
    discount coupon. Considering that these promos
    are actually looked at component of the solution agreement between a company and also a
    customer, they will certainly be actually thought about as an asset on which income tax law office might devaluate a company’s
    tax obligations.

    There are actually numerous various other places of business type billing and also
    invoice documents that will certainly differ depending on the citizens’
    necessities. While taxpayers may only have specific industries that
    are actually demanded to be submitted, most organizations will
    need a large range of demanded details.
    Invoices for solutions conducted have to be alonged with
    the proper types, while taxes need to be actually paid for at the necessary opportunity utilizing the suitable method.
    There are actually many other factors to consider involved, however the target is actually to make
    certain that citizens have the capacity to properly file
    their returns.

  • May 20, 2021 at 6:20 pm
    Permalink

    dating sites
    I’m gone to tell my little brother, that he should also pay a visit this blog on regular
    basis to take updated from most recent news update.

    free dating sites

  • May 21, 2021 at 3:00 pm
    Permalink

    I know this if off topic but I’m looking into starting my own blog and was wondering
    what all is needed to get set up? I’m assuming having a blog
    like yours would cost a pretty penny? I’m not very internet smart so I’m not 100% certain. Any recommendations or advice would be greatly appreciated.
    Cheers

  • May 25, 2021 at 11:08 pm
    Permalink

    I do agree with all of the ideas you have offered on your
    post. They’re very convincing and can definitely work.
    Still, the posts are very short for beginners. May you please
    prolong them a bit from next time? Thank you for the post.

  • May 26, 2021 at 6:26 pm
    Permalink

    Hello there! Do you use Twitter? I’d like to follow you if that would be okay.
    I’m absolutely enjoying your blog and look forward to new updates.

  • May 29, 2021 at 1:26 pm
    Permalink

    hi!,I really like your writing so so much!
    percentage we be in contact more about your article on AOL?
    I require a specialist on this space to solve my problem.
    May be that’s you! Having a look ahead to see you.

  • May 30, 2021 at 11:40 pm
    Permalink

    Thanks on your marvelous posting! I seriously enjoyed reading it, you may
    be a great author.I will remember to bookmark your blog and will eventually
    come back sometime soon. I want to encourage you to definitely continue your great posts,
    have a nice weekend!

  • May 31, 2021 at 5:29 am
    Permalink

    Great weblog right here! Also your site rather a lot up very
    fast! What web host are you using? Can I am getting your affiliate link to your host?

    I want my site loaded up as fast as yours lol

  • May 31, 2021 at 11:53 am
    Permalink

    Hi there, I log on to your blog daily. Your humoristic style is witty, keep doing what you’re doing!

  • June 1, 2021 at 6:04 am
    Permalink

    Great blog here! Also your site loads up very fast!
    What host are you using? Can I get your affiliate link to
    your host? I wish my site loaded up as quickly as
    yours lol

  • June 1, 2021 at 11:46 am
    Permalink

    Fine way of explaining, and good paragraph to obtain information about my presentation subject matter,
    which i am going to present in academy.

  • June 1, 2021 at 10:25 pm
    Permalink

    Greetings! I’ve been reading your weblog for a while now and finally got the bravery to go ahead and give you a shout out
    from Lubbock Tx! Just wanted to tell you keep up the good job!

  • June 2, 2021 at 11:27 am
    Permalink

    Amazing blog! Do you have any helpful hints for aspiring writers?
    I’m hoping to start my own blog soon but I’m a little lost on everything.
    Would you propose starting with a free platform like WordPress or
    go for a paid option? There are so many choices out there
    that I’m completely confused .. Any ideas? Bless you!

  • June 4, 2021 at 9:09 am
    Permalink

    Hello colleagues, its fantastic piece of writing concerning educationand completely defined, keep it up
    all the time.

  • June 9, 2021 at 10:15 am
    Permalink

    Hmm is anyone else experiencing problems with
    the pictures on this blog loading? I’m trying to figure
    out if its a problem on my end or if it’s the blog. Any responses would be greatly appreciated.

  • June 30, 2021 at 6:52 pm
    Permalink

    My partner and I stumbled over here coming
    from a different website and thought I might check things out.
    I like what I see so now i am following you.

    Look forward to going over your web page repeatedly.

  • July 17, 2021 at 12:26 am
    Permalink

    843022 163325Hey there! Someone in my Myspace group shared this website with us so I came to take a appear. Im surely enjoying the information. Im bookmarking and will probably be tweeting this to my followers! Exceptional blog and outstanding style and style. 679560

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

%d bloggers like this: