Before the 2015 gubernatorial elections in Lagos state, only few people knows more about the son of a teacher, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, his coming was like another imposition on the people of Lagos state, just like many had experienced but was never this disappointed.
The first controversy on the ambition of the next Governor after Ambode was the disconnection between the state executive council under the leadership of the then Executive Governor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, with many going with the former Lagos state Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, and other opting for the eloquent BRF’s option.
Rarely had Asiwaju as popularly called, presented a failure for leadership role as many of his army have influenced governance in the country. In his entourage is Nigeria’s vice – president, Professor Yemi Osinbajo, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, former Governor Babatunde Fashola, Governor Ajimobi and many other not mentioned here.
It’s difficult to beat Fashola’s achievement, many had argued, while many others would prefer to opt for the popular pharmacist, Jimi Agbaje, not forgetting the numbers of the non-westerners as a determinant in the Lagos poll. Another uproar surged during the provocative statement of the Oba of Lagos (meaning King of Lagos in Yoruba Language), Oba Riliwan Akinolu, over the perceived low acceptance of Akinwunmi Ambode among the Igbos, on 5th April 2014 the oba was quoted as saying, “On Saturday, if any one of you goes against Ambode who I picked, that is your end. If it doesn’t happen within seven days, just know that I am a bastard and its not my father who gave birth to me. By the grace of God, I am the owner of Lagos for the time being. This is an undivided chair. The palace belongs to the dead and those coming in the future. On Saturday, if anyone of you, I swear in the name of God, goes against my wish that Ambode will be the next governor of Lagos state, the person is going to die inside this water.
For the Igbos and others in Lagos, they should go where the Oba of Lagos heads to. When they were coming to the state, they didn’t come with all their houses. But now they have properties in the state. So they must do my bidding. And that is the bidding of the ancestors of Lagos and God. I am not ready to beg you. Nobody knew how I picked Ambode. Jimi is my blood relation and I told him that he can never be governor in Lagos for now. The future belongs to God. I am not begging anybody, but what you people cannot do in Onitsha, Aba or anywhere you can not do it here.”
Larger percentage had wondered if Akinwunmi Ambode as an aspirant can surpass Governor Fashola’s energetic stride, one reason is that, the experienced accountant doesn’t speak much in functions, he’s more of a technocrat than a politician.
After two years of his emergence, Governor Ambode’s led leadership in Lagos state had built more than 400 roads in the state, bridges, the light up Lagos project, he brought an end to Lagos state University unending crises, he introduced the Employment trust fund, he embarked on building of state owned ports, also confirming Lagos as the entertainment hub in the nation and has continuously empowered the security outfit. The governor have shown to be responsive to issues that affects residents of the state, aside for helping the state to generate more funds, he has shown concern for the convenience of LAGOSIANS, raising the standard of living and convenience in doing business. To suppress the oppressions the commuters in the state face, the Governor banned the VIOs from the state.
Lagos state is already under-developing other states, not for the capacity in terms of fund but blessed with quality leadership that doesn’t not only do projects but plan ahead, the successors have not abandon projects by the predecessors but harmonized to the advantage of the state.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is also fortunate to chair the affairs of Lagos state as it marks it’s 50th anniversary of creation, the seasoned accountant is not only celebrating but doing it by showcasing the state to the world through innovations.
You will agree with me that Govenor Ambode have disappointed Lagosians by surpassing their expectations by not just being a Fashola but an Ambode of himself.
by Eniola Opeyemi