Ambode’s Forward And Backward Movements

Nigeria News takes a look at the performance of Lagos State Governor Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his chance for the second term.


 Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, hit the ground running, not waiting for some six months to understand his job. Apart from a few missteps here and there, Ambode appears to be a second term governor with the volume of work he has done in Lagos State.


From infrastructure through quality assistance to the law enforcement agencies, this thoroughbred former civil servant has made his mentor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, proud. He has proved critics of Tinubu wrong that the old man may not be able to reproduce another Babatunde Raji Fashola.


Ambode has gone several steps beyond the Fashola magic.


Shortcomings persist. And this has little to do with his poor judgment about who should dispose of refuse in Lagos State. It is a constitutional matter, which successive administrations beginning with Tinubu had treated with impunity by sidelining the constitutional provisions which provide that it is Local Governments that should be responsible for waste collection and disposal in their domains. Lagos is filthy today. Ambode’s magic is not working in this aspect.


Potable water is another serious challenge. The biggest source of drinking water for Lagos State is at Adiyan in Ogun State. Many were happy in 2011 when both states were won by the same political party. That victory greatly assisted Ogun State to get taxes long denied Abeokuta for political reasons. Unfortunately, with the cold war between Tinubu and Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Ogun State is back to where it was during Otunba Gbenga Daniel’s tenure, concerning the same taxes.


Since Ambode got to the office, the taps have remained largely dry. The Lagos State Water Corporation has gone to sleep, may be induced by political differences with Fashola. This must stop. Water is the basis of life. Without quality water, diseases often prevail. The rich can afford to sink boreholes. They can buy pure and impure water along with the hand-filled bottled water. But the majority of residents in Lagos State cannot afford the luxury of boreholes. And, we are surrounded by water. Ambode should act his office here.


Kudos to this action Governor on the proactive steps against miscreants who have turned themselves into untouchables due to the fact that they have political godfathers, who are key leaders of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State. Those responsible for killings in Mushin, Fadeyi, Oshodi and the Shomolu/Bariga axis are being picked up. Work must continue in this regard.


The Ambode’s forward and backward position on some critical issues is a much of concern. Ambode did well by ensuring the long overdue entry of Lagos State into the Oodua Group. Afterall, almost half of the state was part of the defunct Western Region until 1967. It was a good decision by Mr Governor. And, we pray Oodua will continue to guide you aright.


Unfortunately, instead of quality partnership with the same Oodua states, Ambode went all the way to Kebbi with a whooping N10 billion for them to plant rice which is meant to be consumed in Lagos. Son of man has often wondered “how good and how pleasant” it would have been for that staggering amount of money to be devoted to rice cultivation in Ogun State. The pressure of rural-urban drift will certainly ease to some degree.


The same Ambode who took that retrogressive step also a few days ago ensured the place of our culture by insisting, through the law, that the study of Yoruba Language is compulsory for all high flyers hoping to be a permanent resident of Lagos State. That is a very good one. And, our ancestors will continue their vigil over the governor.


Sadly, the same Ambode is throwing money at a Lagos-Kano Economic Summit scheduled to hold in Epe later this month. How would Dipo Famakinwa feel in his grave with all the quality work carried out by DAWN? Are we moving forward or backwards in this era when our people are insisting on restructuring? Why is Lagos not consistent in using its resources to solidify our base instead of Kebbi rice today and economic well-being of Kano tomorrow?


We never needed to wait for the Federal Government to link Ibadan with Lagos through a quality railway service. Boats from Lagos should by now be ferrying people to and from Ondo up to Edo and Delta states If Ambode is really desirous of socio-economic integration among the Oodua States.

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