Nigeria News

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s Timely Path

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Nigeria News takes a look at what Jide Sanwo-Olu needs to learn from his predecessors.

The Brand New Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is lucky to have come after two men of dissimilar character as his predecessors.

Sanwo-Olu should take his time to read former Governor Babatunde Fashola like a book as well as learning from where the immediate past governor, Akinwunmi Ambode failed.

If he could patiently do these assignments, Sanwo-Olu may turn out to be an excellent Governor and if otherwise, his regime would be miserable.

For the fact that he had also passed through three regimes, including that of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu as an aide and head of parastatals, Sanwo-Olu is good to go.

But he still needs to learn. Of course, he is becoming the second cabinet member of the Lagos Executive Council after Fashola that will be elected as Governor.

Ambode was a civil servant, a former Accountant General. He took a bow on May 29 and on the second day, the former Secretary to the State Government, Mr Tunji Bello who served with him described Ambode’s regime of lacking the Emotional Quotient.

Bello said that Ambode’s Government failed because the governor acted more like an emperor who neither listened nor took advise from members of his cabinet.

He paid dearly for it as he became the first executive Governor that would not return for the second term. Ambode is an accountant, he is not blessed with words but figures.

His weakness lies more in his inability to carry his team along, even when it was clear that he did not have all the intellectual capacity to lead the most sophisticated State in the country.

This is what differentiate him from Fashola. To me, Fashola remains the most intelligent Lagos governor of this fourth republic. He combined both intellect and emotion together to survive the battle against his second term bid.

Tinubu never wanted Fashola for the second term but with wisdom and humility, the senior advocate manoeuvered, lobbied the party leaders to succeed himself in 2011 for the second term in office against the wish of his godfather, Tinubu.

Ambode could not play this game because he was running a one-man show with a few numbers of commissioners whom themselves lacked knowledge of grassroots politics.

Sanwo-Olu is closer to the grassroots even though he is not the original candidate of Fashola, his deputy Dr Obafemi Hamzat has been Fashola closest aide in the last eight years.

As a matter of fact, Dr Hamzat was the special adviser to the former Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola until he resigned to contest for the State deputy governorship seat. Dr Hamzat is a brilliant fellow that Sanwo-Olu must listen too.

Yes, Sanwo-Olu also worked with Fashola, he must take advice from him more than before to succeed.

It is not about Tinubu most times but the Lagos State Governor Advisory Council. Members of this council are Tinubu’s think tank. Asiwaju listens to them before taking some actions.

He also changes his decisions as advised by this inner caucus. I do not see Sanwo-Olu as a good orator but he can always complete his thought. He communicates better than Ambode.

To be more successful, he should delegate more powers to Dr Hamzat. As soon as the new EXCO is formed, the deputy governor must stop following Sanwo-Olu around. He is not the governor’s aide but a subordinate.

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