Ambode: A Quiet but Virtuoso Performance by Adewale Adeeyo

In his 27 years as a civil servant in Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode was a quiet, solid achiever of immense gifts and remarkable ethos. With a bachelor’s and master’s in accounting, he was focused early enough to start his working career from the modest position of assistant treasurer, Badagry Local Government in 1988. Nearly three decades later, and after a number of courses within and outside the country, the brilliant and hardworking civil servant had risen to the position of a permanent secretary and accountant-general, even holding both positions at a time.

His accomplishments were staggering; but what was even more astonishing was the quiet manner he rose through the ranks and left a lasting impact.

It was, therefore, not surprising that less than three years after he voluntarily retired from the civil service, and with the same quiet dignity and self-effacement that have become his hallmarks, Ambode, 54, was back in government, this time at the highest level in Lagos State as its third Fourth Republic elected governor. It is not certain, despite his hardwork and accomplishments, whether he thought that amazing political trajectory possible. It is not even clear, though he has great mentors, whether a year before he assumed office as governor, anyone thought to make a political gladiator of the self-effacing financial and administrative manager.

Thirty years after he first signed up to work for the Lagos State government, through which he rose to be a consummate civil servant and adept financial manager, Ambode had become governor in extraordinary circumstances. He was indisputably sound as an auditor and accountant, even a chartered accountant, but not many, including perhaps some who voted for him in 2015, were absolutely convinced that the seemingly quiet and unpretentious financial expert and latter-day politician could muster the élan and charisma to lead the boisterous coastal state which recently celebrated its 50 years of founding. Ambode had come highly recommended by a past governor, the pacesetting iconoclast, Bola Ahmed Tinubu. And having excelled in school, he had acquired the character of showing grit, determination and uncommon brilliance. But he did not seem a natural politician, not to talk of being a lawyer and career rabble-rouser – these were the sort of people believed capable of succeeding as administrators and politicians. Ambode was different, confidently and quietly so.

But he was not the usual politician Lagosians had grown accustomed to over the decades. Indeed, shortly after he was sworn into office, the most populous state in Nigeria seemed to experience some stasis, unable to respond to the new governor’s novel methods.

But less than two remarkable and astounding years later, after Ambode had executed dozens and dozens of quality and, in some instances, expansive projects one after another, it was as if the state had been waiting for him all along with bated breath. Both Ambode and Lagos were made for each other, after all. He has not yet forsworn his self-confident disposition, yet his achievements have both been recognised and lauded, often very loudly, as if to compensate for his quietude.

Charisma is not usually associated with quiet detachment; but in the case of Ambode, his achievements have illustrated his sometimes impalpable charisma. And as every analyst knows, it is indeed possible to possess charisma without a corresponding or even ethical demonstration of progress. Ambode defies stereotypes and confounds propositions by his relentless and ironically charismatic accomplishments.

Far beyond the number and quality of Ambode’s monumental projects is the scientism of his methods, the integrated network of projects and programmes that blend with one another and create a seamless, impactful whole. Whether road projects or school and health facilities, or whether security or human development programmes, Ambode’s strides in two years possess at once a certain abstractness and concreteness.

It would be flattering to suggest that Lagos has a perfect cabinet. It probably doesn’t. However, given the achievements recorded in the past two years, and the peace and cooperation abiding in the cabinet, they are a reflection of the cerebral quality of the governor and his leadership skills as well as an indication that he has a critical mass of commissioners and heads of agencies to help him transform theory into practice. Importantly too, as is the nature of politics generally, the remarkable progress Lagos has made under Ambode reflects excellently on his interpersonal relations and financial management skills.

No matter how brilliant a cabinet, if the leader is not equally or better endowed, there would be no one to set the pace and direction. If Lagos is presenting itself as an example for other states and attracting attention from within and outside the African continent, it is an indication that a vision is in place and is being remolded and refined, and a leader possessing character and confidence is also running the show.

What is most remarkable about the solid and frenzied pace of development in Lagos today is its spread, both spatially and intrinsically. Spatially, projects are sited in concentric circles in all the senatorial districts of the state constituencies, and wards. And in one way or the other there is an engaging interconnectedness in nearly all the projects so that they can integrate forward and backward and hum synergetically to make life liveable in the Lagos megacity. Intrinsically, ongoing projects include roads, bridges, hospitals, security, apparatuses and many legacy monuments. The Epe axis is being opened up grandly.

Alimosho axis is being transformed into a behemoth, Oshodi is on the way to experiencing one of the most modern renewals ever, Lekki is enjoying a very thoughtful design makeover, and a new security architecture called neighbourhood security watch is already assembled. All these renewals and re-engineering have been made possible because they were predicated on a masterful re-engineering of the state’s financial infrastructure.

It is perhaps fitting that Ambode is in the saddle as the state marks 50, having been created in May 1967. He is fortunate to have predecessors like Asiwaju Tinubu who laid the foundations, and Babatunde Raji Fashola who built on that foundation. Ambode has placed himself appropriately to build on the works of his predecessors, and to take the megacity project to dizzying heights. As a former civil servant, he knows how to drive the civil service and get the best out of it. As a career financial manager, he has reorganised the state’s finances and put it on an even keel to make it work for the state. As a thinker and scholar, he has designed practical and engaging ways to get things done and make the state and himself respond adequately like a scientist to the challenges of statehood. And like a deep thinker, he has primed himself, standing on the shoulders of his predecessors, to envision an incredibly expansive, surefooted and glorious future for Lagos.

That Ambode is able to achieve these great strides without the accompanying and distractive noisemaking politicians are so often and clearly besotted to is a testimony to his idiosyncratic resolve to leave a mark and legacy in Lagos. He is just half way into his first term. By the end of the first term, and at the rate he is going, not to say the fluidity of his rhythm, he is expected to accomplish so much more, even as many of the legacy projects begun months back start to manifest in their splendor.

The clincher for many Lagosians and South-Westerners is that, far beyond working wonders in Lagos State, Governor Ambode is also deeply thoughtful, philosophical and ideologically expansive. His pursuit of regionalisation, where his predecessors had been fairly isolationist, speaks to his mindset as a true and well-bred son of the soil. He did not wait to be persuaded; and did not ask to be wooed. His instincts told him regionalism was right and did not detract from the state’s independence nor violated the constitution, nor yet flouted the unity and integrity of the nation. No sooner was he sworn in than he asked to be integrated into the Oodua Group, and its think-tank arm –the Development Agenda for Western Nigeria Commission.

There is no telling what six more years of Ambode will do for Lagos and the South-West. He has started well, worked well, thought well and from all indications, will finish well.

Dr. Adeeyo, OFN, is a member, Governing Council, Adeleke University, Ede, Osun State.

Nigeria Needs Restructuring —Tinubu

Political stalwart and statesman, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has chimed in on the hot topic of restructuring the nation, stating that Nigeria needs to be restructured but should not split-up.

Tinubu, asserted his stand on the issue at the annual dinner of the King’s College Old Boys’ Association, where he was the keynote speaker. He said “We are like the bewildered couple who has got their marriage licence after a lavish wedding; yet neither of them really understands the meaning of marriage or their roles as husband and wife in it.

“Legally, they are married but functionally, their union is a crippled one. This couple will be at loggerheads until somehow they forge an agreement on what type of home they want and what are their respective duties in making that home come into existence.

“It is a rather curious lapse that a nation with such diversity as ours has not taken the time to give our legal marriage its proper functional underpinning. In other words, we all lined up to call ourselves Nigerians without gathering to discuss what it meant.

“We may be defined by political borders and boundaries but we have not glued ourselves to collective purpose and vision. Too many of us are born in Nigeria but not of it. Thus, our society is not a collective enterprise as important to each of us as our own personal endeavour. It is a platform, an arena, to claim whatever one can by whatever means available.

“Thus, we argue over matters that long ago should have been settled. The longer such fundamental questions fester, the more extreme become the proposed answers. Thus, we have people clamouring for secession in one part of the country and the murmur of such a course grows stronger in other sections.”

“Constitutionally, we are a federation of 36 states. However, the vestiges of past military rule continue to haunt the democratic road we hew. We function like a unitary state in many ways. We cannot become a better Nigeria with an undue concentration of power at the federal level. Competition for federal office will be too intense, akin to a winner-take-all duel.

“Those who lose will bristle at the lack of power in the periphery they occupy. They will scheme to pester and undermine the strong executive because that is where they want to be. The executive will become so engaged in deflecting their antics, that it will not devote its great powers to the issues of progressive governance for which such powers were bestowed.

“Things will be in a constant state of disequilibrium and irritation. Such a situation tends toward the maintenance of an unsatisfactory status quo in the political economy. It is against reform.

“It would be better to restructure things to attain the correct balance between our collective purpose on (the) one hand and our separate grass-roots realities on the other. We must listen to what is being said so that we can determine what is really meant,” he added.

The stalwart however pointed out that many had joined the calls for restructuring for their own selfish gains. He said: “Let us be frank. Many who cry separation do so because their personal ambitions will be better served by such a thing. They believe they will have greater chance at political power under a different arrangement. Yet the cry for separation has gained traction among average people. This is due to the chronic failure of government to meet basic aspirations.

“If over the years, government had delivered on the promise of growth, prosperity, and justice, those calling for such extreme remedies would be but a small fringe of little consequence.

“Our task is not to condemn but to listen and understand. I care not at all for this proposed solution. But I dare not discount the concerns and problems that have led many people into advocating such a thing.

“Here, I want to plainly state my position. I am a firm believer in Nigeria. I believe this land will become a great nation and a leader among other African nations. We can resolve our dysfunctions in a manner that will make this nation rise as a standard of decency, justice and prosperity for all Nigerians.”

Iya Olobi, Aregbesola’s Mother Celebrated In Grandstyle After Death

By Kehinde Ayantunji

The death of Alhaja Saratu Aregbesola, popularly known as Iya Olobi, mother of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of the State of Osun on Tuesday brought together arrays of who is who in the society, as they thronged Ilesa, the hometown of the governor to pay their last respect to a woman they all described as a virtuous woman.

Acting President Yemi Osinbajo was among thousands of dignitaries that thronged the ancient town at the eight day Fida’u prayers for Governor Aregbesola’s late mother, who passed on at 84.

The event held at the Zenabab Resort, Ijebu-jesa road in Ilesa.

Governors Ayodele Fayose (Ekiti), Rotimi Akeredolu (Ondo), Ibikunle Amosun (Oyo), Abdullahi Ganduje (Kano), Abdulaziz Yari (Zamfara), Abubakar Bagudu (Kebbi) and Akinwumi Ambode (Lagos) were among the dignitaries.

Others were Deputy Speaker, House of Representatives, Yusuf Lasun; former Speaker of the House of Representatives, Patricia Etteh; former Inspector General of Police, Musliu Smith; former EFCC Chairman, Nuhu Ribadu; APC chieftain, Bisi Akande.

Also among other dignitaries were Royal Fathers, Ministers, Former Governors, Senators, members of House of Representatives and Houses of Assemblies, Captains of Industries, Islamic clerics and Local Government chairmen.

The event, which started at about 1.00 p.m., was marked by the recitation of the Holy Qur’an, selected prayers, public lecture by a don and Christian prayers by a cleric.

One of the prayer recitations was offered by Ahmad Suleiman, who accompanied Mr. Ganduje to the event.

A don and Chief Imam of the Federal Polytechnic, Ede, Taofeek Abdulhamid, in his lecture, called on the living to always remember that anything with a beginning, including life and political office, would have an ending.

He advised that as mourners remembered the late Mrs. Aregbesola  they should strive to mend their own lives so that they would inherit eternal life.

He said that people should learn to honour time, including their time on earth, as a sensible act, not to miss their way to the glorious end.

The don further urged political office holders to see their positions as an opportunity to serve the people, adding that good followership also would correct leaders and make them accountable for the country.

The event also witnessed cultural dance performances, climaxed with wining and dining.

Tinubu, Amosun, Ajimobi Mourn

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu, has described the late mother of Governor Rauf Aregbesola of Osun as a great mother and an epitome of motherhood who always wanted the best for her son and stood by him in prayers through thick and thin.

Commiserating with Aregbesola on the death of his mother, Tinubu, in a condolence message from his Media Office in Lagos said, “Mama was like a mother to me as well. We would miss her and her prayers. She passed on while her son was away in Kebbi, Kebbi State in the course of national duty.

“Governor Aregbesola was very close to his mum.  I wish I could find the right word to comfort him. I have been through that way too. I know how it feels to lose a mother. A mother’s place is huge in our life. No one can take the place of our mother.

“No matter how old she may be, we never wish that our dear mother leaves us. My prayer is that our prayers help comfort Aregbesola.

“My condolences also go out to other members of the Aregbesola family. We will never forget mama. We would pray for her as she prayed for us. May God grant her eternal rest.”, Tinubu said.

Also, Governors of Ogun and Oyo states, Ibikunke Amosun and Abiola Ajimobi respectively, have commiserated with Aregbesola over the death of his mother, Alhaja Saratu

Amosun, in a statement, signed by his Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Dayo Adeneye, said the Governor’s late mother, popularly called ‘Iya Olobi’, was a devout Muslim, who dedicated her life to the relentless teaching and zealous practise of the core values of Islam.

Also, Oyo State Governor, in a statement by his Special Adviser on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, described Madam Aregbesola’s demise as depressing and disheartening.

Ajimobi described the deceased as a pride to womanhood and pillar of support to her son. The Governor said Mama Aregbesola deserved to be celebrated for living a life worthy of emulation and for nurturing her children to stardom.

Faleti’s Cultural Traits Remarkable – Tinubu

The National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has spoken glowing of the late poet and actor, Chief Adebayo Faleti, describing him as someone whose belief in cultural values is remarkable.

Chief Faleti passed on quietly in his house on Sunday, July 23, 2017 at the age of 95 was known for his celebral carriage, poetry master and a celebrated actor. He said the country would miss dearly.

In a statement issued by his Media Office at the weekend, Tinubu said: “I learnt of the death of Chief Adebayo Faleti while I was out of the country. I was deeply saddened by his passing on, though at an advanced age.

“Baba Adebayo Faleti was a true Yoruba man and an illustrious son of Nigeria. He recorded many giant strides. He was an icon in the academic, literary and cultural worlds. He was a man of many parts- poet, actor, author, broadcaster, writer and translator- and in each of these areas he excelled.

“Chief Faleti was a pioneer of the first television station in Africa, the Western Nigeria Television (NWNTV). Many would also remember him as the one who translated the Nigerian National Anthem, as well as many other major speeches, from English to Yoruba.

“What Alagba Faleti did in the cultural field is no less remarkable. He was in the vanguard of the promotion of Yoruba language and propagation of the rich cultural heritage of the Yoruba.

“I had developed a close relationship with Baba Faleti since I was governor of Lagos. I kept this relationship with him till he breathed his last. I partnered with him in the production of some of his trophy creative work.

“I commiserate with members of his immediate family; I commiserate with the people of Oyo State, South-west and Nigeria. May his soul rest in peace”.

Hon Oladipo Olaitan: Blackmail, Smear Campaign Won’t Distract Aregbesola

One of the leading headlines of Saturday Vanguard Newspaper, July 22, 2017 is Aregbesola has damaged Tinubu badly credited to Afenifere scribe, Hon Oladipo Olaitan. The interview is a calculated attempt to blackmail Governor Rauf Aregbesola and create problem between Aregbesola and his political leader, Asiwaju Tinubu. The interview showed that Hon Olaitan is jealous of Aregbesola’s achievements in Osun state and his closeness to Tinubu. Hon Olaitan is aware of past and present developments in Osun state. He has deliberately resorted to cheap propaganda, mischief and blackmail to cause division between Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbesola. The fact is that Hon Olaitan has lost relevance in Nigeria politics because he is purblind to the realities in Osun state (please visit www.osunsukukprojects.com)

Hon Olaitan’s interview was an attempt to blackmail Governor Aregbesola. Any dutiful and objective appraisal of the issues arising from the interview would agree with me that Hon Olaitan was really out to denigrate Aregbesola for intentions that had nothing to do with the public interests of Osun state and Nigerians. I am appalled by the deliberate attempt by Hon Olaitan to cause division between Asiwaju Tinubu and Aregbesola. I find it ridiculously baseless and mischievous the ranting of once upon a time leader. This can only be part of the unrelenting campaign of calumny and the ceaseless peddling of pernicious propaganda against Governor Aregbesola.

Aregbesola’s preoccupation has been and continues to be how to deliver on his promised rescue Agenda to the good people of Osun since he came to office. And he has received applause and commendations from far and near for being so focused and unrelenting in the pursuit of his vision for the state.

Aregbesola will not be distracted by any form of organised and orchestrated blackmail from any quarters, God willing; he will continue to deliver on his promises.

Hon Olaitan has made calculated statements to undermine and distort present developments in Osun state. He is peddling inaccuracies, misleading and calculated mischief about Osun state in an attempt to blackmail Governor Aregbesola and set him on a collision course with the people and Asiwaju Tinubu. Olaitan was fixated on matters of power, rather than issues that will benefit the Osun people. There is an obvious attempt to blackmail Aregbesola, paint him as an irresponsible leader, one not concerned with the welfare of the people, and set the Governor against Asiwaju on matters of power rather than issues that benefit the Osun people. This is clearly a bitterness syndrome being display by a spent politician whose belief in political expediency is based only on self-gain and not the people. How on earth a supposed elder statesman would refute developmental strides being experience in Osun?

Hon Olaitan’s interview is misinforming the people by claiming that Aregbesola has damaged Tinubu badly. This statement credited to Hon Olaitan, clearly showed that he is uninformed and a mischief maker. I understand Olaitan’s grievances that ‘’Afenifere was the rallying point for all of us, but no sooner than we all won the election, everybody started to have peculiar interests.Idiosyncrasies of each person started to play out, and then some people were either with Tinubu or with Afenifere. I stayed with Afenifere and will never bite the finger that fed me. I have nothing against Tinubu, absolutely nothing, but I just could not…it was difficult for me to understand that I would abandon my old ship and join another person. That was how the little difference emerged, and we were carrying on and carrying on, but in the party we knew ourselves. You were either for Tinubu or main Afenifere, and I was known to be main Afenifere. Of course, he who pays the piper dictates the tune. Tinubu being the governor, he would say he is the leader of the party and had the presence of those he says believed in him and by his own calculation, I could not have believed in him if I would still stay in Afenifere. Naturally, when people were to be returned, I was not returned because I did not belong. And up till today, I thank God that I am the National Financial Secretary of Afenifere and if my race gives me a particular position to hold for them, I will believe that I am holding it in trust for them. Like when I was in the National Assembly I saw myself as leading the Yoruba Race in the National Assembly.’’

My question now is how can Aregbesola badly damage Tinubu? In what sense?  I want to advise Hon Olaitan to go for psychological test because his interview was not coherent and it lacks basic facts about Aregbesola. If there is anything that Hon Olaitan wants from Tinubu, he should go straight to him instead of smearing the name of Aregbesola to gain cheap popularity. In his interview Hon Olaitan admitted that he is not popular that he relied on Afenifere to win election in 1999 and it is obvious he cannot distinguish between the past and present developments in Osun State. Hon Olaitan is ignorant of recent negative developments in the Nigerian economy which continues to face serious macroeconomic challenges and is in a recession for the first time in decades. Gross domestic product (GDP) growth for 2016 was estimated at -1.5%, with a moderate recovery expected in 2017. This is attributed to a series of shocks, including the continued decline in oil prices, foreign exchange shortages, disruptions in fuel supply and sharp reduction in oil production, power shortages, and insecurity in some parts of the country, as well as low capital budget execution rate (51%).

Inwalomhe Donald, writes from Benin City

APC Sweeps Lagos LG, Councillorship Polls

Early returns from yesterday’s local government elections showed that the All Progressives Congress (APC) was having an easy ride in all parts of the state.

At press time, the party’s candidates had won the chairman position in Lagos Island LG, Badagry West LCDA, Epe LG, Eredo LCDA, Onigbongbo LCDA; Lagos Island East LCDA; Ikorodu LG, Ikorodu West LCDA; Badagry LG; and Ejigbo LCDA

Below are details of the results:

  • Lagos Island

Adetoyese Olusi (APC) 14,692

Yisa Ismail (PDP) 925

Kasumu Olanrewaju (LP) 1211

  • Ikoyi-Obalende LCDA

Atanda Lawal (APC) 7120

Samuel Akinwole (PDP) 756

Mohammed Jubril (LP) 542

  • Eredo LCDA

Rasal Saliu (APC) 10910

Kunle Ayantuga 737

  • Epe LG

Dayo Adesanya (APC) 21441

Omobibi (LP) 948

  • Lagos Island East

Kamal Olawale (APC) 9060

Adebayo Temitope  (PDP) 1128

  • Onigbongbo LCDA

Hakeem Olayemi (Accord Party ) 842

Oke Babatunde (APC) 1631

Badagry West LCDA

Bello Joseph (APC) 5332

Setonji Ojugbele (PDP)  935

  • Ejigbo LCDA

Bello Oloyede (APC)4876

Akinlude (PDP) 179

  • Ikeja LG

Alabi Balogun (APC) 6191

Olowolagba Omolara (PDP) 990

  • Badagry LG

APC 3990

PDP1281

Accord 1597

  • Ojokoro

Ward-A

Chairman

APC:  1,351

PDP:  156

Councillor

APC:  1,351

PDP:  156

  • Ojokoro Ward-B

Chairman

APC: 912

PDP: 169

ACCORD: 103

Councillor

APC:  880

PDP:  172

ACCORD: 150

  • Ojokoro Ward-C

Chairman

APC:  1,786

PDP:  178

LP:     085

ACCORD: 11

Councillor

APC:  1,757

PDP:  196

LP:     070

ACCORD: 13

  • Ojokoro Ward-D

Chairman

APC:  1,380

PDP:  133

Councillor

APC:  1,432

PDP:  151

  • Ojokoro Ward-E

Chairman

APC:  2,080

PDP:  333

Councillor

APC:  2,060

PDP:  040

Ojokoro Ward-F

Chairman

APC:  1,233

PDP:  119

Councillor

APC:  1,205

PDP:  129

  • Ojokoro Ward-G

Chairman

APC:  978

PDP:  152

LP:    082

AA:   04

Councillor

APC:  981

PDP:  130

LP:   088

AA:  05

 

An early morning downpour and voter’s apathy yesterday had hampered the commencement of the election at 8am as proposed in the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Developments Areas (LCDAs).

It was an anti climax to months of painstaking preparation by the Justice Ayotunde Phillips (retired)-led   State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC).

The rain and the attendant flood in parts of the state prevented electoral officials from reaching their duty posts on time.

Thus, accreditation and voting which were supposed to commence at 8am began much beyond the scheduled time and only when the rain subsided.

Besides, many registered voters chose to stay indoors.

Only a few bothered to go out and vote except in  areas where  opposition parties  tried to have a foothold.

They include Mushin, Odi-Olowo/Ojuwoye, Ajeromi-Ifelodun, Ojo, Coker Aguda, Itire-Ikate, Agboyi-Ketu, and some parts of Ikorodu.

Youths turned the roads to temporary football ‘pitches’.

Some party officials attributed the low turnout to inadequate electoral awareness by  the LASIEC.

But Justice Philips dismissed any such suggestion, saying adequate publicity was carried out.

She admitted that these was delay in the commencement of the elections in some areas, which said was caused by rain.

She told reporters at Old Yaba Road while monitoring some polling units the area that the rain affected the movement of electoral materials.

She said all eligible voters would be allowed to exercise their right as there were enough materials.

“We are addressing the situation and we are assuring that everybody in the affected areas will vote once people have been accredited and are on the queue, they will be allowed to vote even after 3pm,” she said.

She expressed satisfaction with the peaceful conduct in most areas.

Phillips said there were a few cases of violence but said security agents had quelled the situation.

Lagos State Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) chieftain Segun Adewale blamed LASIEC for ‘disappointing’ Lagosians.

He said the late arrival of voting materials discouraged some people from voting after waiting for hours at the polling station for voting materials to come.

He also accused supporters of the ruling APC of harassing people.

“People were harassed by members of the ruling APC, my own sister was beaten up and people could not vote before the end of the exercise,” he claimed.

Kebbi State House of Assembly Deputy Speaker Buhari Ailero, who led Election Observers from  other states, hailed the peaceful conduct of the poll.

Ailero confirmed that the election materials were distributed on time to the polling units.

He urged political parties to do more in mobilizing voters in subsequent elections.

Twelve  parties – Accord Party (AP); Action Alliance (AA); Alliance for Democracy ( AD ); All Progressives Congress ( APC ); Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP ); Labour Party ( LP ); All Progressives Grand Alliance ( APGA ); United Democratic Party (UDP); United Progressive Party (UPP); Kowa Party ( KP ); National Action Council ( NAC ); and Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).

We’ll Resist Coup Plotters – Tinubu

National leader of the All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu says the nation will never allow the military to rule again, vowing that coup plotters will be resisted.

Tinubu spoke on Monday at the Special Parliamentary Session to mark Lagos at 50 celebration at the State House of Assembly, Ikeja, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria.

He said the nation had gone too far to allow a thing like military coup to happen again, as such move would be resisted at all cost.

Tinubu said the news was everywhere that some people were trying to entice the military out of the barrack to stage a coup, saying that such move would be resisted.

He said those who thought they could scuttle the democracy for which many died and sacrificed their lives for were surely mistaken as Nigeria had gone too far for such a thing to happen.

The APC chieftain said Lagos State would never provide a fertile ground for coup plotters to hatch their evil ideas, saying that the state would resist such move.

“Some people have been trying to entice the military out of the barrack. I want to lend my voice to this, those who think they can break democracy for which many died, sacrificed their lives are surely mistaken.

“Nigeria has come too far for that thing to happen, those people will find no fertile ground to plant their seed in Lagos, we will not buy their product, it is a bad product, we will reject it, Lagos will resist it, move away from it,” he said.

However, the former governor charged the State Assembly not to neglect its oversight functions, saying that the House must ensure that no executive money was spent without due approval.

“All executive actions must have the authority of the law, before any money is spent, the House must approve it,” he said, adding that the House must exercise its power within he ambit of the law.

Tinubu said during his tenure as governor of Lagos, the interface between his administration and the House was very cordial.

“We succeeded in taken Lagos to an enviable height, we set the agenda for progress and today that progress is being felt because the executive and legislature cooperated. This has continued from Fashola to Ambode. This cooperation does not erode on your oversight responsibility,” he said.

Also speaking, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said since creation, the state had been a shining example and critical hub of socio-economic and political development, saying that the harmonious relationship between the three arms of government in Nigeria which is reflective in the governance model of Lagos State promoted the interest and welfare of the people.

“Today, we are celebrating the contributions of the Lagos State House of Assembly, particularly the 8th Assembly in the last two years, to the true principles of democratic governance through passage of Bills that advance the principle of governance and promotion of social welfare of the people within the ambits of the Law.

“It is on record that military incursion into governance has always made the legislature its first victim by suspending the constitution with all powers against the wishes of our people. Therefore, the Legislature can be said to be the most exposed in governance model in the current democratic dispensation, if we have to give its true meaning and relevance in a representative government,” he said.

Ambode added that in spite of this chequered history, the first to 8th Assemblies of the Lagos State House of Assembly had been the benchmark for assessing legislative business in governance of the Nigerian State, stressing that the 8th Assembly, in particular had been highly responsive and innovative in fulfilling its constitutional obligations and meeting the aspirations of our people for the dividends of democracy.

“The superlative performance of the 8th Assembly, including previous Assemblies, can be attributed to the quality of leadership that has been produced through a matured and democratic process with the purpose of providing a democratic process that would benefit our people.

“Over the years, the Legislative arm of government in Lagos State has been a shining beacon of democratic independence and responsiveness. It has never shirked its assigned role or responsibility even in the face of provocation. It has continuously engaged the electorate in the process of making laws through interactive engagements and contributions to the making of Laws,” he said.

Ambode stated that the synergy between the three arms of government, particularly the Executive and Legislature had become the benchmark of the democratic process in Nigeria, saying that as government celebrated the last fifty years of the creation of Lagos State, it had laid the building blocks for the next fifty years.

Source: PM News

Architect Of Modern Lagos- Kunle Oyewumi

Kunle Oyewumi pays tribute to Bola Tinubu, political strategist and former governor of Lagos, at age 65

During the historic administration of Asiwaju, as Bola Ahmed Tinubu is fondly referred to, as the Governor of Lagos State, many people who were familiar with the managerial acumen and political sagacity of the renowned politician were not surprised with the relentless efforts and visionary leadership he put to play in laying and building a solid foundation for the modern Lagos State.

Against all odds, including the seizure of the federal government allocation and other intervention funds due to the state, the Jagaban Borgu did not give up on his dream and vision as he looked inwards to raise the bar of internally generated revenue (IGR) to implement his lofty and extraordinary development ideas. Today, Lagosians and non-Lagosians alike can bear witness that Tinubu is the brain behind today’s modern Lagos.

the impressive achievements of the Jagaban Borgu are obvious when you look at the state of infrastructure in Lagos today, among others. The ex-governor built roads, constructed and equipped schools and hospitals in all nooks and crannies of Lagos State, ensured timely payment of salaries and pensions to civil servants, serving and retired, attracted private investments and provided an enabling business environment for private businesses to thrive, established many governmental agencies – LASTMA, LAGBUS, KAI – and absorbed people from the streets into these agencies as a way of curbing social vices among other initiatives.

Asiwaju Tinubu is a good manager of people and other resources. It was he who gave Mr. Babatunde Fashola the opportunity of serving as his chief of staff as he saw the need to ensure a succession plan so as to sustain the trend of development in the state. Based on this premise and having discovered Fashola’s talents, the political titan anointed and ensured victory for him at the 2007 governorship poll.
Being a key member of the State Executive Council during Asiwaju’s regime, Mr. Fashola knew the road map his erstwhile boss had set and he did follow suit. The trend continued during Fashola’s administration (2007-2015) as he sustained the feat of his predecessor by completing ongoing projects while executing new ones.

During Fashola’s administration, he never shied away from going back to the master strategist – Asiwaju Tinubu – for guidance, counsel and support. The healthy relationship between Tinubu and Fashola helped the state in many folds as there was no political tension whatsoever. In short, Fashola’s regime was also a huge success like that of his predecessor.

In the build up to the 2015 general elections, the alleged differences between Tinubu and Fashola, occasioned by the choice of the party’s standard bearer for the governorship poll, became pronounced as Asiwaju Tinubu anointed Akinwunmi Ambode, while Fashola was rooting for his preferred choice. Eventually, Asiwaju Tinubu’s choice won the party’s ticket and ultimately became the Governor of Lagos State. After the polls and against all political bickerings among the gladiators, the power brokers displayed a high level of maturity in their relationships and as such maintained self respect for each other. This action soon proved rumour mongers wrong that all was not well between Asiwaju Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode.

I must say that the current administration of Ambode has not deviated from the ideals of Asiwaju Tinubu as the governor continues to implement policies and execute projects with positive impact on the society.
The truth must be told that Asiwaju Tinubu is not just a leader because he enjoys a cult-like political followership, but also for finding the right men to run the affairs of Lagos State after his stint as Governor of Lagos State (1999-2007). Big daddy (as one of my friends- Kabiru fondly calls him), being an advocate of sustainable development, knew the imperative of handing over the state to like-minds that share the same ideology with him and hence the rationale behind passing the baton of leadership to Mr. Fashola and ultimately to Governor ‎Ambode.

One lesson other Nigerian leaders should learn from Asiwaju Tinubu is searching for the best brains regardless of political, religious and tribal sentiments to lead the people. If Asiwaju had reasoned like most other Nigerian politicians, he would have handed over power to an empty brain for selfish reasons – not wanting others to shine or in the name of overbearing loyalty. Asiwaju Tinubu, a well-known dogged fighter for democracy, has demonstrated his love for the masses by throwing his weight behind individuals who will not betray the thrust of the people, while applying their intellectual expertise in leadership positions.

It is a known fact that if you are opportune to pass through Asiwaju’s political school, you will be armed with these qualities: selflessness, political maturity, doggedness, generosity and loyalty. The above tenets underscore the maturity displayed by two members ( Fashola and Governor Ambode) of Asiwjau Tinubu’s political family during the former’s visit to the latter in Lagos a few days ago. Shortly before the minister’s visit, there were celebrated and hyped media reports that all was not well between the duo of Fashola and Ambode, especially due to the outcry of Ambode on the alleged frustration of his efforts on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway by Fashola.
During the visit, the minister commended the new Lagos State chief executive for his outstanding performance thus far. This patriotism displayed by these notable politicians is remarkable and as such this again has proved rumour mongers wrong that all is not well among the trio of Asiwaju Tinubu, Fashola and Ambode. I must also state that the action of these notable figures will be beneficial to Lagosians and non-Lagosians alike who are the ultimate beneficiaries government projects as both parties – the federal government and the Lagos State Government – will work hand in hand to improve the lot of the people through infrastructural regeneration – construction and re-construction of federal roads in Lagos metropolis and environs.

This piece in commemoration of Asiwaju’s Tinubu’s 65th birthday is necessary because the former Governor of Lagos State is not only an astute politician but also a human resource consultant as evidenced in his handing over the mantle of leadership to ex-Governor Fashola and thereafter to Governor Ambode. The list is endless for Asiwaju’s expertise in human deployment, including the new Federal Inland Revenue Service boss, Babatunde Fowler – who has been implementing aggressive policies to boost federal revenue. Take it or leave it, the Jagaban remains a shining light in politics beyond the shores of Nigeria.

While wishing the Chancellor of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology, Ogbomosho, Oyo State – many more fulfilling years ahead in the service of mankind, I would like other leaders to emulate the impeccable qualities of Asiwaju Tinubu in their pursuits in life.

Prince Oyewumi wrote from Lagos

Buhari Had Kept Eyes On True Objective —Tinubu

The national leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Senator Bola Tinubu, has congratulated President Muhammadu Buhari and Nigerians over the release of more of the abducted Chibok schoolgirls.

This was as he said their release showed that the president had kept his eyes on the true objective.

In a statement by Tinubu Media Office, on Monday, the former Lagos governor said “the release of 82 Chibok schoolgirls demonstrates President Buhari’s commitment to freeing these and other innocent children from the cruel hands of Boko Haram and returning them to their families and community.

“Freeing of the girls shows that President Buhari has kept his eye on the true objective. That is to reunite families and communities under the reign of peace and rule of justice so that the Northern Nigeria and all Nigeria may begin to rebuild in a way that brings a decent life and a taste of enduring prosperity to all Nigerians.

“This is the ultimate goal and the release of these girls is an important step on this pathway.

I congratulate the president. I congratulate our gallant armed forces. After waiting so long for the return of their children, the parents of these girls must feel a great sense of relief and elation,” he said.

Source: Nigerian Tribune