Meet Akinwunmi Ambode, The Incoming Governor of Lagos State
If competence and experience will count on Saturday April 11 2015 governorship elections in Lagos State, if pedigree counts, if attitude counts, if character counts, if honour counts, if excellence counts, if training, capacity, capability count, Akinwunmi Ambode is the incoming governor of Lagos State.
Incoming governor Akinwunmi Ambode must be a lucky man to enter the centre stage at this critical point in the nation's history. For close to 36years Lagos has never fully connected with the centre in a civilian dispensation being a progressive state and home of progressives. For close to 36years Lagos has been allowed by the powers that be at the centre to rot and pine away in hopelessness and helplessness. The special status promise guaranteed by the late General Murtala Mohammed never saw the light of the day even till date.
All the states created with Lagos in 1967 have been split to two, three or four states with only Lagos remaining one state. In the attempt to bring development to the door steps of the people of Lagos State former governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu created more 37 local governments from the existing 20 LGAs in Lagos but the government at the centre refused to recognize the 37 local governments till date. Lagos named these 37 local governments Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs. Whatever was given to the recognized 20 local government has always been shared among the 57. With more than 25 million people, Lagos has been finding it difficult to cope with its challenges without support from the centre. To add salt to injury Lagos has been rebuilding the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, a federal road without support from the Federal Government. A light rail project from Okokomaiko to Marina has been going on without the support of the Federal Government. All over the world, no state government has carried out such a project without the support of the central government.
Now you can imagine how lucky Ambode is to come on board at a time when an All Progressives Congress, APC will control both Abuja and Lagos. The PDP controlled Federal Government which will end in May 29 2015 has helped in no certain terms to humiliate and decimate the opposition in the past 16years. Thank God this error of history will end very soon. It is indeed a new dawn for Ambode's Lagos. This is the very important reason why Lagos must remain in the hands of APC. This is the reason why Lagosians must usher in Ambode with more than three million votes on Saturday April 11 2015. We cannot struggle for 36years to install a government at the centre only to let Lagos go to PDP. It will never happen, and Lagosians must know this truth, before they go to the polls.
Lagosians want President Buhari to help them to convert the 37 LCDAs to recognized Local Government Areas. Lagosians want President Buhari to help to recognize the special status promised by the late Murtala Mohammed almost four decades ago. Lagosians want Abuja to help them to build the fourth Mainland Bridge up to Ikorodu division. Lagosians want help from Abuja to complete the Lagos-Badagry expressway which is a Federal road. Lagosians cannot afford to throw these gains away by voting PDP. The problems and challenges facing Lagos are far too enormous and monumental that we have to put the state in the hands of an apprentice who knows nothing in matters of governance and public administration.
Jimi Agbaje of PDP has no experience at all in matters of governance when compared with Mr Akinwunmi Ambode who possess 27 years cognate experience in public administration spanning from the local government to the state level, and leaving the service as the State Accountant General. I am told that competence and experience guarantee performance. Lagos is too important to be left in the hands of learners and meretricious mediocrity. Some people say they need change in Lagos and I ask, is Jimi Agbaje of PDP, (a dying Party) the change that we need? What is he going to bring to the table? What does he know about governance of a complex State like Lagos? Is Lagos a laboratory for experiments by learners? Can we use a shoe for hammers? How can Lagosians vote in a man who has never been a Councilor, a Local Government Chairman, a Commissioner, a Permanent Secretary, Senator, House of Rep Member, Minister, Special Adviser to Governor or President, Ambassador as governor of Lagos? Everybody wants to lead, but at what cost? A careless leadership can result in a major loses everywhere.
APC has walked a long road, faced many challenges, walked through the mines, and scaled many walls to get to where we are today and we cannot experiment with Lagos. Akinwunmi Abode knows Lagos at his finger tips. He has worked in Badagry, Mushin, Alimosho and Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Governments. He has worked with the Lagos Waste Disposal Board, LSWDB. He has been an Auditor-General for local governments at the age of 37, a Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance and retired as the Accountant General of the State. He is a Fellow of Institute of Chattered Accountants of Nigeria, ICAN, a Master Degree holder in Finance Management. He has attended many professional training in leadership in Harvard Business School, Cranfield University UK, Wharton Business Philadelphia, USA, Federal Reserve Bank of Boston Massachusetts, IMF and the World Boston etc.
Abuja has never been lucky in the department of leadership but Lagos has been lucky. Akinwunmi Ambode will continue to build on the legacies of His Excellencies Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola. He worked with both superstars and he understands the way to the destination.
Welcome Governor Ambode of Lagos State!
Joe Igbokwe Lagos
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