" /> EDITORIAL: Governor Akinwumi Ambode must sit up! | Hallmarknews
Published On: Tue, Oct 20th, 2015

EDITORIAL: Governor Akinwumi Ambode must sit up!

 

Editorial  |

Barely six  months ago when he was campaigning for the governorship of Lagos State, arguably the number one state in Nigeria, there were great expectations that Mr. Akinwumi Ambode would continue to make Lagos the centre of excellence, which it had become in recent years. The expectations were not based on a wrong set of assumptions. To begin with, Mr. Ambode is no stranger to the governance of Lagos State. He had functioned variously at the local government and state levels in very high capacities. As a professional, his educational qualification is very impressive and in fact impeccable. Having served two previous governors, who were adjudged to have performed creditably well, former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu and the immediate past Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, many expected Governor Ambode to follow that tradition of excellence and continue to provide Lagosians with first class governance.

Four months after the fact, there are many Lagosians who will not be in any hurry to admit that their expectations have been fully realized. Four months is surely a very short a time to measure the performance of a governor with a four-year mandate, but as the Yoruba would say, ‘morning shows the day’. Mr. Ambode’s initial responses to the overarching demands of Lagos State have been below par, and that is regrettable. While it is true that underwhelming performances by the governorship class of 2015 is not a phenomenon limited to Lagos alone, there is a reason why Lagosians feel particularly worried about their own situation. To begin with, Lagos is not like any other state in Nigeria. As Lagosians would like to say, theirs is a state that other states talk about. It is Nigeria’s richest state and the heartbeat of its industrial economy. It is also Nigeria’s most populous, most sophisticated and most cosmopolitan.

editorial cartoonBeginning with former Governor Lateef Jakande, successive governors of Lagos State have tended to perform rather creditably. Exception must of course be made of former Governor Olagunsoye Oyinlola who set a new record for mediocrity and the late Governor Michael Otedola, who was humbled by his inability to be decisive. But overall, Lagos has had a fair share of successful governors.

One must recall the tenure of former military governor Brigadier General Buba Marwa, who won the hearts of Lagosians with his decisiveness in combating the menace of criminality in the state. In many parts of Lagos, he is still revered as a cult hero. Of course, memories are still fresh of the immediate past Governor Babatunde Fashola who exceeded previous performances, and raised the bar of governance. Fashola’s attention to the environmental needs of Lagos, his responses to the chaotic traffic situation, his combative approach to criminality and his overall code of governance endeared him to many Lagosians. As a matter of fact, many including this newspaper content that it was on the basis of Mr. Fashola’s achievement that Mr. Ambode rode to office as the winner of the 2015 governorship election.

It is therefore regrettable that since the assumption of office of Mr. Ambode, Lagos has gradually slipped on all the indices of progress which the previous administration established. The chaotic traffic situation which used to be the dominant characteristic of the state and which Mr. Fashola tamed has returned with a vengeance. These days, movement within the metropolis has become a nightmare; the roads are clogged, as it usually takes between four and five hours for people to get to their homes and offices and to other areas of business.

The question many Lagosians are asking is, what is really happening to traffic control in Lagos? How did the previous administration tame the monster? And why has it resurrected within a short period of time? And more importantly, what is the administration doing to contain it?

Secondly, armed robbery, kidnapping and sundry criminality has returned with a vengeance. Almost on a daily basis, Lagosians are regaled with frightening stories of dare-devil armed robbers wrecking havoc on harmless citizens.

It does not matter the location and it does not matter how highly placed the individual: robbers terrorise, kidnap, rob and maim. Only a few days ago, a highly placed government official was brutally murdered in broad daylight by a gang of hoodlums. A few weeks ago, the wife of a leading journalist was kidnapped for ransom, and last week armed robbers cordoned off a major street in Festac town and robbed banks in mid-morning. We could go on and on recounting these incidents, the list is inexhaustible. This is sad and unacceptable.

It is true that Mr. Ambode, like many of his other governor colleagues inherited an economy that is bleeding, but with the respect to him, we insist that it is not enough reason to justify the poor performance.

The hallmark of leadership is to evolve creative responses to challenges that confront leadership. It is therefore incumbent on the administration of Governor Ambode to evolve responses, and quickly too, to the problems confronting Lagos State. Lagosians are notoriously impatient with inefficient leadership. Already, this newspaper has noted the concern expressed by a cross section of Lagosians over this ugly situation. It is clear that unless there is improvement, the citizens of Lagos State will become increasingly disaffected with the Ambode administration and that will not bode well for the government. Lagos is not a typical state in Nigeria; it is rather a model state. Its self-acclaimed status as the centre of excellence is truly justified. Its leadership, therefore, should also be a model of excellence.

The governance of Lagos State should be all-embracing. All the inhabitants should be involved and integrated within the governance structure. The best brains and most qualified professionals in different areas of life live and work in Lagos, and so the administration should tap into this treasure trove of human and material resources. We find it puzzling for instance, that it took four months for the administration to name its cabinet. There is no justification for that at all, unless the government was copying the Federal Government, and it had no reason to do so. Now that the administration has named its commissioners, we hope they will come on board and hit the ground running. We urge Mr. Ambode to wake up and face the challenges of governing the most cosmopolitan state in Nigeria and give it the attention it requires. If he does not sit up, the situation stands the risk of degenerating. And that will be a real tragedy not just for the government but also for all Lagosians.

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Recent posts

  • Time is ripe for rates cut, says Rewane as inflation slows further in Oct.

    FELIX OLOYEDE This is the appropriate time for the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to cut benchmark monetary rates after inflation rate slows down for the ninth consecutive time in October, said Mr Bismarck Rewane, Managing Director, Financial Derivatives. The National Bureau of Statistics on Tuesday released Consumer Price […]

  • ELAN National Lease Conference Focuses on Revamping Nigerian Economy

    FELIX OLOYEDE In furtherance of its objective of promoting the business of leasing in Nigeria, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) has concluded plans to organise the 15th Annual National Lease Conference with focus on revamping the Nigerian economy. The conference which is the biggest gathering of stakeholders in the leasing industry is expected to […]

  • Nigeria-centric restaurant, Labule, opens new outlet in Lagos

    Labule, Nigeria-centric restaurant, operated by an indigenous company, Roots Foods Limited, offering real Nigerian local delicacies in a unique environment that combines the setting of a modern quick service restaurant with that of an African setting of a local ‘buka’, has opened a new outlet on Admiralty Road in Lekki Phase 1, Lagos. The brand […]

  • Nigerian banks shine in Ghana

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigerian banks have been credited with “revolutionizing “the banking sector in Ghana, due to the many innovations they brought to Ghana’s banking sector. The Ghana Deputy Minister of Trade and Investment Hon. Carlos Kingsley Ahenkorah said in Lagos that the innovation and transformation of the Ghana’s banking sector is credited to the […]

  • Ajimobi moves to save Oyo APC from disintegration

    By OLUSESAN LAOYE The seeming crisis in Oyo APC has now forced the Governor of the state, Abiola Ajimobi, to begin consultations with stakeholders to convinced members on why they must come together as a body to face the 2019 general elections, Although the internal crisis is yet to break open as the aggrieved party […]

  • YolaDisCo sale stalled as no potential buyers emerge

    By ADEBAYO OBAJEMU Two years after the core investors of the Yola Electricity Distribution Company, YolaDisCo, declared a force majeure owing to their inability to operate under the reign of terror unleased by Boko Haram, the Federal Government is yet to find any investor interested in operating the utility company, it has been learnt. In […]

  • Company Analysis: Much Ado about Seplat

      By TESLIM SHITA-BEY The oil and gas sector has had a bumpy since the beginning of 2017 with local oil major, Seplat, seeing its financials whipped raw by prior year liabilities despite rising revenues over the nine months (9M). The company in the last two years has moved from being distinctively bad to singularly […]

  • How to start a photography business

    By ZUBAIR DANIE While photography could be accounted for as a full blown course in any offering institution of learning for professionalism, the field equally provides a platform for individuals whose passion it is to project images as a form of livelihood. The socio-cultural aspect of Nigerians that play host of events like: wedding, naming, […]

  • BOFE to celebrate unsung heroes in local communities

    OluwasolaJesuseitan, a brand and advertising expert, is an advocate of sustainable brand communications. He is also the founder, Business Owners Forum Enterprise (BOFE), a non-profit making organization, which seeks to build the capacity of business owners in and around Akute, Ogun State. He tells FELIX OLOYEDE in this interview of his organization is promoting business […]

  • Lager wars: Who wins?

    By JOHNMARK UKOKO Nigeria has many lager beer producing companies, some have been in existence for over 50 years while others are quite new in existence in the country. Some of these companies that have over the years churned out millions, if not billions of bottles of beer to Nigerian drinkers are: Nigeria Breweries Plc, […]

  • Nestle sparkles in Q3 results

    By OKEY ONYENWEAKU As the packaged Consumer goods (PCG) sector struggles to stay ahead of falling consumer demand, companies such as Nestle Nigeria plc are bucking the trend of businesses with shrinking bottom lines. Indeed the multi-product packaged goods producer has seen earnings rise to mind boggling with its pre-tax profit rising by a stunning […]

  • 2018 Budget proposals renew old anxieties

          FELIX OLOYEDE   Mixed reactions trailed the presentation of the 2018 federal government budget by President Muhammadu Buhari to the National Assembly (NASS) last week. Public policy analysts have expressed moods from the congenially positive to the outright incredulous. The staggering N8.6 trillion expenditure plan is one of the most audacious in […]

  • Anambra 2017: Obiano battles for life

    By Obinna Ezugwu The time has finally arrived. On Saturday the people of Anambra State will head to the polls to either renew the mandate of the incumbent state governor, Chief Willie Obiano who is running for a second term in office, or elect fresh hands from among other prominent contenders, including Mr. Oseloka Obaze […]

  • (Editorial) CBN’s BVN distraction and matters arising

    Nigeria’s fiscal and monetary authorities have a frustrating way of responding to the seizure of private assets; they typically gloat with glazed eyes over private citizen’s money ready to pounce on the cash like a pack of hyenas starved witless. The recent order by the Central Bank of Nigeria that customer accounts that are not […]

  • 12 Yoga tips for beginners

    The popularity of yoga has soared in the last decades, and it seems that every other friend and acquaintance of ours is already practicing it. But don’t let it fool you into thinking it is easy: yoga is quite challenging, especially for beginners. The good news is that there are some practical tips to make […]

  • Finally, embattled IGP, Ibrahim Idris, appears before Senate

    The Inspector General of Police, Ibrahim Idris, has arrived before the Senate ad hoc committee set up to investigate the allegations and counter-allegations between him and Senator Isa Misau. The IGP was accompanied by his lawyer, Alex Iziyon (SAN) and Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), Senator Ita Enang.   Details […]


Visit us on Google+