" /> 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.

READ  Who will fight Nigeria’s injustice?

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.

READ  Who will fight Nigeria’s injustice?

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.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

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

  • How to pick best name for your business

    The name of a business has a significant role to play in its success or failure, especially when it is a small business. The right name can make your company the talk of the town. The wrong one can doom it to obscurity and failure. Ideally, your name should convey the expertise, value and uniqueness […]

  • Operation Python Dance scuttled agreement on restructuring – Uko

    Obinna Ezugwu   Evangelist Elliot Ugochukwu Uko is the Founder of the Igbo Youth Movement, Secretary, Eastern Consultative Assembly and the Deputy Secretary, Igbo Leaders of Thought. In this interview, he alleges that those opposed to the restructuring of Nigeria are after Nnamdi Kanu, and their intention is to kill him so the agitation will […]

  • How customs uncovered arms import – F.O.U Boss

    Comptroller Mohammed Uba Garba is a crack enforcement officer deployed from Federal Operation (FOU) Zone ‘C’, Owerri where he recorded some daring performances. His string of  achievements in Zone ‘C’ made the Customs top hierarchy to redeploy him to FOU, Zone ‘’A’’ which accounts for 70 per cent of Customs revenue as well as being the hot […]

  • Cement: Distributors, consumers explain Dangote’s dominance

      EMEKA EJERE As Nigeria continues to grow in the area of real estate, one item that is increasingly favoured is cement, given its indispensability in building construction from the foundation to the finishing. But among the cement brands, BusinessHallmark’s investigations revealed that a number of factors are in favour of Dangote Cement, which explain […]

  • Consolidation: NAICOM suspends licence issuance

    EMEKA EJERE The Commissioner for Insurance, Mr. Mohammed Kari, has said that the National Insurance Commission has refused to issue new operational licences to insurance firms because it is better for the industry to embrace consolidation than to start new companies. Kari spoke during the Annual Insurance Professional Forum of the Chartered Insurance Institute of […]

  • NHIS boss calls for compulsory national health insurance scheme

      EMEKA EJERE Acting Executive Secretary of the National Health Insurance Scheme (NHIS) Mr. Attahiru Ibrahim, has stated that health insurance should be made compulsory for Nigerians if the country must achieve universal health coverage. Ibrahim who was briefing reporters last week in Abuja on the activities of the scheme appealed for the amendment of […]

  • Creche, Daycare Services As a business

    The number of full-time housewives in urban areas is on a rapid decline. Unlike anytime in its history, more Nigerian women are working at paid jobs or running their own small businesses. As a result of this trend, there is a growing opportunity for convenience services like crèche and daycare centre businesses. More middle class […]

  • Pressure mounts on CBN to cut interest rates

    The Central Bank of Nigeria governor, Godwin Emefiele, was not the most popular choice of head of the Bank when erstwhile President Goodluck Jonathan appointed him as helmsman. Emefiele was considered too much of a bureaucrat; tall on process but short on big ideas. Besides it was suspected that Emefiele did not have enough practical […]

  • E-BANKING: New Hi-Tech culture changes the rules

    FELIX OLOYEDE Nigerian banks have moved the theatre of competition from brick and mortar financial service vending to a new place. Here the codes are a series of zeroes and ones, the actors are not svelte ladies in high –heeled shoes and short skirts looking up rather than down or men with smooth cheeks, crew […]

  • Union Bank: N50b lifeline for the Stallion

    OKEY ONYENWEAKU   As part of its strategic effort to reposition a balance sheet a few financial analysts had, hitherto, considered relatively weak and improve liquidity Union Bank of Nigeria (UBN) Plc has raised a N50 billion Rights Issue straight in the middle of one of the slowest growth rates the economy has experienced in […]

  • IPOB: Igbo elders keep mum over crisis

    Obinna Ezugwu   Mayhem! There is no better word to describe the events playing out in the South East zone, and Abia State, the home state of rabble rousing leader of the Indigenous Peoples of Biafra (IPOB) in particular at the moment. It has to do with the intense military onslaught and the result has […]

  • Nigeria returns to African Trade Insurance Agency

    Federal Executive Council on Wednesday gave a approval for Nigeria to rejoin the African Trade Insurance Agency. Minister of Finance, Mrs. Kemi Adeosun stated this Wednesday while addressing State House correspondents after the Federal Executive Council meeting presided over by President Muhammadu Buhari. Adeosun said the council approved a memo she presented which harped on the necessity […]

  • Fidelity Bank to give out over N110 Million to Customers in ‘Get Alert In Millions Promo Reloaded’

      Top Nigerian lender, Fidelity Bank Plc is set to delight the banking public with the introduction of a fresh Savings promo that promises to provide new and existing customers with the unique opportunity to win fantastic cash prizes within a specific period. The promo dubbed ‘Get Alert In Millions Promo Reloaded’ is in line […]

  • Royal Exchange defies the odds   

    EMEKA EJERE Royal Exchange Insurance Plc has continued to resist the volatile and tough operating environment of Nigeria, recording a double digit growth in half year profit. Despite the hostile operating environment experienced by the insurance sub-sector and the financial services industry, the underwriter last week announced profit after tax (PAT) of N203.3 million in […]

  • STANBIC IBTC constructs recovery after a storm

    Stanbic IBTC Holdings came to being as a result of a merger between Stanbic Bank Nigeria Limited and IBTC Chartered Bank Plc. On 24 September 2007, IBTC Chartered Bank Plc merged with Stanbic Bank Nigeria Limited. Stanbic Africa Holdings Limited on behalf of Standard Bank tendered an offer for the acquisition of additional IBTC shares […]

  • How PZ makes investors beg for more but….

    Full year results for PZ-Cussons ended on a happy note in May as the company’s profit after tax soared by a hefty 73 per cent rising from N2.1 billion in 2016 to N3.7billion in 2017. The company’s fairy tale result has had several investors emptying their piggy banks as the company’s share price jumps on […]

Visit us on Google+