Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, says he has been describing himself as techno-politician but having spent four years on the saddle, he is wiser.
Speaking with state house correspondents during what he referred to as a “thank you visit” to President Muhammadu Buhari for inaugurating some of projects in the state, Ambode said politicians learn everyday.
Asked to state what lesson he has learnt as a politician in Lagos and in a very unpredictable terrain as Nigeria, the governor said: “You see, every politician learns every day. The fact remains that I came in as a technocrat, so I use to call myself a techno-politician but I think I am wiser now. I am more of a politician than a technocrat.”
Since the return of democracy to Nigeria in 1999, Ambode goes into history as the first Lagos governor not to serve two terms.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor-elect of Lagos, beat him to the ticket of the All Progressives Congress (APC) last year.
APC leaders in the state, including Bola Tinubu, a former governor, supported Sanwo-Olu over Ambode.
On what he wants to be remembered for after bowing out of office in two weeks, the governor said: “Well, in another 16 days or so we will be leaving office but what is important is that I was able to have that opportunity to be elected as governor of Lagos State and to touch humanity in a way that I deem it fit.
“We did our best and most importantly the projects we did were people friendly and people central. I just think a lot more people have enjoyed the benefits and dividends of democracy than we actually met it. And that gives me joy that we were able to touch lives.
“Wherever you find yourself just make positive difference to people and Nigerians, that is the whole essence of service. I’m grateful that I had that opportunity.”
Sanwo-Olu Transmits Name Of Commissioners, Special Advisers To State Assembly For Screening
In fulfilment of his election promise to accelerate his administration’s development agenda, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Sunday, transmitted a list of Commissioner-designates to the House of Assembly for ratification.
The list contained twenty five names, who are to assume duty as Commissioners and Special Advisers upon ratification by the legislature.
A statement by the Governor’s Deputy Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Sanwo-Olu carefully picked the nominees based on their cognate experience in their respective professions.
The list, Akosile said, comprised names of technocrats and politicians, who understand the challenges of the state, noting that the painstaking and laborious selection process was aimed at constituting the best team that will serve Lagos in line with the agenda of his administration vision of delivering a city-state that will rank among the top most liveable cities in the world.
The statement said: “We took our time to pick the best hands for the tough job Lagosians have elected us to do. The nominees for the twenty five Commissioner and Special Adviser positions include women and men who have made their mark and at the zenith of their professional callings.’’
Governor Sanwo-Olu’ media aide stated further that the current list is first batch, saying that consultation was going on with regard to the complete number of the cabinet members.
He further disclosed that the new cabinet would be unique, because of its diversity. Quoting Governor Sanwo-Olu, he said Lagos would continue to take the lead in innovation, gender-balance and youth inclusion in the administration of the State.
“We have a blend of youth who are under 40 among nominees for Commissioners and Special Advisers. Women too are well represented in the list. We believe Lagos deserves the best and we cannot give the people anything less than that,” the statement said.
Breaking down the list of nominees, there are 17 men and eight women that will be sworn in as members of the State Executive Council. Also in keeping his promise of millennial’s inclusion, Governor Sanwo-Olu included youths who are in their early and mid-thirties in the list of nominees.
The State House of Assembly is expected to carry out a screening of the nominees to set the machinery of governance in full swing.
Below are names of the nominees:
1. Mr. Rabiu Olowo Onaolapo
2. Mrs. Folashade Adefisayo
3. Prof. Akin Abayomi
4. Dr. Idris Salako
5. Mr. Tunji Bello
6. Mr. Gbenga Omotoso
7. Mrs. Toke Benson-Awoyinka
8. Mrs. Bolaji Dada
9. Mr. Lere Odusote
10. Dr. Frederic Oladeinde
11. Mr. Gbolahan Lawal
12. Ms. Adekemi Ajayi
13. Mr. Femi George
14. Dr. Wale Ahmed
15. Mr. Moyo Onigbanjo (SAN)
16. Mr. Hakeem Fahm
17. Mrs. Ajibola Ponnle
18. Engr. Aramide Adeyoye
19. Mr. Segun Dawodu
20. Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf
21. Mr. Sam Egube
22. Ms Ruth Bisola Olusanya
23. Princess Aderemi Adebowale
24. Mr. Tunbosun Alake
25. Mr. Afolabi Ayantayo
First Weekly’s Exclusive Story Confirmed As Tunji Bello Returns As Commissioner In Lagos
In confirmation of an exclusive story recently published by First Weekly Magazine, former Secretary To the Lagos State Government (SSG) during the era of former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, Mr. Tunji Bello will return as a commissioner in the state.
Tunji Bello’s name was listed among the 25 names submitted to the Lagos State House of Assembly by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a release signed by the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile and made available to journalists dated Sunday July 14.
It will be recalled that First Weekly Magazine had recently exclusively reported that Mr. Tunji Bello, a veteran journalist would be returning to the state cabinet as the Commissioner for the Environment.
Tunji Bello was the Commissioner for the Environment under Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola between 2011 and 2015.
Sources close to the leadership of the All Progressives Congress (APC) had revealed that Bello would return to the ministry of the Environment “to continue his work of making things work in the state through the ministry.”
It was gathered that Tunji Bello is very close to the National Leader of the APC, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
It is no longer news that Tinubu determines what happens in the APC in most states in the South West and that he has a stronghold of the party in Lagos State as he determines who rules the state at any point in time.
A source close to the prolific politician revealed that Sanwo-Olu was told from the onset that the party would impose commissioners on him.
He was said to have agreed to this term, which was why he was chosen among the numerous others to succeed former governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who was denied a second term over issues allegedly bothering on overbearing and insubordination.
As it were, sources revealed that it was certain that Tunji Bello would return to the Ministry of the Environment to “satinise the environmental degradation in the state and bring sanity back into the system through proper environmental administration and monitoring.”
Sanwo-Olu at 54: Celebrating A Man On Mission For A Greater Lagos
By Gboyega Akosile
A good head and good heart are always a formidable combination. But when you add to that a literate tongue or pen, then you have something special – Nelson Mandela.
The above expression from one of the greatest ethical and political leaders of all-time aptly describes the man Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, the 15th Governor of Lagos State who is today celebrating his natal day.
Truth be told, Governor Sanwo-Olu is an embodiment of a good head, a good heart and of course a literate tongue having been privileged to have experienced the best in terms of education locally and internationally. And the result so far so good has been delivery of democratic dividends and meeting expectations of the teeming population of the State.
Now, some people may argue that it is too early in the day to shower accolades on the Governor but the popular expression that the signs of a beautiful Friday will be noticed from the preceding Thursday clearly exemplifies the actions taken so far by Governor Sanwo-Olu and his amiable and cerebral deputy, Dr Kadiri Obafemi Hamzat since they effectively took charge of the affairs of Centre of Excellence and State of Aquatic Splendor on May 29, 2019.
Like a greyhound after a rabbit, Governor Sanwo-Olu came out of the take off point with some decisive pronouncements and moves that disabused the minds of some doubting Thomases that he is actually prepared and ready for the tasks of administering the most populous State in Nigeria and in fact, a State that has been correctly adjudged as the fifth largest economy in Africa.
I have had the unique privilege of working with Governor Sanwo-Olu at very close range even before he took over the most tasking and challenging job in the State and one thing that is constant is that his passion, zeal and energy for a greater Lagos remain undebatable. I mean people could recall how the Governor vigorously campaigned across the State during the electioneering and the zestfulness on display when he met with the relevant groups and organisations across all the social strata of the State.
The good thing, however, is that Governor Sanwo-Olu has not stopped. In fact, he made it abundantly clear in his inaugural speech, and so far so good, he is walking the talk.
Another critical point which I must not fail to mention is that many who thought that the Governor would be vindictive have been pleasantly surprised as he has shown that nobody in the service of the State would be harassed on the basis of certain interests. Staff can only be reprimanded if they have failed to carry out their duties as professionally expected of them.
The Governor is forward looking and he has carried on with commendable equanimity, focusing on the job at hand rather than looking for who did what during the electioneering.
I have heard him on several occasions, warning that nobody should be hounded or maltreated on the account of working in the immediate past administration.
His Excellency, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu is a personification of humanity, a selfless leader and an uncommon Nigerian, who thinks more about the other person’s feelings than of his own. I have witnessed the display of his kind heartedness many times that I can comfortably say that he is a very good man.
For many who rightly belong to the school of thought that talk is cheap and who were not ecstatic about Governor Sanwo-Olu’s brilliant inauguration speech, which by the way he eloquently delivered, the steady implementation since his assumption can be said to be a worthy consolation.
The speech virtually captured all the key areas that needed to be addressed and the direction that the new government is headed.
By the following day, Governor Sanwo-Olu made some moves which clearly showed that he was ready to walk the talk. The first point of call was a meeting with civil servants where he emphatically told them that the government cannot afford to fail Lagosians at this critical point in time.
One striking thing was the fact that the governor was very much aware of the challenges faced by the civil servants and conversely he knew the areas where workers have to improve in terms of positive disposition to work and so on. So, on 30th of June, 2019, he promised to look into their welfare first with the provision of new buses to convey them to work and within three days, that promise was fulfilled. 35 new buses were immediately handed over to the workers to aid their movement from home to work and back home.
Also as I write this piece, all civil servants have received their salary for the month of June. That is the spirit with which Governor Sanwo-Olu is bringing into governance in Lagos.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also signed an executive order to address issues around traffic management, security and the environment after which he proceeded to Apapa for on-the-spot-assessment of the situation there.
The issue of Apapa gridlock and the state of the environment has for long been a national embarrassment and so it was a brilliant move for the Governor to immediately visit the area where he expressed commitment to his promise to truly put the deplorable and harrowing situation in the area in the dustbin of history, working in concert with the Federal Government and other relevant stakeholders.
It must be added that just two days ago, Governor Sanwo-Olu was back in Apapa with Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and other senior government officials both from the Lagos State Government and the Federal Government, to further assess the progress of work in the effort to restore complete sanity and order in the area.
Another pleasant move by this government is the two-prong approach to traffic management which is enforcement of traffic laws and fixing of potholes. With regards to potholes, the government has already said that two lines would be released to the public through which residents can just take pictures of bad state of any road within the state and then the rehabilitation gangs would be deployed accordingly.
The Governor has boosted the morale of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) officials by increasing their monthly allowance by 100 percent with a promise to revamp all their moribund infrastructure as well as procurement of new equipment for better efficiency.
In the area of security, Governor Sanwo-Olu has also been proactive. As a matter of fact, he has met with all the top security chiefs in the State, with a pledge that the security architecture of the State would be overhauled to address contemporary security challenges including cultism, kidnapping, armed robbery, pipeline vandalism and indiscriminate driving against traffic, among others.
Just under 30 days, there are many positives to draw from the purposeful and inspiring leadership of Governor Sanwo-Olu and one can only imagine the goodies in the offing for residents and investors as there is already a clear roadmap as captured in the six pillars of his developmental agenda for the State otherwise known as T.H.EM.E.S, which stand for Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Entertainment and Tourism as well as Security and Governance.
Here is wishing my amiable and dynamic boss happy birthday. I wish you sound health and wisdom to deliver on the mission #ForAGreaterLagos.
Akosile is the Deputy Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
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