Many non party card carrying members of the public and some others who though, are party faithfuls but lack the necessary information often query the rationale behind the party’s sudden U-turn from a “performing” governor.
When comfronted with this all important question on your streets, residential compounds by neighbours, Campuses, work place, churches, mosques and public transports, It is not enough to just say ” Ambode is wicked”, “Ambode is too petty for a governor”, “Ambode does not carry the party along”, “Ambode this or that”, rather, tell them the issues as stated below and convince them to have faith in the party and SANWOOLU to return normalcy and sanity back to governance in lagos with special focus on public participation and stakeholders’ inclusiveness.
Some of these points have been highlighted by LAGOSIANS IN DIASPORA with some modifications by the directorate of public affairs communications, media and publicity.
1. Foundation – First year of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s tenure was totally filled with settlement cases by the Lagos State Ministry of Justice, per termination of almost all projects and contracts by the previous administration.
2. Technical workforce – The previous administration deemed it fit to bring into the Civil service, technocrats and professionals of high calibre ranking in the banking industries and corporate world. Upon his assumption of office our “esteemed” Governor demoted all of them. He claimed they never started from scratch and brought those from level 15 to level 12 and some were even unjustifiably dismissed.
3. Health Care – Not to mention a few terminated projects, The Renal and Cardiac Centre, Gbagada was actually crippled because Ambode refused to pay the part Lagos State agreed on since it was a Private Partnership Venture.t
Today, I can boldly testify that in almost three and a half years, nothing has improved with the Health Sector. If anything, it has deteriorated to a shadow of its former state. He cannot boast of building or renovating any Primary Health Care Center or General Hospital. He was given handover notes by the previous administration on the Health Care Policies per Primary Health Care (grassroots healthcare) and shelved it aside to follow his own personal agenda and not the Public Health policies that were worked over a decade long painstaking multiple stakeholder meetings with foreign Implementing Partners like WHO, Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, JICA, PATHS2, WHO, etc.
All the policies that were set up to cater for the aged to be treated freely has been withdrawn from the hospitals. If he says he is for the poor, why can’t he cater for the poor.
4. Light Up Lagos – Sometimes when I hear about Light Up Lagos, I wonder what Lagos is Ambode talking about? Because I can remember the previous administration lit up Lagos, even when there was no electric power as part of the Independent Power Project (IPP) with the Lagos State Electicity Board and DFID UK using multiple streams of power. And even the big generators were on standby at junctions to Light up Lagos during the prior administration.
5. Mass Transit – Immediately Ambode resumed office, instead of providing more mass transit buses, I saw people queuing at the bus stops for elongated hours because the red buses were banned from going through the BRT lanes. He terminated the standing contract and crippled the business.
Lagos Badagry Express Road/Light Rail Transportation by all ramification should have kicked off by now. While, continuous development goes on, he has refused to kick start it, so the credit will not be given to his predecessor.
6. Housing – I can attest that up to date, all uncompleted building projects that were handed over by the previous administration has been abandoned by our “hardworking” Governor. As a decision maker it is the Governor’s prerogative, do not get me wrong but the greatest and the most pathetic of it, is that no contractor has been paid their outstanding balance over 3yrs now and some are overly indebted with the banks. They have appealed to him to no avail.
In addition, the Ilubirin Housing Project was terminated from the contractor, who got this housing project on merit.
7. Education – The school project on education also remains abandoned and payments are also yet be made, nothing like continuity, nothing like completion.
8. Agriculture – Lagos State had its Agricultural project and one of the major part was the rice cultivation branded Eko Rice implemented by the prior administration as part of a mass friendly vision. On resumption of office, Ambode rebranded the project as Lake Rice. Anyone in business understands the time and unnecessary consumption of taxpayers monies that it takes to rebrand what wasn’t broken.
9. Offices – He scrapped all the agencies that were functioning to full capacity mostly as Private Public Partnerships (PPPs) and after two years he started renaming the agencies and turned the proposed site to Hotel and Recreation site, claiming he’s doing it for civil service.
10. Contracts – Governor Ambode, has not paid any of the previous administration contractors till date. Many of them are in court. I can testify that many C of Os were revoked by him and Lands were confiscated for no just reason. A government of continuity that does not honor its contractual obligations and MOUs is not worth the ink blot that such agreements were signed. How can future investors trust such government? Even the current government at the center has honored past contractual obligations of the previous government.
Lekki Ikoyi Toll gate BOT contract was also terminated without due process.
11. Approvals and Autonomy – To my utmost surprise a commissioner cannot approve above 100,000 Naira and a Permanent Secretary cannot approve above 50,000 Naira in their Ministries, Departments and Agencies.
12. Due Process – There’s no due process on contracts again. I remember how we used to see contract adverts during the previous administration and buy contract books to know what is available. Ever since he resumed office, no one knows what goes out.
13. Waste Management – Over 25,000 PSP workers became jobless, because he used his Veto power to bring in Vision Scape without considering how many would be denied employment.
14. MORALE – He has turned the civil service to a fearful environment where everybody is careful on what they say or what they do so that their appointments are not terminated. They even go as far as calling him THE EMPEROR, which he is comfortable with it. He talks down on them.
Like I stated earlier on, this is far beyond Tinubu. Governor Ambode has stepped on several toes; citizens and party members alike. He has terminated many people’s contracts. He has not for once showed empathy on these pressing issues in the masses everyday lives. He believed he is THE Excellency and so be it.
In conclusion, I ask us all to ponder the effect of these very disparaging and egregious decisions by the Emperor on all these people who have been denied their basic humanity and opportunity and who have families that depend on them. How can they make Ambode’s second term a priority? Or are these projects that have been abandoned in the Health, Education and Housing sector, not visible to Lagosians? Do we not access public infrastructure to realize the diminished value across all sectors including access to drugs for the aged? Are all these not glaring policy deficiencies to the so-called poor masses he claimed he worked on behalf. Please let Ambode eat and stew in his vindictiveness and may we all use this as Leadership and Public Governance lesson learnt for the future
Comrade Agbabiaka Ahmed AGBAH,
Director, public Affairs communications, media and publicity,