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THE DAGGERS IN HIS SMILE…TOP LAGOSIANS WHO WILL NEVER FORGIVE FORMER GOVERNOR AMBODE

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Akinwunmi

By Temitayo Adebayo

As Akinwunmi Ambode bows out as the  Governor of Lagos State, head held high for his self-professed achievements but shoulders drooped and heart eternally embittered for being denied a second term in office, behind him is a horde of bitter power-brokers that bore the brunt of his alleged vindictive and petty leadership style which many allude to as his major undoing.

At the outset of his government, Ondo State-born Governor Ambode reportedly set out to demystify and disparage his predecessor, the widely loved Babatunde Raji Fashola. Ambode was accused of leaking state secrets with the intention to embarrass Fashola who famously reacted to one of the allegations thus, “I always pray that may my loyalty never be tested.”

In that classic way villains do, Ambode didn’t pretend to be anything other than what he was; and didn’t care who got hurt because his passion was power and grabbing it with ruthless abandon was only a game. He achieved his aims hiding behind a congenial mask of concern even as he planned to control others.

He never wasted a minute on anyone who was not in a position that he coveted. And, so, many true-born Lagosians were either brutally sacked from their lofty positions or literally chased out of Lagos completely like Folly Coker and Nike Animashaun. The son of Chief Folarin Coker, the Baba Eto of Lagos and political stalwart, Folly originally joined the state government in 1999 when he was appointed as personal assistant to Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the former governor of Lagos State and national leader of the All Progressive Congress (APC). On October 19, 2015, Folly, as he is popularly known, was appointed Commissioner for Tourism, Arts & Culture for Lagos State, a position he held until exactly a year after when he was sacked by Ambode. No specific reason was given for his sack. Fortuitously for Folly, he was appointed in April 2017 as the Director-General for the Nigerian Tourism Development Commission (NTDC).

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Beautiful Nike, on the other hand, was the influential and imperious Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Science and Technology, and served under the administrations of both Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Raji Fashola. Respected in the corridors of power because of her closeness with Asiwaju and later, big time Lagos contractor, Dr Tunji Olowolafe, Nike wore her power on her sleeves and was not coy to wield it.

When Ambode came into office, she was one of the first to be sacked allegedly on account of fraudulent misappropriation of N5billion. This was in spite of the intervention of powerful Lagosians who reasoned that crossing Nike’s path would spell doom for the new governor but he didn’t heed the voices of reason and wisdom. Nike slithered out of the Lagos social scene and a few months later, was appointed as the Company Secretary of the Nigerian Petroleum Development Company by the then Group Managing Director and Minister of State for Petroleum, Dr. Kachikwu Ibe.

Hakeem Muri Okunola did not suffer the ignominy of being sacked like Nike but remaining in service was not a smooth ride for the urbane gentleman and son of the influential Justice Muritala Aremu Okunola who died in 2004. An alumni of the University of Lagos where he read law and the University of London where he got his Masters in Business Law, HMO was first employed as Company Secretary at the state-owned Ibile Holdings before he was headhunted by former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who made him his Personal Assistant in 1999.

He was later moved to the Ministry of Lands as Executive Secretary and later upgraded to Permanent Secretary. It was in this position he came into social, financial and political renown. His financial liquidity became a hot-button issue among bona fide money-men. He flourished unfettered under the administration of former Governor Fashola who gave him a free hand to run the ministry. However, Ambode felt otherwise about him and redeployed him to the Ministry of Sports ostensibly to render him powerless. He had his fair share of rough-handling from Ambode and consequently, disappeared from the social scene which was his oyster all along.

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Fate has however conspired with HMO to outfox his adversary. Now, like a phoenix, he has risen to the apogee of an exemplary civil service career with his appointment, last December, as the new Head of Service, Lagos State. His appointment follows the statutory retirement of Mrs. Folasade Sidikatu Adesoye, the 20th Head of Service (HOS). By this appointment, HMO becomes the youngest ever person to occupy such exalted position in the history of the Nigerian civil service. He is 47.

If Muiz Banire, a thoroughbred Lagosian and three-time Commissioner in the state could literally be hounded out of Lagos before winding up as National Legal Adviser to the APC, and, until recently, Chairman, Assets Management Corporation of Nigeria, AMCON, Tunji Bello, a veteran journalist and former commissioner who was appointed the Secretary to the State Government for the Ambode administration should feel that he got a better deal.

Now that Ambode is out of power, Bello can breathe easy and observe a deserved retirement from public office if the humiliation he reportedly suffered from Ambode was anything to go by. The former governor, as was typical of his disposition to those he considered Fashola’s people, was said to have rendered Bello redundant so much that so many meetings and policies were formulated behind him.

The 58-year-old former editor of the defunct Concord Newspapers may have been saved a volcanic heart attack with the refusal of the APC to give Ambode a second term ticket. Thus, with Ambode gone from the Lagos power equation, his deeds and misdeeds would trail him everywhere he goes for the remainder of his life. And those who he hurt may forgive, but will they ever forget?

Culled The Capital

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Politics

CABINET TO BE INAUGURATED THIS WEEK – SANWO-OLU

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Universal Health


Lagos State Executive Council will be fully inaugurated on Tuesday, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has said.

The Governor said he would not delay the swearing-in of Commissioner- and Special Adviser-designates already cleared by the State House of Assembly. He spoke at the weekend while receiving a body of retired top civil servants under the aegis of the Association of Lagos State Retired Heads of Service and Permanent Secretaries (ALARHOSPS).

Sanwo-Olu said that the wheel of governance would be in full gear before the end of the coming week, in fulfillment of his campaign promise to inaugurate his cabinet within 90 days. He added that new Permanent Secretaries would also be sworn in on Monday to complement the activities of Commissioners and Special Advisers.

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He said: “Next week, by God’s grace, we are swearing in all other complements of cabinet and also Permanent Secretaries to have the engine of governance on full swing. At that point, we believe that all the campaign promises we made can come to reality and Lagosians can benefit more from the choice they made at the last election.”

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The cabinet members are expected to be allocated their individual ministries during the inauguration ceremony, scheduled to start at 9am.

The Governor described the body of retired civil servants as “valuable assets” to the state, noting that their actions while in service contributed to the “enviable height” Lagos attained among states in the nation.

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2023 Tinubu Presidency Is A Day Dream-Chief Ayo Adebanjo

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Bola Tinubu

Elderstatesman, Chief Ayo Adebanjo, has made a mess of a 2023 Tinubu Presidency.

This comes following speculations that the All Progressive Congress (APC), national leader is eyeing the office of Presidency in 2023.

Adebanjo, on Thursday, August insisted that some power brokers in the ruling APC were merely deceiving Asiwaju Bola Tinubu about handing over power to him in 2023.

Daily Independent, reports that Adebanjo said he is disappointed that though Tinubu rode on the back of restructuring to become governor in 1999, he has turned his back on the issue despite playing a key role in bringing the current administration to power.

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” I have always said that Tinubu came to office on the basis of restructuring and till now, he has not denied it.  I am not really interested in Tinubu or 2023, what is paramount to me now is restructuring”.

“Anybody promising Tinubu they will handover to him in 2023 are just deceiving him. The man deceiving him knows that he is deceiving him”.

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” Only Tinubu is stupid enough to be thinking that it will be possible for him.  Let Tinubu be day dreaming to think that he will become the President in 2023″.

“When that time comes, we shall see but my focus now is on changing the constitution and restructuring the country”.

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New Twist in Edo Saga as Obaseki pays Oshiomole, Otaru of Auchi Surprise Visit in Celebration of Eid-al-Adha

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The Governor of Edo State, Governor Godwin Obaseki appears to have set aside the alleged rift between his administration and his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomole when he called on the Iyanmoh residence of the latter in celebration of Eid al Adha.

In his special Sallah message to the Muslim community last week, the governor had enjoined all citizens to eschew bitterness and rancour and work for the development of all of Edo State.

The Governor demonstrated the virtues of the season with his visit to the Party Chairman and his mother, Hajia Aishetu Oshiomole, in spite of the rumoured differences between both men.

During the visit, Governor Godwin Obaseki expressed his delight at the incredible support he received from the Muslim community and reiterated his commitment to the transformation of Edo State and the empowerment of all its people.

In response, the Otaru of Auchi commended the governor for his uncommon leadership and advised him not to succumb to the forces of darkness preaching division in Edo State. He encouraged the Governor to remain prayerful and continue to strive in the interest of the people.

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Speaking after the visit, the Special Adviser to the Governor on media and communications, Mr. Crusoe Osagie congratulated the Muslim community and lauded the Governor for his demonstration of exemplary leadership. He suggested that the visit would likely unnerve a tiny fraction of the people of the state.

“The notion that these two men are adversaries is being propagated by morally and financially insolvent people seeking to profit off of the challenges they have been working so hard to foment. You cannot blame such people really. Their talents and abilities are severely limited, so it is in their collective interest to stoke tension and drive division, but I can tell you that they have already failed” he posited.

“It is not in their interests for Edo State to peacefully progress, so they will try to mis-categorise this visit. This is what they’ve always done and it’s their stock in trade”.

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“True leaders understand that they represent the people in whose interests they must serve. This is why His Excellency has always said that the resources of the state, are for the people only, and not for a negligible minority and nothing can ever change this” he concluded.

Asked whether this means that a new proclamation of the State House of Assembly will be issued by the Governor in conformity with the directives of the National Assembly, Osagie was unequivocal. “I cannot speak on this matter as it is sub-judice. But I think the whole world knows that the Edo State House of Assembly has already been inaugurated. No person or group of persons or institution other than the judiciary can order a state governor to do anything on a matter that is presently before courts of competent jurisdiction.We are a nation of Laws and by the special grace of God, will all be alive to witness the law run its full course” he concluded.

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