AMBODE AND THE UNENDING HATE
Akinwunmi Ambode was Governor Lagos State between 2015 to 2019 and despite denials by those who chose to hate him, his legacies dots the landscape of Lagos.
I have taken my time to study what actually was the reason Ambode was stopped from getting the second term ticket. While the leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu said Ambode was a good Administrator but not a good politician, others have said many things from personal views of what a Governor should be or what he should do for the party. Whatever that means, we were all agreed that lack of performance was definitely not the reason.
This is because, two years after he left government, the current government still continue to commission projects he started or initiated. While this is a good departure from the past when projects were abandoned, it is however sad that credits was not even given to him.
In the last two years, Akin Ambode has chosen to live a quiet life devoid of public apprearance, press statements or even party politics making a lot of people think he has retired from politics prematurely. That was however put to rest when in February, he went to his native home in Epe to revalidate his membership of APC amidst applause by his admirers. That singular action seemed to have ruffled feathers as actions that followed appeared to show frontal attack on him by some people even when he is still loved by majority of party members.
First at the commissioning of the Pen Cinema bridge in Agege which he initiated and left at about 70% completion, rather than praise him for that wonderful idea, he was ridiculed by the Leader of the party who claimed Lagos was heading in the wrong direction. When we remember that the wife of the leader, Senator Oluremi Tinubu joined other National Assemby members to endorse him for second term during a visit to him at the Government House, Alausa, the question then is , if they know the state was headed in by he wrong direction, why did they endorse him? Something is definitely not adding up here. Dont forget that same leader was recorded to have commended him for the network of roads he delivered in Alimoso saying ” he is judiciously using lagos money to silently execute great projects”.
Again, there are several rumors of Federal appointments he has been pencilled down to pick but was allegedly taken away from him by forces from Lagos. During all of these times, Ambode maintained a stoic silence offering no statement or public action. He kept his cool and continue to stay out of limelight.
I once read where he was quoted to have said that, he refused to say anything or play politics to allow Gov Sanwo Olu face governance without distraction. If this is true, then Akin Ambode has done this very well and posterity will judge him.
Now, my concern is the unending harassment, sponsored comments and rumors about him and his family.
First in 2019, a team of EFCC officials simultaneously invaded his home in Park View, Ikoyi and his Epe country home when he was away from the country. It took the strong challenge by his wife to monitor the searching of their Ikoyi home while the people of Epe foiled what was said to be a plan to plant incriminating items and monies in his home to paint him bad. EFCC issued a statement denying those claims and till date, Ambode is not known to be under EFCC investigation. Some people said they were sent to harass him by someone. Whoever that one person is, he is unable to take this man away from the minds of his admirers especially his loyal supporters in the party, APC.
About two weeks ago, another team of EFCC operatives invaded his Bankole Oki street office in Victoria Island painting their usual “ Under EFCC Investiagtion “ on the wall of the building. Before you know it, sponsored claims that he owns the property and he is being investigated surfaced on the internet.
Unknown to the sponsors of that rumour, the property in question does not belong to Ambode. Ambode is just one of the 2 tenants in that property, the other one being a Hospital. Despite all these, His Excellency remain silent and refused to issue a public statement , especially since the EFCC unlike its usuals style, did not issue any statement too. I still continue to wonder, who exactly is after Ambode and for what reasons?
The last story flying around now is the admission of more people into the Governors Advisory Council. By virtue of being a former Governor, Akin Ambode is a member but he has been removed, re-added and removed again depending on how those in charge feels.
He is not known to have attended any of their meetings since he left government owing largely to how he was treated. Therefore, is Akin Ambode a member of the GAC? If he is, was he invited to their meetings or how do they notify him of meetings?
Someone also said it was suggested to the meeting that his loyalists should not be allowed to partake in the forthcoming Local Government Elections and the State Congress to constitute the next EXCO of the party. Unknown to whoever is playing that game, support for Ambode cut across members and even including those they think are in their pockets. Supporters of Akin Ambode are actually meeting and fine tunning their plans to ensure they are entrenched in the party and especially in the EXCO. They listened to his counselling to go and register when many of the leaders were openly opposing it. These group of supporters have vowed to stay in the party and be part of all processes going on in the party.
Going by what has happened in the last two years in the APC in Lagos, one keep wondering, what exactly is the real reason why Ambode was denied second term ticket and who is still after him despite staying in the party and creating no issue for the government in power?
As a concerned Lagosian who can attest to the laudable achievements of Akin Ambode as the Governor in just Four years, I will simply advise him to remain calm but steadfast in the life of selfless service he has followed.
He should continue to show commitment to good governance , responsible behavior and calm disposition in the face of harassment of his person. It is a matter of time, God’s will shall manifest and put traducers in shame.