Firstly, a full disclosure: I have worked with Ambode’s government. My company played an infinitesimal part in the media marketing of conference during the Lagos@50 event. I could not rate them higher. My invoice was received and approved, I was promptly paid the starting fee, and the balance arrived without delay too. See ehn, Lagos remains the Centre of Excellence. They know how to do things there. I have no grief, beef or bone to grind with the Akinwunmi Ambode government. They’ve done me well.
Come to that, they’ve done Lagosians well for the most part. The creation of byroads and lay-bys has eased traffic. We were here when Lake Rice happened. Culture and tourism have thrived under his stewardship. Fashola was mighty and left mighty big shoes to fill, but, for a long time, Lagosians felt their new governor filled them pretty well.
And then, right before the 2019 elections, it all starts to go awry. First, there was the dirt. Piles and piles of dirt. Lagos was awash with refuse, polystyrene and pestilence during rainy season.
VisionScape came in to replace Fashola’s cleaning teams. Except, of course, they did not clean. While the propaganda showed images of oyinbo clearing rubbish in Lagos, the reality of people’s experiences, judging from personal shots on social media was that there was an unholy stench in Lagos, and it was coming directly from the streets.
And then came fuel scarcity. Sure, this was a national issue, but things always seem to bite that much harder in Lagos. Black Market at cut-throat prices and, in some instances, complete unavailability almost drove the city to a standstill.
While still reeling from that, toll gate fees went higher. Lagosians who are already taxed to the hilt found themselves paying almost twice as much for going into Lekki – with no discernible reason for the hike.
Finally, Lagosians are at the mercy of Alpha Beta, land duty taxes, and N5m computer glitches!!!
With all of this, I thought perhaps Ambode was tired of politics and did not want a second term. Eko o gba gbere; never have, never will. They are quick to anger and slow to forgive. Not for them the stomach infrastructure of one bag of rice and a hope for a gubernatorial win. If you try am, na agbero go first clear your doubt before the educated elite finish you with grammar for Facebook. It couldn’t be possible that Ambode’s Lagos was in turmoil and he would want a second shot at one of the most prized seats in the land?
It would seem, however, that he does. In which case, knowing that Lagos State is not moi-moi, I can only imagine that he has a few tricks up his sleeve. I am here with my popcorn, awaiting the outcome of this soap opera.
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