By Adeoba Michaels
The embattled and outgoing Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, is an emperor. And he is not sorry about it.
Before now, he used his office as governor to deal with many perceived foes in Lagos. And, like a wounded Lion, he pounced on his immediate predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola to devour him. If not for the Lord who was on his side, Fashola would have ended up in jail.
When Fashola got enthroned as ‘Prime Minister’ in the Buhari cabinet, Ambode got furious and devoured his friends and associates at home.
In his first week office, he sacked Fashola’s sister, Yinka Fashola, and 18 permanent secretaries. The vindictive governor has terminated the appointments of 33 Permanent Secretaries so far.
He humiliated and sacked George Noah, LASAA MD, Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, Lara Odebunmi, Safety Commission, Foaud Oki among others . He also frustrated many out of government. They include Ganiyu Johnson, Tunde Fowler and many others.
Ambode should have limited his arbitrary use of power to politicians and those in his cabinet but strayed into God’s arena and the Lord struck him.
Ambode sacked and evicted a Chaplain of the Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa (Government House Chapel) , Rev Femi Taiwo, for not anointing his wife, Bolanle first before other parishioners. The cleric was disgraced and his belongings and family thrown out of government apartment.
It took the intervention of Nigerians especially his parishioners for the man of God to get shelter. I read on a reputable online medium, Complete News, that the clergy was still floating one year after Ambode sacked him.( http://www.completenewsng.com/exclusive-state-house-chaplain-rev-femi-taiwo-sacked-by-ambode-still-floating-one-year-after/).
Oluremi Tinubu and Abimbola were first ladies in Lagos and heads didn’t roll in the cathedral. Ihave no doubt that God is avenging the wicked acts of Ambode, particularly the harm he did to his prophet, Rev Femi Taiwo.
The governor has been committing embarrassing gaffes ever since which suggest that the Lord is against him. He started by building needless statues that should have earned him accolades, but which instead brought him reproach.
Lagosians fumed at the Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s statue built by the governor where a cosmopolitan, dandy sage was decked in Agbada with his trademark cap and glasses to match and then a laced safety boots.
Like a man who is under an influence of a spell or forces beyond him, Ambode without consultation with Lagosians and even his party leaders hiked Land Use Charge by over 400 percent!
Lawyers abandoned courts to protest to Alausa over what they tagged, ‘Rejection Of Ambode’s Satanic, Toxic Tax.’ That singular indiscretion dropped his ratings and turned him to a pariah.
To assuage the public anger and revolt that almost consumed his government, Ambode declared 50% discount on LUC as if tax was a telecom promo. That means the hike will be 200 percent.
Would 200 percent tax hike be a sound decision when the country was in a recession? But it was clear that God wanted to end the governor’s reign.
While the Land Use Charge was about to mellow, the waste management crisis escalated and spiralled out of control. The governor had sacked waste managers popularly called PSPs with over 25,000 workers and brought in an acclaimed foreign waste managers for Lagos called Visionscape.
The government guaranteed a N50 billion bond that was raised for the so-called foreign firm to take off. Is that not strange and worrisome? Is it the government that should stand as guarantor for ‘foreign investors’? It means if Visionscape fails, Lagos tax payers will pay the N50bn debt.
Ambode’s visionscape has no vision and capacity for Lagos mega wastes. Without mincing words, Visionscape failed and collapsed when it could not handle the task. Industry experts say Lagos would not recover and get back to a state of relative sanity in the next 10 years.
According to them, on average, Lagos generates 35,000 metric tonnes of wastes a day, if not evacuated in three days, it will accumulate to over 100,000 metric tonnes which could be as high as 2-storey building.
Despite, the hurried beckoning of PSPs to rescue the overwhelmed Visionscape, the backlogs are still warehoused in residents’ compounds across the state particularly in the hinterlands.
Ambode demoralised PSP investors and operators. He was cajoling them while environment degenerated. The governor caused the crisis not the residents or saboteurs. Now, God Almighty has decided to humble Ambode who believed he was untouchable.
Like God did in the Bible days, he just showed Ambode that he ruled in the affairs of men and took his kingdom away from him. The sad end of Ambode is a lesson to every leader who is abusing God’s grace and acting as if the day of reckoning would not come.