It behooves me to start by saying that Mr. Akinwumi Ambode and his team of creative think-tanks are not doing badly, running a State that has a trademark of excellence. Lagos is not only “The Centre of Excellence,” we are equally exporting excellence to the ends of the earth. Our culture is being extensively copied, our movies are being largely watched across the planet-earth, our books are being broadly read and our music is being listened to across in the nations of the earth.
It takes a lot to run a state as Lagos. When His Excellency, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) stepped down a few years back, it was fiercely debated across the length and breadth of Lagos State whether we could ever get someone as good as BRF, but in less than two years, His Excellency, Governor Akinwumi Ambode astonished and stunned all of us in Lagos—as an effect of his creative hardwork. He has done so many beautiful projects in Lagos, thereby adding an unquantifiable value to the State that inhabits brilliant minds.
Having drenched His Excellency and his team with the water of accolades, it is imperative that I address a few issues impacting negatively on “The Centre of Excellence.” The first issue I want to address has to do with the challenge of making our environment cleaner, safer and healthier for all “Lagosians.” Backtracking a little, “LAWMA” was doing extremely well during the administration of Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), but when Governor Akinwumi Ambode took over the baton of power, he discontinued the gleaming idea and pioneered something new— “Visionscape.” I have no problem with that, as long as it is going to be cheaper (to run) and more effective than what was on ground. I am sure the government of Mr. Akinwumi Ambode will make known to all “Lagosians” and Nigerians as a whole on how much it did cost the State to run LAWMA monthly and how much it does cost “The Centre of Excellence” to run “Visionscape” monthly.
In the last four (4) or more months, Lagos State has been struggling to solve the problem of dirt. From observations, on the streets of Lagos are chunks of dirt spilling out of the rubbish being dumped almost everywhere. It is not an exaggeration to say that Lagos has never been this dirty. People now call Lagos, “The Centre of Excellence” a filthy State! For the first-time in the history of humanity, excellence and foulness are walking down the aisle of our State—as a new husband and wife—who are madly in love. I am of the opinion that the strategy that “Visionscape” has adopted cannot work in a unique State as ours.
Moving away from the matter of dirt that is trying to knock us out as a people, I want to lend my voice to the issue that began to trend some hours ago: the new proposed “Lagos Land Use Charge Law.” Having read virtually every document on it, I’d hold my peace till NBA, Ikeja Branch finishes what it started a few hours ago. My own concern is the mouth-opening faux pas and gaffe of the administration of Governor Ambode. How do I mean? When people took to the streets of “Facebook” and “twitter” on the insertion of a privately owned Company in the “Lagos Land Use Charge Law,” this morning, the government of Ambode admitted: “insertion of Alpha Beta Company in Lagos Land Use Charge a mistake!” A mistake? Then it must be what I choose to call—made in Lagos mistake.
Out of all the registered companies in Nigeria, it was only Alpha Beta Company that the State mistakenly inserted in the Lagos Land Use Charge. I am wondering why the Lagos State did not misguidedly insert another man’s Company in it. When those in the corridors of power begin to lie to those they are serving, it is a sure sign that they are in power, not to serve, but to be served. And so far people are not talking does not mean—they are—daft, deaf and blind. They do know what is going on, but most Lagosians just do not care a hoot on how they are daily being governed. And this is one of the reasons why Lagos is still where she is today in terms of development.
If the current issue (of Lagos Land Use Charge, Car Registration…) is not well handled and managed, Ambode may end up paying dearly for it. For the umpteenth time, if the made in Lagos mistake is not properly handled, the present Governor of Lagos is going to start losing the public trust and the respect people have for him would start waning from today till the expiration of his days in office. Calling insertion of Alpha Beta Company in Lagos Land Use Charge Law a mistake is wholly childish. The governor should come out and accept responsibility. If Lagos ain’t going to get destroyed, it is up to those who are paddling its canoe, not Lagos-dwellers.