Lagosians, and even outsiders, have been expressing worry about who will take over from Governor Babatunde Fashola to continue the transformation of the state.
If you believe media reports – and follow the sign of the times – Akinwunmi Ambode is the man positioned to take over from him next year.
That is assuming the All Progressives Congress (APC), the dominant party in the state, wins the governorship election next year – or even that Ambode’s candidature is successfully sold to other APC governorship aspirants.
Although some Lagos indigenes recently warned against a “non-indigene” succeeding Fashola (and this is understood to be a veiled opposition to Ambode), early signs are that the current CEO of Bransmiths Consulting is the preferred candidate of the power brokers in APC.
Beside the calculations, permutations and deductions, who is Ambode? If indeed he is the Chosen One, how much do Lagosians know about him?
Here are 12 interesting facts about him.
1. He will be 50 in June. He was born on June 14, 1964 and began his education at St. Jude’s Primary School Ebutte Meta in 1969.
2. In 1974, he gained admission into Federal Government College, Warri from Primary 5 and recorded the second best result in West Africa in the Higher School certificate examinations in 1981.
3. He graduated with honours in Accounting from the University of Lagos at 21.
4. By the time he was 24, he had completed his Masters degree in Accounting on a Federal Government Scholarship and had also became a Chartered Accountant.
5. Upon graduation, he opted to serve in the Lagos State civil service and rose rapidly through the ranks from a junior accountant to become the Auditor-General for Local Governments and later the Lagos State Accountant-General and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Finance.
6. He is credited with revolutionising service in the sector which resulted in the state’s budget performing above 80% annually.
7. He earned the award of a US Fullbright Scholarship for the Hubert Humphries Fellowship Programme in Boston Massachusetts. He attended Boston University between 1998/1999 to study Public Leadership with emphasis on Finance and Accounting.
8. After spending 27 in the Civil Service, he voluntarily retired in August 2012 and established Brandsmiths Consulting Limited.
9. He is an alumnus of Wharton Business School Advance Management Programme. He also attended courses at renowned institutions such as Cranfield School of Management, Cranfield, UK, the Institute of Management Development Lausanne, Switzerland, INSEAD Singapore and the Harvard Kennedy School of Government, Boston.
10. He is an author. He wrote a book, Public Sector Accounting, in order to share his knowledge and experiences. This book dissects and simplifies government accounting system from the Local government level through the various strata to the state and federal levels.
11. His life has been chronicled in a biography, The Art of Selfless Service. This book tells the story of his life: giving back to humanity, his community and his mission.
12. He set up La Roche Leadership Foundation in 2012 for mentorship and leadership development.