On the drive home from work on Monday, December 17, 2018, my colleagues and I bemoaned how increasingly chaotic, depressing and frustrating Lagos life has become.
Street lights no longer work in most areas, refuse heaps take forever to be cleared from busy street corners, traffic lights have been left to rot, there are no traffic control personnel during rush hour, potholes have become valleys, articulated trucks are allowed to park right in the middle of the road for a tyre change and drinks, drivers break all traffic laws known to mankind with no repercussions, articulated trucks are allowed to empty their containers on hapless motorists down below and snuff lives off them and there is complete breakdown of law and order everywhere you turn in Lagos.
I am writing this piece after spending a combined 7 hours in traffic the previous day. My legs ache from stepping on a clutch pad that is now giving way from overuse.
One night, a colleague and I spent 5 hours on the Eko Bridge toward Apongbon, only to find out that the cause of the traffic was the double line of articulated trucks and their drivers laughing their heads off and having fun as you approach Costain. They couldn't care less.
You would think that Lagos is the one state without a governor at the moment. The gist around town is that Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has gone to sleep since he lost his re-election battle to Babajide Sanwo-Olu, APC godfather Bola Tinubu and the APC grassroots structure in Nigeria’s commercial capital.
As traffic chokes Lagosians daily, residents of this city of 20 million people now imagine their governor reclining on a sofa, bottle of Champagne in hand, while laughing his head off. Who can blame them? There has been no sign of governance everywhere since Ambode was floored by Sanwo-Olu during the primary election.
As rumours swirled that Ambode was working to have opposition PDP candidate, Jimi Agbaje, succeed him next year--if only as a way of getting back at a party that dealt him an unfair hand--the Lagos Governor embarked on the symbolic, meaningless gesture of raising Sanwo-Olu’s hand at the APC secretariat in Acme, Ogba.
“The first thing I want to say is to appeal to all our party members who, in one way or the other, have been wronged or aggrieved that they should find a place in their hearts to let it just be the same way that I have accepted the greatness of the party”, Ambode said.
Actually, the first thing Ambode has to do to convince Lagosians that he is still governor, is complete his tenure by governing. If he is honest with himself, he would admit that he stopped governing on October 2.
Ambode still has 5 more months to oversee the affairs of Lagos. Does he want to be remembered as one of the worst governors this energetic and money spinning city has ever seen? Or does he want to go down with some visible achievements and honour to his name?
Ambode, Ji Masun! Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko!!!