By Kazeem Ugbodaga
In less than two months, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode will bow out of office after four years of meritorious service. Undoubtedly, the governor has gone through thick and thin, he has seen it all and he could gallantly say “I came, saw and conquer.” Across the Lagos metropolis, massive projects adorn the landscape. We have seen the transformation at the Ojodu-Berger axis of the metropolis, we have seen how Abule-Egba, which used to be the home of traffic was liberated. A massive bridge erected in Abule-Egba has totally driven gridlock away from the area. Don’t forget in a hurry, the Aboru bridge that linked communities cut off from civilisation in Alimosho area of Lagos and the Ajah Flyover constructed the same time with that of Abule Egba, christened: “Jubilee Bridges.”
Political quagmire in the All Progressives Congress, APC, in Lagos tend to deny the governor his achievement, but it is impossible. Ambode’s achievements are undeniable.
Have you forgotten in a hurry the 28 network of roads inaugurated in Ipaja area of Alimosho? It is a fact that one could drive through the inner roads to link Sango, Ota, without navigating the express road. I am sure residents of AIT area, Command, Meiran, and others will never deny Ambode’s achievements. Or have you not gone to Epe recently? Have you not seen the transformation? Have you not heard from Bode George, a fiend of the APC, what he said about Epe?
Read what Bode George said: “I have never met this young man (Ambode), but I must say that I am impressed with his performance so far, especially in the area of infrastructural developments. I don’t know everywhere in Lagos because I hardly go round, but I must sincerely commend him on what he is doing in Epe Local Government. I am very proud of what he is doing there.
“I passed through Epe recently and I thought I was in a different state. I want to appeal to him that when he is done with Epe, he should head back to my local government, which is Lagos Island, so that when he leaves office, not only will Epe people remember him for his performance, but the entire Lagos will remember him and say: ‘Yes, there was one Governor that passed through here and his name is Akinwunmi Ambode.”
Ah! have you forgotten so soon the N25 billion Employment Trust Fund that had created thousands of jobs by assisting young entrepreneurs? Or have you also forgotten the N500 million Disability Fund? If you have, the physically challenged in the state will never forget because they had been empowered.
The above are just tip of iceberg of what Ambode achieved during his tenure.
But less than two months to the end of his tenure, the governor has not stopped working as many claimed. It is true that members of the Lagos State House of Assembly are trying to frustrate his efforts by not passing the budget, a development many Lagosians know, is political, Ambode is still striving to complete some ongoing projects that have been stalled due to political imbroglio in the Lagos APC.
I hope you have not forgotten the reconstruction of the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, MMIA, Road in Lagos? Go there now, see the massive infrastructure that Ambode has provided. Motorists who regularly use the road recently noticed that full street lights had come alive on the first phase which started from Oshodi and ended at the Ajao Estate U-Turn. The beauty of the project which is still proceeding at steady pace day and night, is a sight to behold, especially at night now that the lights have been installed.
This former four-lane road, which the Lagos State Government started reconstructing roughly two years ago, has been expanded into a ten-lane marvel with two bridges at Mafoluku and Hajj Camp and at least one pedestrian overhead bridge at Ajao. When fully completed, it will be a world-class masterpiece befitting of a country that likes to pride itself as “The Giant of Africa”. It will be a stunning departure from the old road that signposts the shame of a nation.
The old MMIA Road, apart from being narrow, was potholes-infested, with furniture makers, petty traders, fuel stations and commercial buses/motorcycles (Okada) struggling for space with users of the road, which is supposed to be the number one gateway into Nigeria from all parts of the world.
All is well that ends well. Though Ambode will leave office disappointed for not getting the chance to serve for two terms, he can take solace in the outpouring of gratitude from all well-meaning Nigerians for this gesture of wiping the shame of the MMIA Road from the brow of the nation. This is another confirmation that a serious government can start and finish major mega-projects within a term of four years.
Let’s go to the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, LASUTH, housing the popular Ayinke House. The Ayinke House has been under redevelopment for over six years. But before May 29, 2019, this massive project will be inaugurated.
Undeniably, as Ambode sets to bow out of office on May 29, 2019, he can beat his chest and say, I have taken Lagos to the next level despite persistent efforts to deny him of his achievements. Yes, Ambode’s achievement cannot be denied.