By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu rolled out the drums to celebrate the completion and commissioning of the 1.4km Pen Cinema Bridge on Friday. Thousands of residents breached COVID-19 protocols to witness what the government termed ‘iconic’ bridge.
As grand as the occasion was, one person was conspicuously missing at the event. That is former Governor of Lagos, Akiwunmi Ambode. He initiated the Pen Cinema Bridge, he was the architect of the bridge, he laid the foundation and began the construction of the edifice before leaving power.
Ambode abandoned the bridge the moment he knew he would not be going for a second term. He initially planned to complete the bridge before the end of his first tenure. He planned to use the bridge to launch his campaign for second term, but the powers that be in the APC denied him.
At the commissioning of the bridge on Friday, there was no mention of the name of Ambode. All speakers-Mudashiru Obasa, Bola Tinubu, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, among others, never made mention of Ambode. His glory was stripped off him.
But Ambode should not be pitied because he sowed a ‘bad seed’ which he adequately reaped. Ambode did a similar thing to his predecessor, former Governor Babatunde Fashola. He bit Fashola hard because of what transpired between the duo when Ambode was the then Accountant General of Lagos State. Fashola was said to have sacked him. On becoming governor, Ambode decided to revenge.
The first opportunity soon came his way. That was the commissioning of the newly built Ikorodu Road, from Mile 12 to Ikorodu. Fashola completed the road or built it to 99 percent completion before leaving power.
In November 2015, Ambode rolled out the drums to commission the mega road project at the LAMATA Yard. That day, no one dared mention the name of Fashola, the speakers were ‘dumb’ because if they mentioned his name and attributed the project to him, they might face the music.
All throughout his speech, Ambode never mentioned Fashola’s name or commended him for completing the project. Despite Fashola was not invited, the former governor never paid homage to him.
It was Rauf Aregbesola, then governor of Osun who lamented that Fashola’s name was not mentioned and duly gave kudos to him.
Just like what Ambode did to Fashola, Sanwo-Olu did it to him. Ambode was paid back in his own coin. What he sowed, he reaped.