For the discerning mind who are conversant with the happenings in Lagos State government circle, the recent outburst between Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State and Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) over the issues of Airport Road and Presidential Lodge, Marina is just a smokescreen over the animosity between them since their days together in the service of Lagos State.
ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that the animosity started years back when Fashola became the governor of the state and did everything possible to rubbish his predecessor and benefactor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s image while Akinwunmi Ambode, who was then the Permanent Secretary, State treasury office/Accountant General, on the other hand, did everything humanly possible to protect the image of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
We gathered from reliable sources that the animosity between the two became exacerbated when it became apparent that Akinwunmi Ambde was the candidate of Asiwaju Tinubu as the next governor of Lagos State.
ENCOMIUM Weekly reported it then when Oba Rilwan Akiolu, the paramount ruler of Lagos became a pariah at the State House, Marina, Lagos (Governor’s Lodge) when he announced publicly that Ambode was going to be Fashola’s successor.
It is also a well known fact that Fashola was behind the candidature of Mr. Olasupo Sasore and that of Obafemi Hamzat during the All Progressives Congress governorship primary in Lagos State, all in a bid to stop Ambode (Tinubu’s candidate) from emerging as his successor.
Fashola, we gathered, was not happy when Ambode defeated his two candidates by 3,735 votes to 1,200 votes (Hamzat) and 121 votes for Supo Sasore.
Fashola, we further learnt, was reluctant in supporting Ambode financially during the electioneering campaign. When he did, he was said to have given a stipend compared to what he was given in 2007, when he was first elected the governor of the state.
The revelation by the Lagos State Procurement Office that Fashola spent N783 million to upgrade his personal website and N139 million to sink two boreholes and other mindboggling expenditure by Fashola further showed that there was no love lost between the two.
The sacking of many people who are believed to be very close to Fashola from the state service further proved that the animosity between the two was yet to abate.
People like Mr. Gbenga Akinbola, the executive chairman, Lagos Public Works Bureau, Ms. Mojisola Rhodes, the Deputy Chief of Staff to Fashola, who was seconded to newly created agency, Mrs. Damilola Ogunbiyi, the General Manager of Lagos State Electricity Board, Ms. Ronke Azeez, the Special Advisers on Eko Project, Ms. Etomi, the powerful General Manager of LASAA and many others who were powerful and influential during Fashola’s reign were booted out of office.
Mr. Yinka Fashola, the immediate elder sister of Fashola who was the General Manager of Lagos State Resident Registration Agency (LASRRA) was redeployed to Ministry of Science and Technology.
It was also when Fashola left office that a story of one Ms. Abiodun McGregor, a civil servant and the Administrative Secretary of Lags Works Bureau was alleged to have children for the former governor.
Fashola denied the allegation of having any child outside wedlock and gave explanation for the so called outrageous expenditure on his website.
Many believe the stalling of the Airport road construction and handling over the Presidential Lodge, Marina, Lagos, by Fashola was therefore a way of having his own pound of flesh from Ambode.
Some also suggest that Fashola wanted to use the Airport road construction to remain in good book of Lagosians.
It was suggested by some people that the infrastructural renewal of Lagos State under the leadership of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has superseded that of Fashola. Fashola is therefore looking for something to still remain relevance in Lagos.