Panic In Fashola's Camp As Buhari 'Anoints' Ambode As Minister ...You Wonder Why? - Uju Ayalogu's Blog for News, Reviews, Articles and More

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Wednesday 8 May 2019

Panic In Fashola's Camp As Buhari 'Anoints' Ambode As Minister ...You Wonder Why?

Panic In Fashola's Camp As Buhari 'Anoints' Ambode As Minister ...You Wonder Why?

Fashola and Ambode

He may have been denied a second term ticket by the powers that be in Lagos but it’s not all angst, gloom and doom for outgoing Governor Akinwunmi Ambode. Gradually, rumours that he would be made a super minister in the new administration of President Muhammadu Buhari are garnering traction.

In fact, sources close to the governor say it is no longer a matter of if it would happen, but exactly when. Remember, it took the president about six months into his tenure to constitute a cabinet. While he has promised that such would not happen again, it is believed that the president has developed a soft spot for Ambode and has been prevailed on to recompense him with a juicy ministerial portfolio. That is where the problem lies.

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Former Lagos State governor and current Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, represents Lagos in the Buhari administration and is regarded as a favourite of the president which is underscored by the fact that he superintends over three powerful ministries. But that may soon change as Ambode’s ministerial slot may have been ratified.

This was lent further credence when the president visited Lagos last month to commission some projects including the 10-lane Oshodi-Muritala Muhammed International Airport Road; the 170-bed ‘Ayinke House’ (maternity hospital) at the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital, Ikeja; the Lagos State Theatre at Oregun, Ikeja; new 820 mass transit buses; and the multi-level Oshodi Transport Interchange along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.

Despite that some of the projects have not been completed, the president commissioned them and noted that “Ambode has performed satisfactorily and should be commended for his contributions to the growth and development of the state.” Proponents of the Ambode-for-minister campaign threw a victory ‘party’ saying unequivocally that they had hit target.

Curiously, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, former Lagos State governor and National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress, APC, was conspicuously absent during the President’s one-day working visit.

So was Fashola who later issued a statement wherein he admitted that he was duly invited by Ambode but deliberately stayed away because as a former governor of the state, he didn’t think it was right to share Ambode’s day of glory with him.

“For God’s sake, here is a man who had suffered very seriously bad press and I did not share the bad press with him. So, why should I share such a glorious day with him? This is me; this is my style and this is the kind of example I want to set in governance,” Fashola said.

Thus, there are rumbles within Fashola’s circle that it is either the president plans to go against the constitutional provision that each state is entitled to just a ministerial seat or he has seen in Ambode a veritable replacement for him.

Contrarily, privileged sources say that would never happen; rather, that the president has made up his mind to increase ministerial positions to 42 whereby a state like Lagos would have two ministers and while Fashola’s ministry would be split, he would still get a ministerial slot.

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