Barring any change of plans, three things will happen today, March 29 2018. President Muhammadu Buhari will visit Lagos, there will be the 2018 edition of the Bola Tinubu Colloquium, and the economy of Lagos will be hit by a man-made disaster.
The problem with Nigeria as rightly postulated by several bright minds is that of leadership, this dearth of leadership has affected our growth and development over the years and won’t stop anytime soon.
The systemic rot in this nation has always been placed at the doors of the federal government but we keep missing the point that the rot is a joint effort of bad leadership at the federal, states and local governments. The Lagos Governor Akinwunmi Ambode has been paraded as a bright mind by his admirers and a suitable heir for former Governor Fashola’s legacy. Considering everything that has happened in 2017 and 2018, we might have to reevaluate our expectations of the promised governor.
At the beginning of his administration as Governor, he proscribed that the monthly Saturday environmental sanitation program be eliminated because the state was too big to be shut down for four hours. A decision lauded by all Lagosians.
However, like an individual experiencing amnesia, the State Government has declared a public holiday to ‘afford’ Lagosians the opportunity to welcome President Buhari to the state. A horrendous decision. Buhari is visiting Lagos to commission a bus station. A bus station. And Ambode in all his ‘mega city’ wisdom thinks it is appropriate to shut down Lagos – the nation’s economic nerve centre, punish its residents all for the visit of a president many in the state will rate below par based on performance.
Is Lagos state ready for the economic effect of this decision? Is the Governor aware that he will be shutting down the state for five consecutive days as Friday and Monday are public holidays for Easter?
This decision is an abuse of power when compared with a similar action carried out by his Kogi counterpart, Yahaya Bello who declared a public holiday to appreciate ‘God’ for bringing President Buhari back from his medical vacation.
Oh Lord, guide our leaders right!