The letters (attached below) were written in April and May this year. Its contents which were leaked online a few days ago has divided social media commentators across political lines.
On the 14th of April, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode sent a “letter of commendation and support for club projects and activities” to Mr. Laoye Ade, the President of the Lagos Polo club with a fifty million naira donation to support the club activities.
Regardless of Ambode’s thought, this is a wrong channel to dole out taxpayers funds. Lagos does not mint naira rather its funds are generated by residents who make ends meets hustling under numerous bridges; working 9-5 jobs, spending prolonged hours in traffic, and end up being taxed by the state government. In light of these, funds from the state should be spent to better the living of its residents.
Ambode’s intention, however, genuine is misdirected. The Polo Club is an elite club that realises millions of Naira annually from membership dues and supports. It also receives support from private organisations for its annual Polo tournament which means it has more than enough. The norm is that the Polo club should be the one supporting Lagos state projects and activities, not the other way round.
At the moment, several schools in Lagos are struggling under the weight of poor finances. This money would go a long way in renovating these schools. Ambode’s fifty million naira support to the Polo club is a clear case of mismanagement of public funds and an outright abuse of power. This is also an indication that the governor’s certification as a Chartered Accountant os of no good to Lagos and its residents.