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Nobody has power in Lagos outside Bourdillon


*Tinubu has no intention of giving anyone second term governorship ticket in Lagos
*Too much respect for Osinbajo, inexperience cost Ambode 2nd term ticket
*NURTW makes N82b yearly in Lagos
By Eniola Daniel

Former Commissioner for Energy and Mineral Resources in Lagos State, Olawale Oluwo has said that the government in Lagos State starts and ends in the house of the leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Ahmed Tinubu. Oluwo who was the speaker at the Afang Summit organised by a Lagos based investment banker, Joseph Edgar, also gave an insight into the power play that denied the former Lagos State Akinwumi Ambode his second term bid.
 In his words, “part of the things we were doing before they stopped our government was building terminals and bus depots all over the state, if completed, the project will take out completely those garages that have been there for decades. It’s those garages that are producing touts. There is no need for NURTW.  
The NURTW makes N82b every year from Lagos, which is almost 10 per cent of our budget so, this things would have eliminated the commercial Danfo, the Molue, Tricycle, and the Okada and the same guys will be the same one running the new transport system.
    “I think the Lagos of three to four years may not be the Lagos of the last three to four years. Lagos will change, the change will be tough, rough, I believe it will be bloody. It will be delusional to think you want to go and do a struggle and you are thinking of coming back. Until you are able to make coming back home a probability, you are not qualified to lead the struggle. You might be qualified to be a supporter or sympathizer of struggle but you can’t be at the forefront because nothing good comes easy. Do you think they will leave power and move on?
  On why the power that be moved against Ambode, “I was not only a government official, I was also close to Ambode and I was a member of his kitchen cabinet. Why Ambode chooses not to talk now, I know some of it but I know the time he will talk will come.
  On how Ambode became the Lagos State governor, “Albert Okumagba told me that Ambode would be governor of Lagos in 2012 and I laughed, I told him even if I don’t know who would be governor of Lagos, I know those who will not be governor if they are sharing it for free and Ambode was one of those who cannot rule Lagos. And I did not work for Ambode during the primary, I worked for the former Speaker Lagos Assembly, Mr. Adeyemi Ikuforiji because he is my maternal cousin and I gave him my commitment in 2007 that I will support him in anything he comes out for.  
  “I never knew Ambode until Okumagba introduced me to him in 2011 when I took a proposal to his house, and I think at that period, Asiwaju had told Ambode that he will be governor of the state. So, Ambode is not the kind of guy they woke up from sleep to be the state governor. I didn’t believe him when I was told, I didn’t work for him during the primary because I did not believe Tinubu was behind him.
   On ex-governor of the state Babatunde Fashola battle with power that is before securing his second term, Oluwo said, “I don’t want to believe that Tinubu has the intention of making anybody a governor and give him a second term  There was a plan to stop Fashola for the second term and I was in Ikuforiji’s camp at that time and Asiwaju told Ikuforiji to start preparing, whatever that means, I don’t know. People say probably it was because of Fashola popularity that earned him second term, the answer is no. It got nothing to do with that, it’s just that that thing (Federal power) Asiwaju did not have in 2011 that made him succumb to Fashola going for the second term, he had it in 2015. If the party had been in power in 2011, Fashola will never have gone back, because these guys (Fashola, Ambode) are technocrats, they don’t have any party of their own, they don’t have structure. PDP was ready to give Fashola the ticket before Asiwaju ran back.
  Oluwo who spoke on the theme The Economy what Hope? , said, “anybody can build a structure but a man that has access to state money to build a structure is different. If Ambode had known a year earlier that he won’t come back, it would have been a different thing because they sold a dummy to him and to all of us but I didn’t believe them and I told my people that they were been deceived but Ambode did not fight because of Buhari. One, Ambode didn’t know Buhari as a man that will be aloof and will not get himself involved, he would have known that nobody will move against him from the federal. Two, he had too much respect for Osinbajo; Osinbajo was coming to Lagos two days so that Ambode will not react.
Ambode is like a volcano, he might be very quiet but he can be extremely deadly if pushed to the wall. The VP was also constraint, Tinubu helped him to get there so, he will do Tinubu’s bidding and when there is a clash of interest, he will do the bidding of Tinubu and I told Oga (Ambode) that this man is our boss but he can’t deliver the ticked, I told him that the ticket will go and he shouldn’t worry himself, I said the only way the ticket will not go was for us to start fighting and I volunteered. I resigned in December 2018 but the first time I told the governor I was going to resign was in September. I told him the ticked was melting by the day and nobody is stopping it, and for them to take the ticket from him they must necessarily destroy his brand and they are doing that aggressively and we are not responding and thirdly, they will come after us politically but Ambode trusted and respect the VP.
   “They sold Ambode a dummy that the ticket will be given to him but they just want to shake him and they were sending people and be telling him ‘don’t worry’ you are too popular to be stopped.
  On perceived no love lost between Ambode and Lagosians, he said, “There are things Lagosians didn’t like, the refuse became a disaster, they didn’t like the Land Use Act but that that does not affect the ticket of a political party and that refuse problem is not as serious as killings under Buhari. As long as you are on the right platform of a political party and they have money they can share because some Nigerians are available for sale, they will sell their votes and look the other way and let you write the result, that is the level of our development at this time.
  Yes,  mistakes were made on Visionscape but for every reform, you are displacing vested interests, they would fight back and take you down or destroy the programme. Visionscape has its own problem but they escalate it. But one thing is sure, Lagos will go back to Vissionscape reform, they may repackage it, do the naming ceremony for it but they will surely go back because that is the only way to manage waste and the transportation programme we put together.
 On what Ambode would have done differently if he realized early that he was not going to get the ticket of the party, Oluwo said, “Forget about the party leaders, they don’t count, that thing they call GAC (Governor's Advisory Council) is a toothless bull dog, they don’t have one per cent relevance in the scale of hundred. Ambode was too popular for them. They won’t destroy his brand if he’d decided to tell them to take the power but they must destroy that brand to justify removing a popular governor.
   So, what Abode should have done was to have gone to his principal to say, ‘oga, anything you do, we are going into this second term together, give me my second term and I will give you everything you want’. The truth is that Ambode never had any issue with Tinubu; it was people that came in between them.
    Nobody has power in Lagos outside Bourdillon. If Ambode had given the impression that he was ready to fight, they would sit him down. It is about power and resources, this power does not belong to these people. Too much respect caused the problem but the lesson learned which was skipped is that you can be given something on a platter of gold but you cannot sustain it on a platter of gold so, the approach of our team driven by naivety and lack of political experience.
  The approach of our team was a wrong approach, we are in Lagos, we had a power struggle to fight and win but we were thinking Buhari will direct the leader in Lagos to give us the ticket and I told them it will not work.
Sanwo-Olu will be facing worst things than Ambode because if you are the governor of Lagos state under this system and you set out to do something, they can tell you No, that you must do the other thing and you must do it.
After the primary in December, I’ve left the government then, there was an instruction that they should shot down the Land Bureau Server so that no land document is processed and between December and June.
On the sector, he headed, “I realised that Lagos State was energy vulnerable when I got into government and everything that powers Lagos was coming from outside Lagos and I didn’t like that. Electric generating set was coming from outside Lagos, transmission was coming from outside Lagos, the gas was coming from outside Lagos and it was only the Disco that was in Lagos and they were distributing things that came from outside Lagos, then we put together a programme while I was in government, we called it the Lagos State embedded programme and we worked with a team and we worked on it for two years, we spent the first six months trying to understand the power sector and we decided that we will generate 8000 megawatts from Lagos, starting with 1000 megawatt. The idea was to generate it off the national grid and at cost-reflective tariff because the mistake Nigeria is making is that a man sits in Abuja with his team and fix the price, which is not even enough for the person generating power to make money.


 

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