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Why Lagos Governor Fired Commissioners

Lagos State Governor Akinwunmi Ambode last Wednesday, shook up the state Executive Council when he relieved Commissioners for Tourism, Mr. Folorunsho Folarin-Coker, Finance, Dr. Mustapha Akinkunmi, and Transportation, Dr. Ekundayo Mobereola of their positions, Vanguard reports

This came precisely a year after the Governor constituted his Executive Council on October 19, 2015. The sack, as indicated by sources, couldn't be detached from poor execution of works, wrongdoing and unableness to relate with objectives, vision and mission of the Ambode led administration. 
Be that as it may, the Governor, in an announcement by the Secretary to the State Government, SSG, Mr. Tunji Bello, ordered the Special Adviser, Arts and Culture to assume control as the Acting Commissioner for Ministry of Tourism and Culture, Special Adviser on Transportation to assume control as Acting Commissioner for Transportation, while the Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Finance assumes control as the Acting Commissioner for Finance pending arrangement of new Commissioners. 

It will be reviewed that on September 19, 2016, Ambode sacked a significant number of heads of parastatals and offices. Prominent among them were General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Mr. Michael Akindele who was quickly replaced with Mr. Tiamiyu Muyiwa Adesina in an acting role. Likewise, on March 14, 2016, after the fall of a five story under supervision of Lekki Gardens, Ikate Elegushi, in Eti-Osa Local Government, Ambode sacked the General Manager of the state Building Control Agency, LASBCA, Engr. Adeigbe Olushola. He additionally sacked the Head of Inspection and Quality Control in the Agency, Adeoye Thomas Adeyemi, the Zonal District Officer in the Agency, Dosunmu Gbadebo, while the Zonal Head of Eti-Osa West of the Agency, Mrs. Akinde Adenike Sherifat was mandatorily resigned.

Ambode, in an announcement through the state Head of Service, Mrs. Olabowale Ademola said affected officers were expelled having been arraigned of carelessness, which is against the Public Service rule 040401

Every one of these sackings, it was learnt, got the blessings of the previous Governor of the state and National Leader All Progressives Congress, APC, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, who is known to be behind the governor. 

According to Vanguard, Sequel to the eventual sack, facts emerged that the affected commissioners were recently warned by Ambode on the need to raise their game on performance or face exit. According to the source, the affected commissioners were sacked based on issues ranging from lack of capacity to deliver, disloyalty and flagrant disobedience of the Governor’s directives on several occasions and lackadaisical attitude towards government’s goals Some of the commissioners were also said to be indifferent to the governor’s directive on some major issues, believing they owe their allegiance to their godfather, Tinubu. 

The source said like any other Governor or President, Ambode relieved the cabinet members of their appointments based on political expediency, capacity to do the job, among others. He recalled that many of the cabinet members were appointed a year ago based on merit and the need to put round peg in round hole, but in the last 15 months, it had become apparent that some of them cannot cope with the pace of the Governor, while some have demonstrated utter disloyalty to the office of the Governor. 

They were also accused of flagrant disrespect to the office of the Governor with impunity, thereby undermining his authority coupled with unresolved disputes with some cabinet members. The source said: “You see, one of them for instance, (names withheld) falls in this category. “Having been in government for the past 16 years, his carriage was that of a man who believed that he cannot be touched. 

So, it was not a surprise to close observers that he was among those sacked by the Governor.” Yet another one was dropped on account of being arrogant and unable to work as a team player and above all, he was allegedly approving money without the governor’s consent.

Oversight function In addition, he was also accused of treating lawmakers in the state with disdain. Sometimes ago, members of the relevant Committee of the state House of Assembly were stranded and embarrassed during an oversight visit to the office of the commissioner, who was not on hand to receive the committee members without a word or excuse for the action after being duly notified of the visit.

 He was also accused of often delegating officials to represent him at key events without cogent reasons for doing so. Hence, the decision of the Governor to wield the big stick to serve as deterrent to others in order to fall in line and key to his vision of making Lagos great and transforming the state massively. It was gathered that the other casualty- Akinkunmi, was said to be found wanting. 

Being a finance expert himself, Governor Ambode, according to another reliable source, was uncomfortable with his style of operation to the extent that he had to be tongue-lashed at cabinet meetings by the Governor on issues that bordered on abysmal performance. Commissioner reacts Meantime, Folarin-Coker, in a swift reaction to the development, denied being removed for poor performance but said it was in the interest of moving Lagos forward. His words: “Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is my leader and boss.

 He is a visionary leader and understands well what Lagos needs best. He is also a close personal friend. There was no clash between us whatsoever. Lagos needs to move at an accelerating pace and my time to depart just happened to be today. “I remain totally loyal to him and the party. Change is always good thing and I am grateful to God to have been able to serve my state for 18 years.” A text message sent to Moberola and Akinkunmi’s mobile phone lines were yet to be responded to at press time.