Why Ambode failed to win over Lagosians, APC – Ex-SSG Tunji Bello

Akinwunmi Ambode
Akinwunmi Ambode

The immediate past Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Tunji Bello, has said that the main drawback of the departed Akinwunmi Ambode administration is the government’s inability to apply enough emotional intelligence in its dealings.

Mr Bello’s message, titled ‘Time to say goodbye to colleagues on this platform,’ provided an insight into the perception of Mr Ambode’s administration by top members of his cabinet.

PREMIUM TIMES learnt Mr Bello shared the message among his colleagues on an “internal platform” but it was leaked to the public on Wednesday.

Mr Bello confirmed to this newspaper, on Thursday morning, that he had not meant it for publication.

“The exit bell has sounded and it is time to say goodbye to colleagues. We must seriously thank our Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode for bringing all of us together in the last four years,” he began in the message.

“We must praise him for the successful strides in bringing Lagos to the present level. All the accomplishments and success stories of this administration should go to him.

“We should be happy too because we are directly or indirectly part of that success stories being his lieutenants.

We should be happy for the opportunity provided and experience gained. It is not what you can buy on the shelf even if you have all the money. We should also be happy and thankful to God for seeing us to the end.”

Regrets, reflections

Mr Ambode was sworn in as the elected governor of Lagos State on May 29, 2015.

However, unlike his two predecessors, he was unable to get the nod of his party, the All Progressives Congress, to contest for a second four-year tenure.

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On Wednesday, his successor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, took his oath of office as the governor of Lagos State.

Part of the reasons for Mr Ambode’s rejection by the party was his alleged propensity to running a ‘one-man-show.’

In his message, Mr Bello, a former commissioner for the environment, largely re-echoed the claims, noting that since they shared in Mr Ambode’s success stories, they should also share in his failures.

“Our main drawback is our government’s inability to apply enough emotional intelligence in the administration of the state,” he said.

“Emotional intelligence includes interpersonal skills, interpersonal relationship, humility, respect for the well-established mores of governance, disregard for the accomplishments of others.

“The belief that our way is the best without considering other options in a democratic setting, absence of wider consultations, distance from the governed, lack of effective communication skill or amateurish display of government acts and political immaturity. Deliberate and open alienation of others.

We undertook gigantic projects without the soul. We were too self-opinionated and narrow in our approach to governance.”

Mr Bello said the drawbacks prevented the administration from returning because it was punished for its lack of inclusiveness in a democratic setting.

“In leadership, emotional intelligence is 70 per cent of application while individual brilliance is only 30 percent. Successful leaderships across the world in history have thrived on this fact,” he continued.

“Besides, and apart from lack of enough camaraderie compare to previous administrations, our cabinet has been less rigorous, less fulfilled, less engaged and less accomplished. And for the first time since the time of Governor Lateef Jakande, this cabinet departs unappreciated and disenchanted.

“But dear colleagues, irrespective of all the setbacks and disappointments, let us thank God Almighty for his mercies and benevolence and we leave with the strongest belief that tomorrow belongs to Him.

I wish all success in our future endeavors as we continue to remember one another.”

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