…Mama’s Virtues Will Remain Indelible In Our Hearts, He Says
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday expressed shock and sadness over the death of Chief Mrs Hannah Idowu Dideolu Awolowo, wife of the late sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
Mama Awolowo, popularly known as HID Awolowo passed on at the age of 99 at her country home in Ikenne, Ogun State on Saturday shortly after a meeting.
The Governor in a statement signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna said he was one of mama’s many followers looking forward to celebrating her 100th birthday, which was just few months away.
“Mama would have clocked 100 on November 25 this year. It was going to be a milestone, not just for her, but for our great country. She was the matriarch of the Awolowo family, a well respected dynasty in the history of Nigeria”.
“Mama’s demise at this time is painful, especially coming at a period when Nigeria is gradually enjoying democratic bliss, which her late husband, Chief Obafemi Awolowo fought for till his death”.
“We however take solace in the fact that she lived a fulfilled life. We celebrate her for what she stood for, uniting the Yoruba race for a common course and keeping her family together since the demise of her husband”.
“She was the pillar behind Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s legacies. She was the backbone of the brand of progressive ideas that defined the politics of the South West in the First Republic and in subsequent Republics”, the Governor recalled.
The Governor prayed for the peaceful repose of her soul, urging her family to draw strength from the legacies she stood for while she was alive.
“On behalf of my family and the good people of Lagos state, I want to express our heartfelt condolence to the family of Mama Awolowo, the people of Ogun state and Nigerians on this great and irreparable loss”, he said.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (right) welcoming the Coordinator, Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association, Nigeria, Mr. Jude Ememe during a courtesy visit to the Governor by members of Hubert Humphrey Fellowship Alumni Association, at the Lagos House, Ikeja, on Friday, September 18, 2015.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode at the weekend said that selfless service and positive difference is what his administration is committed to deliver in the next four years.
The Governor who spoke when members of the Hubert H. Humphrey Alumni Association and Representatives of the Public Affairs Section of the US Consulate General, Lagos, paid him a courtesy visit at the Lagos House, Ikeja assured that his administration is set out to impact positively on the lives of the people in the state.
Governor Ambode, who is also an alumnus of the Association, said he has benefitted from the Fellowship programme in many ways, which he has resolved to bring to bear in the course of his administration.
“Part of the things I have benefitted from this programme is the way I have tried to touch the life of the next person I come across”.
“The truth is that, your essence is your ability to touch as many people as possible and you know what our mantra is; you have to go out there and make a difference and ensure it’s a positive difference and that’s the whole essence of public leadership”.
“We are here in this administration to ensure that we make a difference and we are also here to make sure that the difference is a positive one that will touch the lives of all Lagosians and that’s why in everything that we have said, we want to make life easier for the people, we want to make them happier and at the same time make things more comfortable for them. That’s the whole essence of this administration and that’s what I stand for”.
He said the experience garnered when he joined the Hubert Humphrey Association, prompted the setting up of new offices and realigning of ministries in the civil service to match up with the changing times in the quest of his administration to better the lot of the people.
“I do read on social media that maybe that’s part of the American side of me, which is wherever we go, we are able to say that we can create institutional framework that would help us to achieve our main goals, that is what we’ll try to do. I know and believe strongly that those new entrants into the public service will create major positive mileage for us and for the people of Lagos state as we move on”.
Governor Ambode also canvassed for a viable partnership between the Alumni Association and the state government which enable them share ideas and values that the late Senator Hubert Humphrey stood for.
“I want to use this opportunity to enjoin our Permanent Secretaries, whatever we can set up institutionally to partner with the Alumni Association; it will be in the best interest of the public service.
You stand to groom leaders from this particular programme and that is the whole essence of this courtesy visit today, so that we can start a new partnership that allows our institutions in the public service to begin to tap into the inherent advantages that this programme stands for”, he said.
Earlier, Coordinator of the Alumni Association, Jude Ememe, said that the visit was intended to intimate the Governor on some of the achievements the association has recorded over the years, adding that most of them have distinguished themselves in several fields of public offices and social services.
He noted that the Governor an alumnus of the fellowship is an attestation to the sterling leadership qualities the association stands for.
“As a distinguished Alumnus of the Hubert H. Humphrey Fellowship, your position offers you the opportunity to model the values and philosophy of which Senator Hubert Humphrey stood for. We do not have any doubt that your excellent track record in public service has adequately prepared you for the challenges of this office” Ememe said.
Ememe used the visit to invite Governor Ambode to be the keynote speaker during the Association’s forthcoming seminar themed “Deepening the Democratic Culture in Nigeria”.
Snooper has been watching and following the intrigue-soaked, fiendishly quicksilver political milieu of Lagos with quiet animation. In the Fourth Republic, Lagos has gradually replaced Ibadan as the epicentre of progressive politics. It is the nerve centre and engine room of the transformational politics that has taken the old west and now the rest of Nigeria by storm. Have political brains and will travel. As the column never tires of positing, the artillery of knowledge is superior to knowledge of artillery.
But all over the world and particularly in post-colonial societies, progressive clans are a fractious troublous lot, quarrelling openly and quietly making up behind the scene even as the machine constantly purges itself of unworthy accretions. It is in the nature of radical organizations seeking changes to be riddled with even more violent contradictions than the status quo they seek to supplant.
Early in life, snooper developed a mantra which often sees him through political turbulence. It is that no matter what happens, the party is supreme. You may quarrel viciously and violently before decisions are taken, but once they are taken you have to abide by them. This mantra was taken from an old western political warhorse whose one-liner retort to internal protest was: (Wo, parti o gbodo fo!) Look, the party must not break up, no matter what!
This is why it is meet to congratulate the Lagos state governor Akin Ambode over his sweet victory at the electoral tribunal. Now that the electoral hurdle has been scaled, it is time for the calm and methodical fellow to unfurl his bag of surprises for Lagosians. Humane, polished, cultured, sincerely solicitous of other people’s wellbeing, and impeccably well-mannered , Ambode is quite a revelation in the coliseum of political roughnecks.
In the course of the last electioneering campaign, snooper sat down alone to drill the then gubernatorial aspirant and found his logical and intellectual grasp of issues, political, economic and even cultural, a tad short of prodigious. His answers were extensively well-researched and deeply thought out, shorn of pomp and pomposity. His quiet unassuming mien belies a ruthless streak which does not take hostages when sufficiently roused. Well-educated, well-travelled and very cosmopolitan in outlook, Ambode should take Lagos state to the next level after the labours of earlier avatars.
Here is wishing the governor a successful tenure. Good guys also finish first.