Apart from being the governor of a mega city like Lagos, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is fast adding another sobriquet to his name. The new name many are calling him at his back is “hire and fire governor” with the way he has sacked and appointed so many people especially those who worked with his predecessor in office.
But unknown to many, apart from politics and vendetta, we gathered that some of the agencies and parastatals in the state stink to high heavens and this has made the governor to wield the big stick against some of the bosses of the affected establishments.
One of the agencies affected by this monumental fraud is the Lagos State Transport Management Agency popularly known as LASTMA, and the governor is angry over the rot in the agency which prompted him to say the agency should not impound vehicles on Lagos roads again. Rather he has implemented a new measure to match what obtains in the outside world.
To those who are current with happenings around the Centre of Excellence, it is no more news that the Lagos State governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has sacked the managing director of the agency, Mr. Young Arabamen and replaced him with a retired AIG of the Nigerian Police Force, Mr. Chris Olakpe. What is, however, news in this matter is the real reason(s) the governor decided to take the bull by the horns.
It was gathered that despite the fact that LASTMA was making huge amounts of money even more than what the FRSC in Lagos State, a greater part of this money popularly known as fine by LASTMA officials cannot be properly accounted for. When the governor saw the need to look into the books of the agency, it was discovered that substantial amount goes into unknown accounts while aa meager sum that is not in any way equivalent to the money made on daily basis by the LASTMA officers were lodged into a certain account operated by some individuals.
The governor’s attempt to take this bold step infuriated officials of the agency loyal to the ousted MD who are also part of the looters of the finances of the agency. It was alleged that majority of the senior officials of LASTMA all have different private accounts they lodge monies accrued to them rather than paying such into the agency’s account. However, the governor’s resolve in sacking their estranged boss is really infuriating them and they are said to be seriously looking for a way to frustrate Ambode’s government.
In the Lagos State today, in spite of the fact that the government is relatively new, top officers of parastatals, agencies and even ministries are living above their means. But, one thing the governor must still have in mind in his quest to ‘clean’ Lagos agencies and parastatals of corruption is to be aware of the fact that the newly appointed LASTMA boss served under the regime of Tafa Balogun, the then IG of Police, who was arrested for monumental fraud in the force by the then president Olusegun Obasanjo.