By Gani Kayode Balogun Jnr
Despite the highly entertaining cyber w ar going on between the “Pro and Anti” ( apology to the late Aare Azeez Arisekola Alao, and a wink at Segun Dele Dipe), between Ambode’s media aides and those who have a bone to pick with the governor regarding some recent policy changes i.e LUC, and Buhari’s visit a.k.a The Lock-down. I am more interested in a little report that would have gone unnoticed if not that it has two of my trigger words: Southwest and integration.
You see, the moment Ambode ran those sadistic extortionists called VIO out of Lagos roads, he could no longer do anything wrong in my eyes. Besides, he gave me the Abule Egba Flyover, he is turning my Oshodi into a modern transportation hub, and is currently constructing the Pen Cinema bridge.
On top of these, he is married to a Lasuite, his depury is a Lasuite, and his dedication to making LASU a true citadel is well beyond the call of duty.
But I digress.
In a Press release signed by the governor’s press secretary whose name escapes me momentarily, it was reported that Lagos State was formally admitted into the Oodua group and issued the commensurate number of shares, thereby completing a process started by Mr. Ambode the very day he was sworn in to ensure that the south West intergration template, which is being driven by DAWN, The Development Agenda for Western Nigeria, finally become a legal reality.
I wish the late DG of DAWN, Dipo Famakinwa was alive to witness this occassion, but I am glad the current DG, Seye Oyeneye, would sleep easier now that almost all the hiccups have been cleared.
I realise that to most skeptics, this is just another bureaucratic road destined to lead nowhere. But for those of us who are believers in the principle of cups being half full for our ethnic nation, every small step forward is always an achievement by itself.
And this is possible because Mr. Ambode’s one minded devotion to our heritage, from promoting yoruba language to regional intergration.
I also congratulate all the other governors in the region for putting aside their personal and political differences to ensure this feat is achieved.
From Governor Abiola Ajimobi, who is always at the forefront on this quest, to Governor Olasoji Aregbesola, who believes so much in the south west intergration that he created a department for Regional intergration, headed by my brother, Bola Ilori as Special Adviser, Governor Ibikunle Amosu, the man with the figures at his fingertips, Governor Ayo Fayose, whose commitment to the project was total, as well as Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who continued without a pause, what Governor Segun Irokomania Mimiko did during the process of intergration before he left.
Now that the paperwork is out of the way, I am sure that all the harmonization committes , especially that of agriculture, would hit the ground running.
In the midst of all the bad news and divisive rethorics coming out of Nigeria, it is a welcome development to see that our governors have not abandoned their Omoluabiness, the core value that makes us unique as an ethnic nationality.
The journey has begun.
My Ten Kobo.
Balogun a senior journalist contributed this piece from US where he is presently visiting