Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Wednesday disengaged three commissioners from the state cabinet.
The Commissioner for Tourism, Mr. Folorunsho Folarin-Coker; his counterparts
in Finance, Dr Mustapha Akinkunmi; and Transportation, Dr Ekundayo Mobereola,
were removed a year after they were appointed into office.
The Secretary to the State Government, Mr. Tunji Bello, who released a
statement on the development, did not give any reason for the sacking.
But sources said the sacking was the culmination of the internal wrangling in
Ambode’s cabinet, adding that more might still come.
The statement read in part, “The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode,
on Wednesday effected a reshuffle of his cabinet with the dropping of the
Commissioners for Tourism, Mr. Folorunsho Folarin-Coker; Finance, Dr Mustapha
Akinkunmi; and Transportation, Dr Ekundayo Mobereola.
“This development comes exactly one year after the governor constituted his
executive council, precisely on October 19, 2015.
“The governor expressed his appreciation to the former commissioners for
their service to the state and wished them well in their future endeavours.”
Sources, however, said the commissioners were fired because some of them
tackled Ambode to observe due process in governance.
It was gathered that there had been grumblings by some commissioners about
the administrative style of Ambode, including the fact that some commissioners
were allegedly being favoured.
It was also learnt that there had been personality clashes among some
members of the state cabinet.
“Three commissioners had threatened to resign about three months ago, but
were prevailed on to change their minds by the leadership of the All
Progressives Congress in the state.
“Some members of the cabinet were also accused of incompetence, disloyalty
and insubordination, among others. But nobody thought it could lead to this
sacking. We heard that more people will still be sacked,” a source said.
Akinkunmi had yet to reply to a text message sent to his mobile phone.
Folarin-Coker, in a text message, said he had no issue with Ambode, adding that
it was time for him to leave the cabinet.
He said, “Governor Akinwunmi Ambode is my leader and boss. He is a visionary
leader and he understands what Lagos needs best. He is also a close friend;
there was no clash between us. 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. I am grateful to God to have been able to serve my state for 18
years. Itesiwaju eko lo je wa logun.”
Mobereola said, “Sorry, I cannot comment.”
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, in his
reaction, said the development was “just a routine cabinet reshuffle.”
He added that he was not in a position to know whether more commissioners
would be sacked or not