By MADUABUCHI KALU:
The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has said that having spent almost four years running the affairs of Lagos, he is “wiser” now.
Ambode made this declaration while fielding questions from state house correspondents during his visit to President Muhammadu Buhari in Abuja.
The governor said he visited Abuja on behalf of Lagosians to appreciate MrBuhari for inaugurating some of the projects in the state.
When asked about what lessons he has learnt as a politician in Lagos, the governor said he has learnt a lot of things which has shaped his identity as someone who came into government as a “technocrat”.
“You see, every politician learns every day,” the governor said.
“The fact remains that I came in as a technocrat, so I used to call myself a techno-politician. But I think I am wiser now. I am more of a politician than a technocrat.”
MrAmbode lost his bid to seek re-election on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) last year after the party leadership stood against him. He was replaced by Babajide Sanwo-Olu in a primary election characterised by name-calling and bitter rivalry.
MrSanwo-Olu would later emerge the governor-elect of Lagos after beating Jimi Agbaje of the rival Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Speaking about his legacy in the state, Mr Ambode said he has touched “humanity” with his policies and programme as Lagos governor.
He said: “In another 16 days or so, we will be leaving office. But what is important is that I was able to have that opportunity to be elected as governor of Lagos State and to touch humanity in a way that I deem it fit.
“We did our best and most importantly the projects we did were people friendly and people central. I just think a lot more people have enjoyed the benefits and dividends of democracy than we actually met it. And that gives me joy that we were able to touch lives.
“Wherever you find yourself just make (a) positive difference to people and Nigerians, that is the whole essence of service. I’m grateful that I had that opportunity.”
MrAmbode’s loss last September makes him the first governor to lose re-election in Lagos since 1999. Two former governors of the state had governed for eight years before Mr Ambode emerged in 2015.
While Bola Tinubu, a leader in the APC, governed between 1999 and 2007, Babatunde Fashola, Nigeria’s minister of power, works and housing, governed between 2007 and 2015.