Ambode And The Miracle Of ‘Little Things’
THE world is always waiting for this: ‘common’ touches that calm frayed nerves; extra spices that add flavour to the soup and powerful paces that break sprint records.
Such little things may not be as profound as the efforts of Thomas Jefferson (1743 – 1826), the third President of the United States, who was the author of the Declaration of Independence or that of Mikhail Gorbachev, leader of the then Soviet Union, who oversaw the transition from Communism in Eastern Europe. It may also not be as profound as that of Martin Luther King (1929 – 1968), the non-violent civil rights leader, or of Abraham Lincoln (1809 – 1865), President of US during civil war, who helped end slavery and Nelson Mandela (1918 – 2013), the anti-apartheid leader, who became the first President of a democratic South Africa, in 1994.
Interestingly, one of the new sets of political leaders in Nigeria, who have started to exhibit such admirable traits is, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State.
Events that have unfolded these past six months are good example. His forward-looking administration has provided ambulances in all public hospitals in the state, paid the aggrieved medical doctors their outstanding salaries and the long-suffering pensioners. He has equally lent helping hand to victims of disasters, including motor-accidents, fire outbreaks and mudslide in addition to diffusing governance to those at the lower rungs of the society.
Specifically, for the health sector, the governor has commissioned 20 Mobile Intensive Care Units (MICU) and 26 transport ambulances one for each of the 26 General Hospitals.
The governor has also approved the recruitment of more paramedic staff and special medical coordinators to guarantee 24 hours service. Besides, he has upgraded the General Hospitals and constructed a medical park, fully equipped with quality drugs and new mobile X-Ray machines. Indeed, empirical evidence attests to the fact that since the ambulances were made available, deaths related to emergency situations have drastically reduced.
A similar show of rare compassion was the rescue of an accident victim, Miss Anukam Angela, who was driving alone in a Toyota Corolla car when it happened. She was taken to the Lagos Island General Hospital for treatment, free of charge on the order of the governor. Recently, he donated N5 million to the policeman, who, in a most tragic circumstance, lost four children in one fell swoop, to mudslide in Magodo.
All these ‘little things’ may not be gigantic white elephant projects, but more like streams that flow into the river. Thus far, Ambode’s people-oriented actions may have erased the perception that governance in the state is elitist in nature. It is in sync with one of the pay-off messages during his groundbreaking campaigns, which stated that: ‘Eko she shebereni’.
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