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Friday, June 14, 2024

Ghost Mode: Lagos Governor Ambode Silences Sirens In his Convoy

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Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State has opted out of the use of sirens by his official vehicles, his reason being that he does not want to harass Lagosians with their use.

PM News reports that since he assumed office a week ago, the Lagos State Governor’s motor convoy has not used sirens, preferring to stay in traffic rather than clear a path with the siren.

According to the Governor’s Chief Press Secretary, last week while on his way to the airport, Mr. Ambode remained in the heavy traffic on Obafemi Awolowo Way, Ikeja for about 30 minutes, refusing to use the sirens to clear a path through the traffic as vehicles allowed to use sirens in Nigeria usually do.

“In fact, last Tuesday, when the governor was going to the airport to travel to Abuja, he was held up in traffic on Awolowo Way, Ikeja for about 30 minutes. He did not use the siren to pave way for himself.

“He just remained in the traffic patiently for 30 minutes. People who saw him in the traffic were hailing him for being a good example and wished him well,” Aruna said.

Mr. Aruna said that the governor feels that the use of sirens is a form of intimidation of other road users and was oppressive, the focus of the Governor being to deliver good governance to the people of Lagos State.

According to him, Governor Ambode had made it clear to his assistants that he would tolerate anyone in his convoy blaring sirens, this on the basis that he was elected to serve the people and not to lord it over them.

When asked why the governor had abandoned the use of sirens, he said this was the style the governor had chosen to adopt in governing Lagos State and assured that in the next four years, the governor’s convoy would not make use of the sirens.

Former Governor, Babatunde Fashola had adopted the same policy of silent movement as he also did not use sirens all through his eight year tenure as governor.

Sirens In Nigerian are symbolic of impunity and disregard for the populace by political office holders and the armed services, especially governors and the other political office holders. The police or soldiers or other armed groups barging through traffic at breakneck speed sometimes wielding whips to flog motorists who do not get out of the way in time.

However there is an historical note and a security aspect to the siren issue. The late General Muritala Mohammed, one of Nigeria’s most beloved leaders also adopted the no siren policy and was killed at the age of 37 when he stopped in traffic on his way to work on February 13, 1976. However Muritala’s car was not bullet proofed and he had no armed escorts.

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