Dead End! How Tunji Bello, Alake Failed To Save Ex-LASAA Boss, Sanusi From Sanwo-Olu’s Hammer – Complete News
Barely seven months after assuming office, the immediate past Managing Director (MD) of Lagos State Signage and Advertising Agency (LASAA), Mr. Bolaji Sanusi, became the first known political casualty under the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu administration, The Guardian has reported.
Docemo’s appointment was confirmed in a letter issued by the Lagos State Head of Service, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola.
COMPLETE NEWS also gathered that backers of the ex- LASAA boss who are influential in the Lagos political arena made frantic efforts to safe Sanusi to no avail.
The uncertainty over Sanusi’s fate before he was kicked out Tuesday also slowed down operations of the outdoor regulatory agency, COMPLETE NEWS reliably gathered.
A statement, yesterday, by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, said Docemo’s appointment in acting capacity followed a vacancy created by the expiration of the tenure of the former MD, on September 13, 2019.
While the governor eased out Sanusi on the excuse that the former LASAA boss, who was appointed by the immediate past governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, four years ago, had finished his tenure, which was renewable, pundits were however puzzled that Sanusi ought to have been given some respite.
Sanusi was one of the core loyalists of All Progressives Congress (APC) national leader, Bola Tinubu, and one of the foot soldiers of Sanwo-Olu’s campaign that ousted Ambode.
But sources close to the government told The Guardian there was more to the removal than the tenure expiration reason given by Sanwo-Olu.
It was gathered that Sanusi’s problems started from the very first day Ambode appointed him in 2015.
According to sources, in the first place, the former governor had no intention of appointing Sanusi, but for the intervention of the then Secretary to the State Government (SSG) and incumbent Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello; and erstwhile Lagos Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Dele Alake, who pressurised Tinubu to force Ambode to appoint Sanusi.
Bello served as managing director of LASAA at the tail of Babatunde Fashola’s administration as governor in 2015.
Sanusi is said to be one of the close allies of Bello who must have played a significant role in his (Sanusi) appointment to LASAA.
Apparently, one of the first brawls Sanusi had with Ambode was that he allegedly padded the agency’s budget to the tune of N250 million, which irked Ambode to the extent that he decided to run the agency by proxy.
“Sanusi is one of those who abandoned the former governor (Ambode) despite serving under him to pitch tent with Sanwo-Olu who eventually dusted Ambode in the controversial October 2, 2018, direct governorship primaries held in Lagos,” the source volunteered.
So, when Sanwo-Olu won the governorship election and was sworn in, according to other credible sources, Sanusi became larger than life and unnecessarily cocky, such that nobody means anything to him within the party circle.
He was also accused of being neck-deep into the planned plot to use the House of Assembly to impeach Ambode, but for the intervention of the presidency that advised against such. Sanusi had denied the allegation.
Yet another party source, who was unperturbed with Sanusi’s removal, said, “I foresaw his removal. He became arrogant and was ready to lock horns with anybody. When he started having issues with Seyi, one of the children of Tinubu, I told our people to leave him that he would soon run into trouble.”
The Guardian gathered that Seyi is also interested in the billboard erection contract in the state and had been having issues with Sanusi over some time until he was booted out yesterday.
“Sanusi would have been sent packing long before now, if not for Tinubu,” said a source.
Another issue Sanwo-Olu had with Sanusi also bordered on the lackadaisical attitude of the immediate past LASAA MD to work since Sanwo-Olu assumed office seven months ago.
“Rather than facing his job, he was busy with other things, hoping that Bello and Alake are always there for him,” a party source said, adding that the development was an indication that people like Bello might probably not be that powerful in Sanwo-Olu’s government as people think.