Multi-Million Naira Fiasco…How Former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s Millions Tore Lagos Social Clubs Apart

Akinwumi Ambode

It is already about two months since former Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, left office but some of his deeds continue to generate mixed reactions and results. In the elite Lagos social circle, it is ruckus extravaganza.

When it became apparent that the powers that be in the state had made up their minds on not giving him a second term ticket due to what was termed his deviation from the Master Plan of Lagos among other such infractions, the former governor, in desperation, reached out, allegedly with tons of money, to different socio-economic and political groups to placate and prevail on the leaders to reconsider their hard stance. In spite of everything, Ambode never got a respite and he is now a former governor.

Sources have now disclosed that some of the beneficiaries of Ambode’s largesse are, among others, the nucleus of Lagos’ preeminent social clubs including the Eko Club and Island Club. Alas, the largesse has left in its wake serious disaffection and dispute within the clubs. Age-long friends have become sworn enemies; as erstwhile drinking partners no longer socialise within the same vicinity. The Eko Club, sources said, particularly received a whopping sum of N100million, the sharing of which has pitted the prominent elderly members into two warring factions. Helmed by Chief Tunde Fanimokun, a developmental economist and former Permanent Secretary during the administration of Alhaji Lateef Jakande, the Eko Club is currently a house divided against itself because many want Fanimokun to share the money while he has refused to.

As such, some members are hell-bent on imposing Dr. Ade Dosunmu, former PDP gubernatorial candidate in Lagos State, as President of the Club. Interestingly, before the money came, Fanimokun was overwhelmingly and unanimously returned as President of Eko Club for a second term at the Annual General Meeting held last February. Described as a miracle worker due to his first term performance, not a few members said that Fanimokun brought unprecedented development to the club within his first two years in both physical architectural development and increased revenue.

According to a dated newspaper report, the average net income of the club from 2000 to 2016 was approximately N56million. “But in his first year in office, the gross revenue target moved up to N168million as he projected. This was like a miracle to most of the club members who initially thought it was an over ambitious projection… Together with his team, the ‘New Dawn Administration’, his second year resulted in 250% increase to N440 million,” the report further stated.

Founded in 1974, the EKO CLUB is an indigenous socio-cultural organization of Lagosians established to foster cooperation and collaboration, unity, brotherhood and sisterhood amongst its members, to empower its members politically, socially and economically and to contribute positively to the advancement and prosperity of Lagos State.