History Will Speak Loud Of Fashola
Nigeria News takes a look at Lagos politics as it has continuously sidelined former state Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola.
He came quietly into the venue and took his seat with other ministers. The Former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola is not always loud in his dress but his address at any gathering comes with strong meaningful words.
He speaks as if he reads and this is a reflection of how rich he has cooked himself over the years. When he became a Senior Advocate of Nigeria at 39, there were arguments that he must have bought the honour because he was the Chief of Staff to the then Lagos State Governor Bola Tinubu.
But not until he became the state governor in 2007 that Fashola’s exceptional brilliance began to manifest. He showed a bit of his intellectual capacity during the debates organized for all gubernatorial candidates in the state.
The debate changed the minds of many Lagos electorate who had earlier thought that Fashola was being imposed on the people by his godfather, Tinubu.
And when he was sworn-in, Fashola was always outside with his predecessor to attend events and this pushed Lagosians off so much that the media criticized his kindergarten behaviour in the most sophisticated state in Nigeria.
But things changed in a few months after his inauguration. Fashola’s administration began to change the face of Lagos with his ‘Greene” programme. The government grew flowers and trees to beautify the state of aquatic splendour as it turned under bridges to recreation parks.
Fashola grew the state IGR to over N25 billion monthly and built infrastructures to meet the challenges of a megacity. His inauguration of the Bus Rapid Transit along Lagos-Ikorodu corridor was a big plus to transportation system in Lagos. His Private Public collaboration to tackle waste in Lagos worked as the state became the cleanest during his tenure.
There is Fashola’s impact in every sector, including education, health, judiciary and tourism but his lack of political intelligence created lacuna between him and many grassroots politicians, including his former boss Tinubu.
This nearly stopped him from contesting for the second term. However, he contested and won because Lagosians loved him. Till today, Lagos elites still love Fashola even though some of his policies were harsh.
His policies on the demolition of shanties and sub-standard markets created more enemies for him but he stood with all of it and would always bend whenever there was the need to do so.
But to many, Fashola was intellectually arrogant and could not fit well with a particular gang who thought his refusal to listen to Tinubu sometimes was a betrayal of trust and dishonour to the Jagaban of Borgu.
But did they know that Fashola was the brain behind the Tinubu’s Colloquium that has now become a formidable legacy in the life and time of the great politician?
Did they know that it was wrong not to give Fashola a special recognition at the last colloquium to mark the 66th birthday of Tinubu?
Fashola was the immediate past Lagos governor. He was the bellwether of the Tinubu’s colloquium but was relegated to the back bench during the event in Lagos last Thursday.
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo who stole the show and perhaps the current sponsor of the colloquium never mentioned Fashola as the mastermind of the annual seminar.
But this too shall pass away. A new era will come when history will be read and Fashola will take his proper space.