Why Putting Fashola In The Back Row?
Former Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), no doubt did marvellously well in Lagos but his unyielding behaviour to do the bids of his former political godfather, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu is making him lose out in Lagos and national politics.
Fashola’s predecessor, Tinubu never wanted him in President Muhammadu Buhari’s cabinet. As a matter of fact, the former Lagos State Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Edun was nominated by Tinubu but Buhari preferred Fashola and made him super-minister of Power, Works and Housing.
Fashola has been doing some good jobs since he became minister anyway. He has raised the power generation to over 7, 000 despite various challenges of gas scarcity and pipeline vandalism.
But the minister has been very silent when it comes to real politics within and outside Lagos. Several times, he had been left out of public functions organized by the present Lagos State administration led by Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.
Even though he had taken some steps to help the Lagos Government achieve some feats in carrying out some capital project, credits were never given to him.
It is on records that some of the laybys constructed by Lagos government on federal roads to ease traffic were endorsed by the Federal Ministry of Works, led by Fashola.
The pedestrian bridges at the Berger Bus Stop, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway were approved by Fashola. The Murtala International Airport Road being constructed by Lagos Government was enabled by Fashola and the handing over of the Federal Government State House Marina to Lagos Government was facilitated by Fashola.
There are many of such that was never mentioned but which had helped Lagos state government to grow and move closer to becoming a megacity.
However, Fashola’s past sins against his former boss and of course the present state governor Ambode had continued to haunt him. Fashola’s problem started with Tinubu when he was asked to bankroll 2011 for some southwest candidates of the Action Congress of Nigeria, using Lagos funds.
Tinubu had asked the Lagos State Government under Fashola to fund the election of one of his close allies, Governor Rauf Aregbesola to rule Osun State but the Lagos governor had disagreed.
During the period, a group, tagged “New Face of Lagos” emerged to criticize Fashola. The group came out with various allegations of financial misappropriation against Fashola to stop him from contesting the 2011 election.
The ACN threatened not to endorse him for the second term but he managed to scale through after serious internal peace moves between him and Tinubu.
It was gathered that he actually dropped some funds and sacrificed his deputy, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan to run for the second term.
Towards the end of Fashola’s second tenure, the relationship between him and Tinubu became frosty again over who would succeed him. Tinubu had endorsed Ambode but Fashola wanted one of his commissioners, precisely the Commissioner for Justice and the state Attorney General, Supo Sasore (SAN).
Over my dead body, it was gathered, Tinubu said that Sasore would never rule Lagos but Ambode.
Akinwunmi Ambode was the Lagos State Accountant General under Fashola but because he disclosed a secret to Tinubu, the Fashola’s administration began to investigate him.
After much pressure from Fashola’s government, Tinubu advised Ambode to resign from the government and wait to become the next governor.
As a master strategist, Tinubu hardly forgets his benefactor. He pays back in a better way. He compensated Ambode for his loyalty to him and nailed Fashola whom according to him had betrayed his trust.
To be continued……