Echoes Of Good Governance Under Fashola’s Watch
ARGUABLY, the administration of immediate past governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) would get the thumbs-up from the electorate having delivered on the dividends of democracy.
The former governor’s achievements and contributions to the development of Lagos was part of the strongest points for campaign and reference by the All Progressives Congress (APC) during the last general elections. His government was prided by the APC as “the face of good governance in Nigeria.”
His performance won him several nick names like “The Actualiser’, ‘captain’ ‘active governor’ and many more accolades.
For instance, Fashola has been commended for achieving several things much more than all his predecessors.
One is his ability to dismantle commercial activities and excesses of hoodlums at Oshodi, which for many decades portrayed Nigeria in the negative perspective in the international community.
He also succeeded in bringing sanity into tax collection in the state, which ultimately increased the revenue base of Lagos. Fashola is also known for his no-nonsense stand to environmental violation, which of course forced many industries operating in the state to sit up and comply with the state’s environmental laws.
The former governor also made remarkable impact in waste management through the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA). During his era, Lagos perhaps became school to other states and West African countries on waste management.”
For these and many more achievements recorded during the eight years rule of Fashola, distinguished personalities across the country showed words of encomium on him during a public unveiling of three books written to highlight landmark moments of his administration in Lagos recently.
The Great Leap, containing Fashola’s selected speeches as the Governor of Lagos State and In Bold Print, a collection of his popular quotes, were edited by his former Special Adviser on Media, Mr. Hakeem Bello, and The Lagos Blowdown, co-written by Bello and another seasoned writer, Mr. Dapo Adeniyi, documented the globally acknowledge demolition of the 25-storey Bank of Industry building.
Commending Fashola for his unparalleled performance, the Chairman of Fate Foundation, Mr. Fola Adeola, who chaired the event said the true essence of the occasion was that the numerous personalities present did so not because of what they could gain “but because of their commitment Fashola as a friend, relation or acquaintances.”
According to him, “There are times in an environment in a nation, when certain things happen that do not happen often. I am happy that in my own time, Fashola happened. Fashola happened and it is my prayer that we do not have to wait for too long for another Fashola to happen. The former governor’s reputation has become a household in states across the country.”
Fashola’s predecessor in office, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, who was represented at the event by former Special Adviser on Education, Prof. Tunde Samuel said the event was another step that would reflect on what he referred to as “performance auditing” of what immediate past governor had done in the last eight years.
Referring to the former governor’s achievements in office as a result of high wired political engineering, Tinubu declared: “As I used to tell you anytime we chatted that whatever you do today is an insurance for tomorrow. Your surrender value has been further energized by today’s event.”
He said Fashola’s ability to intellectualize; his rugged determination to succeed has been well recognized by all. “You have demonstrated the ability to combine the two very effectively to reach your goal in the service of the state.”
Former Editorial Board Chairman, The Guardian Newspaper, Prof. Olatunji Dare whose Prefatory essay on the thoughts of Governor Fashola was read by seasoned broadcaster, Mrs. Angela Ajetunmobi said Fashola’s achievements “has been universally acknowledged pointing at the most recent award to the former Governor by the Global Conflict Prevention organization, International Crisis Group (ICG).”
In his comments, Fashola emphasized the need for the country to have credible census statistics and expressed regrets that in the life of the nation, her leaders have consistently failed to conduct an accurate headcount.
He said given the fact that those who conducted the last headcount in the country have owned up that the figures were falsified, the onus was now on the nation to ensure that next year’s exercise would be right for the nation to make progress.