Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) says democracy is a stable form of government which offers the best platform to address the myriads of problems facing humanity in the world today.
Fashola, in a keynote address at the African Focus 2010 at the Harvard University, United States,said apart from providing opportunity to plan and implement policies and programmes of government, it also provides the platform for true partnership with the governed.
He spoke on the topic, “Re-imagine, Re-define, Re-invent: A new Paradigm for Africaâ€™s Leaders â€“ The Lagos Experience of Challenges and Opportunities for Transformation”, Governor Fashola said the best way to seize the opportunity offered by Democracy is to prepare for it and plan to use it for only the purpose of public good.
“The reality is that in the pursuit of public good, all our individual needs are met and secured. We will use the roads we built, the hospitals we built and the security we put in place and benefit from the economic prosperity that we helped to create in a situation of harmony”, he said, stressing that the alternative to this situation is chaos, aggression and desperation where the privileged would live in fear of revolt or crime from the under-privileged, the Governor declared, “The truth is that a leadership that cannot protect the poor will be unable to protect the rich”.
Speaking on how he became governor and the challenging opportunities involved in the governance of Lagos State, Fashola said he had enjoyed being part of the team that started rebuilding the state after many years of neglect and lack of development and was preparing to return to his legal practice in the private sector before being surprisingly given the opportunity to contest by his predecessor who described it as an assignment.
The governor also underscored the importance of preparation in leadership, saying that having accepted to contest the election, he took time off to put down his thoughts on what needed to be done in each of the vital sectors captured in an existing 10-point agenda which had become a state policy, the partyâ€™s manifesto and a charter of objectives of the Millennium Development goals. Armed with the resultant document which he titled “My Contract with Lagosians”, Fashola said he then formally resigned from office to run a most rigorous campaign.
“But in all, from the document I wrote which became an Article of Faith that I titled “My Contract with Lagosians”, I explained at every opportunity what I intended to do and what the obligations of citizens would be in terms of support, payment of taxes and obedience of laws, maintenance of peace and the promise of what lay ahead,” he said.
Fashola attributed the transformational successes recorded so far by his administration to public support , a solid foundation, an inspired public service and co-operation of other arms of Government.