By Kayode Matthew
With the probe by the legislative arm of government hanging on his neck like the Sword of Damocles,Â Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN of Lagos State last Monday, marked his 1000 days in office in celebration of his many achievements within such a short period of time which many have described as the wonders in Lagos.
His performance has so endeared him to the generality of Nigerians that Governor Fashola was said to be more popular in the North than some of the Northern governors because their governors were just not performing.
In fact to underscore his popularity in the north, Governor Fashola will chair the 28th Convocation ceremony of the Bayero University, Kano on Saturday. Fasholaâ€™s magic wand appears to be his resolve to step on toes but at the public interest in order to impact on the lives of the masses.
The military, even with their guns and horsewhips never succeeded in ridding Lagos of street trading, but Governor Fashola cleaned up street trading at the notorious Oshodi rail line.Â If you have been to Lagos, you wonâ€™t understand what a truly mismanaged environment looks like.
In fact, the environmental problem is a monstrous phenomenon, which successive governments couldnâ€™t handle and this includes the ever-threatening bar beach upsurge. The introduction of 100 new trucks for waste pick-up is indicative of Fasholaâ€™s determination to take Lagos out of its environmental mess.
His street and traffic light project is commendable and Lagos has been long overdue for this while his metro rail if this is executed as planned, will solve permanently the most grueling problem in the city which is traffic. Fashola should also be applauded for taking the initiative to consider the installation of cameras in strategic areas of Lagos. The cameras cannot shoot at armed robbers, but they can remind the bandits that someone is watching.
Bayo Egunlae, a London based Lawyer described Governor Fasola as a man with penchant for surprise saying friends and foes and many who are not really familiar with him or his government have learnt a new initiative in governance as currently set by the governor.
According to Egunlae, Fashola is a â€œperforming star in his own right who knows what a good governance is all about. His political dexterity is unparallel and there is no doubt that he has proven himself to be one among equals. Fasola no doubt has pitched his tent in the circle of those the Yorubas will categorise as OLU-OMO (A VALUED CHILD), because he has proved to be one among equals who takes the interest of the people at heart. It will therefore be pure insanity for anyone contemplating to rock the political boat in which Fashola is currently a captain and in which the boat is being channelled towards the right directionâ€.
No doubt, for the first time in the history of Lagos state, the state is witnessing progress, practical progress and nobody can take that away from him. The past two years have been that of a major transformation in Lagos state. This man, is not only focused, pragrammatic and administratively endowed, since he took over as the governor of our once unruly Lagos state, the state has witnessed incessant progress both in waste management, and in nuisance turnaround. We have truly seen how garage motor park boys called the agberos or area boys spread across the State have been made to conduct themselves in a civilised manner. Many of the once nuisance elements areÂ nowÂ job hunting and finding all means to live a more dignified life.
Those who have truly benefitted from his wealth of ideas would appreciate the fact that something positive has come through the initiative of a well-meaning Nigerian. It is therefore not just for anybody trying to pull down the image of a pace-setter who has made Lagos state the envy of other states. The dubious beggers and â€˜Almanjeris who were once helping the armed robbers to hide their deadly weapons have now realised that Lagos state is no more a fertile land for illegalities and absurdities, rather it is an haven now craven for that lost glory of the past -as the foundation of Nigeriaâ€™sÂ today civilization. â€œMany idle people who would have benefitted more if they had stayed in their villages rather than coming to Lagos and sleep rough under the bridges and later turned armed robbers now have channelled a new direction for themselves through some credible means.
Only saboteurs, I mean those who would want Lagos state to go back to its old filthy and deplorable days will sway the direction of the current regime in Lagos state. The state has laid a good foundation for the future. The good agenda and programmes of this amiable, promising governor should be followed with ease.
There should be no going back. Unless some elements want to cause unnecessary political unrestÂ and instability, Fashola should be left to complete what he has started. Those that venture for the removal of the current governor are definitely the enemies of Lagos state or shallÂ we say enemies of progress of the people of the state. In whatever form the enemies might come; either in group or individual, the people of Lagos state must resist by all possible means and treat such people as enemies of the state and of the progress of the people of the state.
â€œFor long, Lagos has suffered neglect in the hands of those who should cater for her. She had been treated like the dumped old wife whose husband had been ignored after pitching romance with a newly found bride.Â The memory of neglect had been obliterated by Fasholaâ€™s new dawn. The old mess left behind by the Federal government had been cleared by Fashola, who had brought solace to the people through the rekindling of a hopeful future. Now Lagos is standing up once again as one of the prides of Nigeria.
â€œNowÂ that the EFCC came and found nothing illegal or criminal as they x-rayed Fasholaâ€™s office, and having found nothing incriminating in his political wardrobe, the project of making Lagos a new megacity should proceed unabated. Lagosians should continue to lend their support. EFCC members must have felt grossly disappointed as they flip through Fasholaâ€™s wardrobes recently finding nothing incriminating . There is no doubt that this action could have been politically motivated.
This may not be unconnected with the recent Action Congress imbroglio which had been precipitated by recent cracks within the Party. We should let the people of Lagos state decide and judge Fashola according to his performances rather thanÂ finding excuses and crude ways to discredit,Â unseat or drag his image down. No doubt that FasholaÂ has been performing wonderfully to the surprises of many detractors who are now craving for his head.
This is typical when progress is being made by people who mean well for the society. â€œFashola knows that he has no other place to go than Lagos and that is the reason why he wants to make Lagos state more habitable for the residents and make it once again the pride of the nation and the pride of many more who may wish to invest and make Lagos their permanent abode.
There should be a call off to this political vendetta and witch â€“hunting. In Yoruba it has been acknowledged that once a ram has been given to the masquerades, you let offÂ the leach to go with it.
Itâ€™s time for the faceless people to allow Fasolaâ€™s free hand to operate. The people of Lagos state must be made to savour the benefit of a progressive and forward looking government in this current democratic dispensation.
â€œWe ought to have learnt comprehensively from the discord between Chief Akintola and Awolowo that the scars of those old days have brought about retrogression to Yoruba race while retarding itsÂ progress. Late Chief Ogunde once visited such display of animosity among Yoruba leaders and deplored it by lending his words that the Yorubas should get back to their senses to leap forward;(YORUBA RONU).
Internal feuds have long divided the Yorubas into political segments and disparities which today form the basis of Yorubaâ€™s social, political, economic and infrastructural setbacks. We in the West must try at all cost to avoid political bitterness.