THE FASHOLA WE DO NOT KNOW
I must confess that in the last few years I have been a secret admirer of Governor Babatunde Fashola for just two simple reasons: he has elevated governance in Nigeria to a very high pedestal so much so that were it not for our political system and its zoning system, he should graduate from Lagos (not to be Vice President to any of the political Lilliputians now riding our firmament like a colossus) to Abuja as President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Two, Fashola has managed not to be a part of the noisy babblers that are making Nigeria look like an ungovernable entity.
He has the carriage and level-headedness of a statesman.
If any achievement can be ascribed to Senator Bola Tinubu, it is that he is the only one in our era that has left a worthy successor after his less than first-rate outing in Lagos for eight years.
You can forgive Tinubu his political sins against Lagosians because he left a savvy politician (some say he is actually a technocrat), that is building Lagos into a world-class city.
Opponents say that Fashola is making Lagosians to pay heftily to keep Tinubu happy monthly and some political dogs and enemies far away from him; but that argument is neither here nor there.
Let others do the same in some other states and improve the life of their indigenes.
The other person with the kind of grip that Tinubu has over Lagos is another All Progressives Congress (APC) chieftain, Senator Ahmed Yerima, who not only succeeded in passing the baton in his Zamfara State to his deputy, but was strong enough to boot him out after one term for another candidate of his choice.
Other than the fact that he attempted to tear Nigeria apart with his Sharia gambit, and his less than noble marriage to a minor, he can pass off as a political big-wig.
I must admit that I do not know if his successors in the State can match Fashola with the amount of revenue at their disposal.
As 2015 draws near, however, Fashola is beginning to deconstruct himself, appearing more these days like his political godfather in the way he speaks on national issues.
Never mind, for now, that he flew a kite to draw out Adams Oshiomhole, governor of Edo state, into the presidential race.
Why Fashola will travel that route knowing that the North is hell bent on producing General Mohammadu Buhari does not make any sense because it is either Buhari or not for the North.
While Oshiomhole can be an alternative plan to the belligerent Rotimi Amaechi, it will not be fair to expect Buhari to play second fiddle to a "boy" like Oshiomhole, even if he has to allow his recent convert and flippant Nasir el Rufai to take the vice presidential slot.
But a combination of those two short men with bloated egos is a recipe for unequalled disaster.
After his experience with Tinubu who snatched the leadership of the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) from him and allegedly told him he was not fit to be a leader, since he did not deliver anything substantial politically, former Vice President Atiku Abubakar has learnt his lessons and has pulled out of the presidential race.
This is a wise decision by a man afraid of another rubbishing at the polls, even though he would not have made any worthy difference in the race, but he remains to be a spoiler in the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
Many suspect that Fashola may have spoken the voice of his master to whip Buhari into line, but the coming weeks will tell.
Speaking in Benin City at a youth summit recently, Fashola explained why he would be backing Oshiomhole.
'If Governor Adams Oshiomhole decides to run as president of this country, he will have my vote.
He is the kind of leader that Nigeria needs.
I say that because, I have spent five memorable years of my life in Benin City as an undergraduate and as a youth corps member and they are very fond memories that I hold dear in my heart today.
'I am always looking forward to coming here each time I am invited.
The excitement to come here is at an all time high.
Since my brother assumed office as your governor, Benin City has not remained the same.
It has changed positively and continues to change.
On my way here, I drove past my former office on Sapele Road and clearly the place has been transformed.
And the Airport Road is now wider.
I know what Ring Road used to be like and Akpakpava Road.
It is nice to know that tourism is back; flights are regular and you have done it because you have allowed yourselves to be led by a man who can inspire you to act.
And I don't think anybody can claim the credit for what has happened here if not the people of Edo State,' Fashola said.
I think my hero ran his tongue too fast in this position, but this is forgivable compared to his odious position on why he thinks the directive by APC to its members in the National Assembly to "sabotage" the 2014 Appropriation Bill, the screening of service chiefs and ministers.
Read him: 'Rather than resort to violence, APC is resorting to a legislative tool to bring the executive back on the table to say let us talk.
We must have a negotiated compromise in order to go forward.
If you close that avenue, you are setting the expressway to anarchy.
It is a legitimate tool.
The Americans have used it.
The British have used it.
When it suited them in the absence of any evidence to the contrary, they told their government to invade Iraq.
When it did not suit them in the spirit of non-cooperation to the government of the day, which was a coalition, they said you can't go to Syria.
We must open our minds and stop raising needless alarm.
Now, perhaps, the PDP is no longer able to stomach the medicine it has dished to people over the years.
But I have news for them: there is a stone for every Goliath.
And this is one stone that we have found.
" I think our dear governor needs to discuss extensively with his First Lady to know the true story about David and Goliath; then he will know the anointed one in the equation and the monsters that are gathering to decimate him are the Goliaths.
And referring to the well known theory of the separation of powers among the arms of government, Fashola faltered again: 'So in the process of these checks, institutionally and traditionally, the legislature has been found, as a legitimate weapon.
That is the withdrawal of cooperation from the executive in order to bring a belligerent executive back on the negotiation table.
As they said themselves, no person can claim the ownership of Nigeria.
Where appeals and letters failed, a legitimate tool is the use of the power of cooperation or the withdrawal of cooperation How that will take place is yet another thing.
Let me say even where party in power has full legislative majority, this has been a power that the parliament has employed.
' If some forces have been pushing Fashola into the fray and making him play a game he is not suited for, he should not be naïve; he should simply keep his lips sealed, until the time is auspicious for him to come out and speak up.
He should see how Senators Akin Odunsi (Ogun West), Kabir Marafa (Zamfara Central), Sani Saleh (Kaduna Central), Atai Aidoko Ali (Kogi East), Babafemi Ojudu (Ekiti Central), Bindowo Jubrilla (Adamawa North) and Ajayi Boroffice (Ondo North) ignored that unpatriotic negotiation tool.
That is because such a tool can put you in the black books of voters.
Written By Mustapha Abdullahi [email protected]