THE STATE OF OUR STATE, NATION, HEALTH AND BANKS (4)
Being concluding part of the text of a piece by Bashorun J.K. Randle, OFR , Chairman & Chief Executive JK Randle Professional Services (Chartered Accountants)(The third part was published on Monday, November 29, 2010.)
THE speaker who ironically passed a political message to Fashola, pointed out that all the so called achievements for which he was being praised are over concentrated in one direction with other areas neglected. 'While Lagosians in several constituencies commend the efforts of our government so far, the visit (to other parts of the state) also revealed some short comings and uneven spread in our development efforts', he noted.
Not done yet, he warned the governor not to step beyond his bounds otherwise he would face the wrath of the House. 'It has come to my notice that attempts by committees of the House to perform their oversight functions are often resisted and considered as confrontation by some members of the executive arm. It should be clear to all and sundry that good governance is premised on transparency and accountabililty. The oversight function of the legislature is a major part of the checks and balances enshrined in the constitution,' he asserted.
Political pundits wonder why the Speaker will choose the floor of the House to wash the dirty linings of the party if there had never been any under current before now.
They argued that as the number three citizen of the state, he has many avenues to speak to the governor if he actually wanted to do so, rather than on the floor of the House where many people were, including members of the opposition. With all indications, it showed that the Speaker was speaking from the authority that is beyond the confines of the House of Assembly.
Ironically his recent outburst that Fashola should not be over-joyous because he is not the only governor in the country that is performing says it all. He has reminded Fashola that the governors of Gombe, Rivers and Akwa Ibom are equally performing. The comparism is curious, despite denials. Perhaps the Speaker has forgotten that the states he mentioned are controlled by the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) which is the opposition.
Besides, his bases of comparism are very shallow, against the backdrop that the mentioned states are less than 4 million each in population compared with Lagos of about 18 million. At this juncture, one must remind Ikuforiji that Lagos being the former capital of the country has many decayed infrastructure begging for maintenance without any special funds from the federal government to maintain them.
To further make the situation worse, the former commissioner of information and strategy in Tinubu's cabinet, Mr. Dele Alake in a two-page advert in the media, tried to eulogise his boss for a landmark achievement as the governor of the state for eight years. What for, many are yet to fathom.
According to him, 'the solid financial and developmental foundation laid for Lagos state by Asiwaju Bola Tinubu administration is obviously one of the critical factors that have enabled the administration of Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to hit the ground running and to raise the standards of governance and service delivery in Lagos State.'
With Alake's position, one does not need any oracle to know that AC as a party is facing monumental challenges on how to manage their success in the state with the stakeholders afraid to tell the godfather the home truth that no game master changes a winning team.
Analysts are of the view that no matter the internal crisis in the party, Tinubu could have used his wealth of experience to douse it, instead of allowing some fun-seekers who suddenly became top political advisers to miss direct him on the issue of Fashola's second term which is the genesis of the crisis. Governor Fashola has remained smart and calm in all these.
In an advertorial, he denied that the State House of Assembly planned to impeach him. 'I want to make it clear that there is and never has been an impeachment move to remove me from office. And I have the confidence and the authority of our honorable members of the House and my party leaders on this matter.'
He went further 'we must not forget that Asiwaju who laid the foundation for the financial success Lagos is reaping today through internally generated revenue. Alpha Beta Company was in the middle of this, playing out the vision of financial engineering he laid down.
The people behind all the false reports and innuendos are fifth columnists and professional detractors who want to throw cats among the pigeons of Lagos, especially on two levels, namely the political model and the development level.'
Just like the god-son, Tinubu also debunked insinuations of a cold war between him and Fashola. He said the tie between them is 'unbreakable and unshakable'. Only if it were true, analysts wonder.
Speaking at the AC convention in Lagos last year, where the duo wore the same attire, Tinubu said 'You've seen me here today; is there any sign of discord? Once in a while, I visit to really talk or review. I don't like coming often to disturb him or distract him. But whatever stories you've heard about us having issues are lies; its fabrication coming from the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and enemies of progress.'
However, speaking to Sunday Champion on condition of anonymity, a chieftain of AC in the State noted that the party wanted to carry their luck too far and when they realized that the situation was going out of hand and that Fashola cannot be impeached like they did Pedro, they backed out, adding 'the result of their foolishness is what you people in the media are feeding upon now'
He pointed out that the party is being economical with the truth by insisting that there is no crisis in the party. 'The truth of the matter is that some of the so called elders of the party both within and outside the state are not comfortable with the popularity of Fashola, therefore they are creating needless crisis between Asiwaju and the governor. You will not believe that it took the intervention of the first class traditional rulers in the state before the situation could be managed to this level.'
The chieftain of the party warned that if Asiwaju does not read the correct handwriting on the wall and allow himself to be deceived by some self seeking individuals, who do not want Fashola for a second term, then another party will give it to him with open hands and the consequences will be too much for the party to bear.' The essence of any political party is to be in government, but if they allow the political storm that is now gathering to sweep all of them, the shock will be devastating in the long run' he added.
Let us also remind ourselves that there is a correlation between the state of our health, particularly our mind and our culture which is anchored on respect for elders and the sanctity of the family name. A case in point is that of our highly respected Alhaji Musliu Anibaba who is a Past President of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN).
When he was a much younger man and having just returned from Britain, he joined a firm of Chartered Accountants - Hamood Banner & Co. Their office was at Niger House (John Holt Building) on the Marina, and they provided a flat in Ikoyi for young Anibaba whose name at that time was 'Cameron'. (He was named after a British Governor of the Colony of Lagos).
As it so happened, the Anibaba family house in Isale Eko was only a short distance from Cameron's office and whenever he visited his mother virtually he whole street would welcome him effusively.
Sadly, Cameroun mistook their outpouring of affection as a prelude to their making monetary demands on him. He made the deadly mistake of not acknowledging the greetings of a group of elders who were busy playing draughts in the open air. They were livid with rage. The next time he visited, they totally ignored him.
Even when he went even closer to them, they ignored him and just carried on with their game of draughts. He was puzzled and he was forced to enquire what the matter was. One of them provided the answer: 'Look young man, Cameron. You have lost the plot. The affection we have lavished on you has nothing to do with your being a Chartered Accountant or your being one of the few black people living in Ikoyi (which was mostly occupied by white people). It is the love, respect and admiration we have for your beloved mother Sari that have prompted us to lavish our affection on you. We are not looking for anything from you. God has already blessed us with all the money we require to procure our Guinness stout for the rest of our lives.
I would like to conclude by reminding you that the State of our State and the State of our health are directly linked to our collective ability in the area of conflict resolution. Here is an example that is well known to Lagosians.
Many years ago, the young and dashing political activist and lawyer Mr. Femi Okunnu (ex-King's College, Lagos; ex University of London; ex-Grays Inn) returned to Lagos as a bachelor. His roots are in Isale Eko.
However, on the other side of Lagos was the object of his desire, Lateefat Oyekan (ex-Methodist Girls High School; ex-Queen's College; ex-University of Ibadan) whose family house is located at Tokunbo Street in the Oke Popo Area. When word leaked that she was about to be 'captured' by an Isale Eko boy, civil war nearly broke out !!
The youths and elders of Oke Popo considered it an affront that their dearly beloved 'Area Girl' could not find a suitable partner in the neighbourhood and would soon fall prey to an invader. Perhaps, I should add that at that time, 'Area Girl' was a term of endearment which signified that the girl was from a well known family with excellent reputation within the neighbourhood.
This particular young lady was very special.
Everybody in the neighbourhood readily acknowledged her quiet disposition, her diligence, her modesty and humility as well as sense of responsibility and dutifulness - not just to her parents but also to her older sister Morayo and her brothers Jubril; Tajudeen; Ashim and Bambo.
As the tension escalated, her uncle Chief I.A.S. Adewale (an Old Boy of King's College) was prevailed upon to intervene and plead the cause of the young suitor. The elders assembled in our house and my father Chief J.K. Randle (an old boy of King's College) presided. Chief Adewale pleaded for understanding and tolerance. He rattled off all the sterling qualities of the young suitor - brilliant lawyer, politician, good family background, devout Moslem, sportsman, etc. He made little impression and he was in despair until he suddenly interjected:
'He is an old boy of King's College'
My father declared the debate over.
'Ishiawu (Chief I. S. Adewale) why have you been wasting our time. What you have just said is what you should have said first. Since the young man is an old boy of King's College, the matter needs no further debate. As for the Oyekan family, their patriach Lamina Oyekan was an old boy of King's College. Three of his children Rasheed, (excellent cricketer), Jubril, and Ashim, were also at King's College.'
Of course we all know that the young lady's uncles M. S. Adewale and I. S. Adewale were at King's College. Indeed, her older Sister Morayo married A.K. Amu, also an old boy of King's College.
It was a King's College affair all round. The product of that marriage is Justice Bisola Shuaibu who currently sits as a High Court Judge. She recently gave a ruling against the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria of which I am a Past President. I have pleaded with my professional colleagues to treat my Lord as a first time offender. Court !!
In conclusion, I want to draw your attention to an advertisement in last week's 'Sunday Punch' newspaper which reads as follows:
Celebration to mark the 80th year of the departure of Alfa Bello Fashola of Isale-Igangan, Lagos Island.
Among his Great-Great—Grand children is our Excellency Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN). He is survived by children and six generations of descendants to date.
Signed. Engr. M.G.B. Fashola
(Olori-Ebi) Head of the family.
There is nothing more to be said except that last week I ran into both Professor B.K and Dr. B.A. at a wedding. I reminded them about our marathon session in London. The first was in despair: 'Can you imagine the shambles and the cost of school fees for our children and what we have to pay for special lessons for the same children?'
The other was more sanguine:
'It is our children and grand-children I feel sorry for. What kind of values are we passing on to them ? As for me I am just a doctor and when my time is up I can take consolation in the number of babies I have delivered. Today's bride was delivered by me. So also, were her father and mother. As for the groom I also delivered him.'
Indeed, what else is there to be said except to wait until we meet again in London?