Buhari Needs Men Like Fashola By Yusuf Yakubu Mohammed
“The day Tunde Fashola picks up a form to run for Presidency, I, Oby Ezekwesili shall sign up to volunteer for his campaign team.” Those were the words of former minister of education, Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili.
Fashola is so brilliant that most Nigerians don’t mind him becoming President someday.
Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), who was the 13th Governor of Lagos State, would be remembered as one of the best leaders this country has ever produced.
Before Fashola’s tenure as Lagos state governor, the city used to be known as a very rough and dirty city.
However, with the emergence of the ‘special one’, sanity was almost brought back to Lagos.
He is always used as example whenever Nigerians are discussing about good governance.
For instance, Kogi citizens are clamouring for someone as sound and committed to public service as Fashola to govern Kogi state.
Ibrahim Yahaya who is a social commentator from Kogi state said, “Kogi is in dire need of someone like Fashola. We don’t want any mediocre as governor. We need someone we can be proud of just like how Lagosians are proud of Fashola.”
Credit should also be given to his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for allowing someone as brilliant as Fashola take over from him.
Beneath Fashola’s quiet demeanor is a man who is aggressively dedicated to public service and the growth of Nigeria.
Fashola not being included in Buhari’s plan would be tantamount to a political suicide. I am very optimistic that Buhari himself is well aware of the importance of having a Fashola as an integral part of his cabinet.
Nigerians at home and in the Diaspora love Fashola. It would be difficult to find any man born of a Nigerian who doesn’t love Fashola. Well, aside from the few who were at the opposing end before the victory of President Muhammdau Buhari.
It would be recalled that Fashola was endorsed by many Nigerians to be Buhari’s running mate irrespective of his religious affiliation.
However, the visionary Tinubu, aka ‘Jagaban’ and APC leaders saw the danger in choosing Fashola as Buhari’s running mate.
While APC members were busy making political calculations regarding the choice of a VP, PDP members were fasting and praying for Fashola to emerge. Their wish was for Fashola to be chosen as Buhari’s running mate so they could unleash their venom of religious division.
Buhari was already been tagged as an Islamic bigot whose only quest was to Islamize Nigeria. They also labeled APC an Islamic party. Their desperation knew no bounds to the extent that they said, “APC is a replica of the Muslim brotherhood party in Egypt”. They did that in order to get the eyes and ears of the Western powers whose disdain for Islamism is public knowledge.
In my opinion, the choice of Professor Yemi Osinbajo was the best for the party and the country.
There have been reports in the mainstream and social media that Tinubu is not interested in Fashola attaining greater heights due to his towering image.
Well, I wouldn’t want to believe that after all Tinubu’s brilliant political maneuverings that he would want to dent his image by not wanting Fashola to get any political appointment.
According to a reliable source, “since Buhari will be answerable to Nigerians on the performance of his ministers, the final decision of who will be in the incoming Federal Executive Council is his choice.
“If the General insists on having Fashola in his cabinet, Tinubu just has to learn to live with it as there is nothing he can do about it.” He said.
Buhari’s recent trip to Germany is a further indication of the President’s fondness of Fashola.
Many political analysts are of the view that Fashola would not just be a cabinet member but would have the ears of Buhari on national issues.
Fashola has earned his place due to his brilliance and humble disposition. Hardly would any leader craving for success ignore Fashola.
Aside from the love Nigerians have for Buhari, Fashola’s intelligent and tactical savvy also played a big role in endearing educated Nigerians to the APC. In other words, from all indications, Buhari might not ignore the party’s ‘poster boy’ in the scheme of things.
Just like a football team needs a player (Maradona) that can make a difference if the chips are down, so does Buhari need a Fashola to create moments of brilliance.
When other politicians and former governors were in Abuja jostling for positions for themselves and their cronies, Fashola was in Lagos having a quiet time. He believes they should be the ones looking for him and not the other way round. His is so sure of his potentials that he knows any serious minded government would require his services.
He is one of the few former governors who can be hardly regarded as a regular politician. His is seen more as a technocrat by many despite governing Lagos for eight good years.
As a result of how he is viewed by the average Nigerians and those at the corridors of power, no matter how he decides to shy away from the politicking going on in Abuja, at the end of the day, he would be called upon to serve his fatherland because “a golden fish has no hiding place”.
In the words of Mrs. Oby Ezekwesili, “Only a strange nation would have a Tunde Fashola and not deploy him to solve as many problems as possible. We need him. He doesn’t need a job”. She said.
Fashola is vastly experienced to man any position he may be offered by the Buhari administration. Based on his antecedents, he is well grounded in public service.
Before he became governor, he served in Lagos state in various capacities, including
Secretary of lands sub- Committee of the Transitional work Groups 1999, member of the panel of enquiry into allocation of houses on the Mobolaji Johnson Housing Scheme at Lekki, 2000, member of the State Tenders Board 2002-2006, Chairman Ad-Hoc Committee on the review of asset distribution among local government.
He was also Chief of Staff to his predecessor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu. As the Chief of Staff he was also the Honourable Commissioner to the Governor’s office. He was the first person to hold both offices simultaneously.