I had wanted to drop this piece last week but felt it would be more appropriate for the start of a new year.
I had looked through the stream of politicians we have around here and decided to celebrate just one that has a semblance of Santa Claus.
I remember clearly in 2011 when an array of political juggernauts lined up, jostling for the most exalted political office in this state of Aquatic Splendour, how he said during one of the debates, “I am the youngest amongst the boys here…”. None of us could have imagined that he would be an achiever and a pacesetter much so that even his peers refer to him as ‘Class Captain’. Not even the devil can deny his good service to the state, the nation, and the world at large.
I had thought there can never be a sane solution to the menace of street urchins in downtown Oshodi and other places; but when this Lagos boy arrived on the scene, he made life sanely safe for all of us to the extent that one can now hold picnics at those places that one would not have dared to walk through prior to his arrival.
He brought relative sanity to Lagos roads through the creation of traffic management agencies and directorates. Though LASTMA officials are some of the most compromised individuals, but overall, they can be ranked amongst the most hardworking government officials you find anywhere in the world, having been helpful in maintaining law and order on our roads.
I see no reason why I should not talk about this gentleman of the law because during his tenure, the way of life of Lagos residents witnessed recognizable changes; an average Lagosian is now aware of the punishment that goes with any act of dereliction. It has become a taboo for Lagosians to drop dirt on the street let alone dump refuse in the drainage. You don’t cross the expressway nor walk on lawns maintained by the state; you do so at your own peril… no be force o! He wouldn’t have been questioned if he had claimed to have a ‘somewhat’ PhD. Sound and competent.
My personal experience at Massey Children Hospital when my son was treated for high bilirubin can never be forgotten. I had gone from one hospital to another, even to the almighty LUTH where my son’s future was almost looted by the crass behavior of the administration and the doctors there. Even though I was a novice in nursing, I could tell that my boy was not being properly attended to. But when I got to Massey, I was swept off my feet by the speedy and effective service he enjoyed, especially when I discovered that it was a non fee paying facility, all the way. What would have happened if Ebola had come through Aso Rock is best left to imagination because I know the whole cabinet combined lack the intelligence and competence expected of visionary leadership that our Lagos boy sufficiently displays.
Each time I drive on Lagos roads at night, I rarely need my headlamps to get to destination because the roads are well lit; not forgetting that I may not bother about winding up my glass because the fetidness from waste has been curtailed. So safe are the roads that I won’t have to bother about my phone being snatched by hoodlums parading as hawkers in the traffic, thanks to tanks of the Rapid Response Squad strategically stationed. The security of lives and property is far better than it was in the past.
This page cannot contain what I have to say but I urge you to look around your environment, I bet you cannot doubt that you are living a better life than you had before his arrival.
Though you will be vacating the office of the Governor of Lagos state come May 29th 2015, this state, these people, this nation will never forget you. Wherever you go and whatever you do, the peace of the almighty God will be with you and your family. Your leadership radiates through the nooks and crannies of this terrain of yours.
I must commend your good wife as well because never did she bring any disgrace to you and upon us. She is a rare gem in the real sense of it. Kudos!
You are just one ‘politician’ that I pray for at all times.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, I always pray for you.