Let me be the first to employ the word ‘Fasholaism’, which should today and henceforth be incorporated into the Nigerian vocabulary as a fervent believe in a superhuman named Babatunde Raji Fashola. Apparently I’m not alone in this belief; His Excellency President Muhammadu Buhari shares my faith, albeit subtler in expression as the president isn’t a man to give away too many emotions, but then, giving one man about three ministries isn’t giving too many emotions, is it?
Who is this exemplar named Fashola isn’t the question I intend to answer in this piece, Wikipedia and Google are rife with articles on that subject already; why does he deserve to be taken into account, and at all serious, is what I propose to paint in my little object d’art. Wednesday, November 11, 2015, the President inaugurated 36 ministers from all over the country, all of who will be administering, hands in glove, with him to ensure the smooth sailing of Nigeria, a country that appears to have been tilted overboard by previous administrations. Of these men and women of valour selected is of course Babatunde Fashola representing Lagos state.
Surprising to many but interesting to progressives, the man Fashola was appointed Minister for Power cum Minister for Works and Housing which has generated several ‘beer-parlour arguments’. Some regard the appointment as nothing but a compensation of Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu’s efforts to the ascension of the president (Asiwaju figuratively representing Fashola’s political father). Others, based on ethnic or religious sentimentality just think the appointment silly. Why should he be given such posts, why can’t someone else be given the other positions instead of saddling him with ‘too much work’ some others have questioned?
Well, it will be entirely wrong to make sweeping statements that the above cited sentiments are completely devoid of any truth. Nobody gets into power without being helped, it’s no news Asiwaju played a vital role in the last presidential election, and so if he indeed worked why shouldn’t he be duly compensated, after all the mouth of the ox that treadeth out the corn shouldn’t be muzzled. As to the sentiment of ‘too much work’, here’s an unspoken rule in leadership many are ignorant of: The reward for good leadership or stewardship is more responsibility. Great leaders don’t (and won’t) die of too much work, truth be told, it brings the best out of them, it challenges them to go beyond themselves, break new boundaries and finding newer horizons. The president isn’t a fool; his ample leadership experience was why Nigerians voted him in in the first place, and with the depth of decay in the Nigerian society, there’s need for persons with not just head knowledge but great leadership skills to make the vision of change a reality.
Of course, there’s the case of the blind loyalists who doggishly cited “Fashola’s work” in Lagos state as an outright justification for his appointment, here’s my reply: whose duty is it to provide citizens with amenities and basic rights? Isn’t good road or good schools part of the government’s duty too? So why the incessant praise-singing for someone who has done what he was voted, and as a matter of fact paid to do. Or was Fashola’s time as governor of Lagos on a Charity basis? But in a deformed society as ours where government failure is the menu of the day, the few ones who perform expected duties a little above average deserves some commendation.
On a concluding note, it would be sheer stupid of anyone (the media especially) to pray or await Fashola’s fall on his new assignment; but to fail himself is to set unrealistic goals like the MDGs; who can eradicate world’s poverty? For when all is said and done, Fashola’s failure or success affects the 170 million Nigerians still waiting for the dividend of their democracy.
Written By: Badejoko Adewale. He is @tha_krone on twitter