Opinion: Like Raji Fashola, Like Tolu Odebiyi
By Sarah Olabimtan, Ph.D.
London, Nov. 13, 2017 (AltAfrika)– Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu is not a man known for half measures.. He is a highly calculating politician who knows his onions. Asiwaju Bola Tinubu doesn’t spare fools gladly.
He weighs every bit of his steps. For instance, against all cowardly advise, he defied the bulldozing government of President Olusegun Obasanjo to proclaim the birth of Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in Lagos state. All Hell was let loose. The PDP controlled Federal Government came for him with venom.
For daring the President, the statutory allocation due Local Governments in Lagos was confiscated. The aim was to starve the Centre of Excellence of funds so as to provoke a revolt against the government of Asiwaju. But the Jagaban Borgu was ready for it. He funded the activities of the LGs and LCDAs directly from Alausa-Ikeja. He was able to attain that having set out very early in his administration to assiduously grow the Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) of the state.
Asiwaju soldiered on bravely and dragged the FG before the Apex court in the land.The Supreme Court later ruled the FG acted in error.
Asiwaju Tinubu also defied the PDPs ‘Tsunami’ of 2003 which swept off his colleague governors of the Alliance for Democracy (AD) from Ogun, Oyo, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti states.
To say the Asiwaju has the power of clairvoyance is to say the obvious. He vowed to reclaim the states and bring them back under the progressive fold.. He accomplished that avowal in 2015. Asiwaju remains the architect of the new Lagos that we behold with awe today. When he assumed power in 1999, Lagos was rudderless. Traffic was chaotic and civil orderliness was near zero. He introduced a number of measures that shaped Lagos to what it is today. Part of the Tinubu innovations were the Drain-ducks, a gang of young men dedicated to u clogging drains in the state. Kick Against Indiscipline (KAI) brigades(who sees to environmental sanitation), but the most popular remains Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) .
Time happens to be one foe noone had been able to tame.The mandatory eight years that a Nigerian governor can stay in office,soon caught up with Tinubu.
Expectedly, several of his aides and allies like Commissioners and even the then Speaker of the State House of Assembly courted him to be anointed as his heir. But the man of vision in Tinubu didn’t settle for any of them.He picked this tall lawyer who happened to be his Chief of Staff. He settled for Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN)as the anointed candidate.
He dubbed Fashola the ACTUALISER of his dreams and plans for Lagos. Curiously, Fashola, is not a politician but a technocrat. But what Fashola lacked in politics, Asiwaju supplies.. It was a great synergy that benefited Lagos immensely and lifted the once haven of crime and slime into lofty heights we see today.
Cue to Ogun state… Before Senator Ibikunle Amosun assumed office in 2011, he had a fair idea of the level of rot he was to inherit. He was prepared for a MISSION TO REBUILD the state. Like Tinubu, he overhauled and revamped several ailing institutions in the state.. He tackled insecurity and violent crime that Ogun is now regarded by men of the underworld as a suicide spot. The state once known for it notoriety and political violence suddenly took a U-Turn becoming the much sought after hosting venue of choice for both international and local agencies.
Within six years, several eye-popping and landscape defining infrastructure had sprouted in several towns in the state. Respect for human lives and order were restored. Cultists who operated like czars where put in checks.
Like Asiwaju, Senator Amosun had the presence of mind to appreciate that those his lofty plans would come to nothing if the states Internally Generated Revenue remains paltry as he inherited it. He set out to grow the IGR and after five years, Ogun was acknowledged by relevant rating agencies as the state with the second largest IGR in Nigeria!
When the economy swiveled and descended into abyss, Governor Amosun was ready. While states were falling behind in the performance of their basic obligations,the Governors foresight ensured that Ogun remains insulated from such economic vagaries.
However, every good thing that has a beginning must has an end. Time is fast running out on Senator Amosun to accomplish those great dreams in his head. He needs a trusted hand to hand over the lever of power. He needs to hand over to a trusted hand. A man that won’t steer the state back to its better forgotten past. Amosun needs a man that will take the state to greater heights. A man that will take the state to another level where the state will retain its respect in the comity of states in Nigeria.
Ogun state needs a man that will accommodate all views and aggregate them for the weal of the people of the Gateway state. Ogun needs a CONSOLIDATOR of the gains of the Amosun years!
Chief Tolu Odebiyi, the scion of late Jonathan Odebiyi, first Republic Senator perfectly fits the bill.Towering and imposing, Tolu Odebiyi is a man ready to learn and humble to a fault. Highly intelligent and accommodating,Tolu Odebiyi is a quintessential gentleman. He is the CONSOLIDATOR Ogun needs. Tolu Odebiyi dwarfs all his contemporaries both in stature, intelligence and exposure.
The real estate mogul, who is just 54 was born into active party politics. He is a perfect mix between the elite and the masses. He knows the way of the aristocrats, elders and politicians.
Tolu Odebiyi is what Ogun state needs immediately after a phenomenal and record-breaking Ibikunle Amosun.
It pays to support Tolu Odebiyi. A support for Tolu is a support for the progress and prosperity of Ogun State. A support for Tolu Odebiyi is a support for the consolidation of the gains of the Amosun years.
A support for Tolu Odebiyi is a guarantee that Ogun won’t relapse into its in glorious and ruinous past again. Ogun needs to be on the fast lane of development. Tolu Odebiyis experience and exposure is what the Gateway state needs.
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Sarah Olabimtan, Ph.D, writes from Ojuore, Ota, Ogun state.