I could not hide the wonder on my face when I saw the pictures of the transformation of the Oshodi metropolis of Lagos State. Interestingly, I had previously gone there to take a picture for a book I was writing on Nigeria. Comparing the two pictures now, I could not imagine that the Oshodi where I was scared to stand on the pedestrian bridge to snap a picture was so clean. I was actually scared because of the miscreants who have turned the place into a second home. Comparing the two pictures of Oshodi, I could not believe the insurmountable Oshodi could be levelled to the ground, like it was. But then I could also imagine the amount of stalls in the first picture and the number of families they were meant to feed.
Mixed reactions have continued to trail the declaration and actions of this exemplary Governor whose giant strides reminds one of the activities of former Governor Buba Marwa. It is definitely a wonder what one man whose noble mission seems radical enough to be matchless by any other governor in the state, seems to be transforming Lagos into a dream land.
Everyone knows that Lagos needs overhauling and it needs a radical man to do that. I remember going to his site and seeing this quote by a nineteenth Century Poet, Josiah Gilbert Holland once prayed fervently, “Give us Men, men from every rank, fresh and free and frank; Men of thought and reading, Men of light and leading, Men of loyal breeding, The Nation’s welfare speeding; Men of faith and not of fiction, Men of lofty aim in action; Give us Men – I say again, Give us Men!”.
Yes, men we are looking for, how many governors move silently about on the streets of their states without asserting that with sirens and long and loud commercial campaigns on TVs about what they are supposed to do?. How many governors will return awards of excellence when they believe it will compromise and affect the effective discharge of their duties? How many Nigerian governors have actually put billions of state allocation and taxes rolling their states into use? How many governors are able to do all these? – Very few.
My thought about all these was first that there is no doubt that Fashola (whose Christian name happens to be Isaac, and Tinubu’s is Abraham… Coincidence?) has an undying passion to transform Lagos into a mega city- in spite of all the challenges that governing Lagos might come with. He has to make informed and reasonable decisions that will be in the interest of ALL Lagosians (both the rich and the poor), rely on competent consultants and ward off greedy politicians, and also exercising reasonable supervision over ongoing projects.
But then there are cheers from the upper living class and jeers from the lower living class; sighs from the mouths and destinies from the mouths of people and families that these illegal stalls and shops meet. There are cries of foul from people whose investments in places
Governor Isaac (Fashola) has done well, and it is evident for all to see… from one end of Lagos to the other; in every sector of the city’s economy roads, security (people believe robbers moved from Lagos to other states, true?), health, education, the environment, housing, job creation and poverty alleviation, there is abundant evidence that one man is redefining the definition of Nigerian governance. But then I believe he has plans for these people, and they need to see those plans and results fast enough. They understand the need for Lagos master plan to be restored, but then, as one of them told me, only a fanatic can bring order to Lagos “ Please , just write and tell them that justice suppose get mercy o”, the bus driver candidly told me, and I just did.