By Bakare Fuhad
We often hear supporters of Peter Obi say ” he is the man for the job”. In his favour, they say “he is young (relatively), he has only one pair of shoes , he is a billionaire that is a friend to the poor, he is an economist, he is the only one that can save us.”
How about his opponents in next year’s election? Oh, they say, “Atiku Abubakar and Bola Ahmed Tinubu are old, Nigeria needs a new government, Tinubu is culpable in EndSars, etc.”
That’s all we hear from a segmebt of the Nigerian youths and the media. But then , are they making the right points?
Taking us back to a few years, have we forgotten the Lagos that was dirty , the Lagos that was filled with area boys causing chaos everyday, the Lagos that wasn’t making any tangible money from taxes , the Lagos that was referred to as an urban jungle, the Lagos with decayed educational system, the Lagos that was without orderly transportation system , or the Lagos that was deemed ungovernable?
Okay , it’s fine. I forgot they were still young then . But isn’t it necessary for us to dig up some history?
Asiwaju Tinubu’s governance capability was first doubted by some right after his election as Governor but he soon proved that the electorate did not make mistake electing him to the exalted office.
A quote from BBC was ; “The city is collapsing as fast as it grows under a mountain of rubbish”. Then, the waste management agency, LAWMA had fallen into disarray under military rule.
On getting into office, Tinubu started “Operation Clean Lagos”, he replaced inefficient Lagos State Waste Management Agency (LAWMA) officials to ensure contractors got paid only when they brought the wastes to approved dump centers. Not only that, he increased the state capital spending on LAWMA. This saw the transformation of then dump site into the cleaner Lagos of today with over 72% of Lagos using a government regulated waste disposal system and the emoloyment and introduction of street sweepers.
Away from that , what do you say about a government that increased annual tax revenue from $190 million to over $ 1 billion? This is a good development, right? What then do you say about a government that increased Lagos state internal generation revenue from N600 million to N30 billion monthly, within a space of 4 years? That’s definitely the handwork of an economical guru. Let’s not talk much about how he was able to minimise corruption amongst tax collectors by introducing electronic mode of payment.
Over to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), the union that was more of a mafia than a union. NURTW was filled with corrupt people that leased out parks to drivers for a fee. What do we say of the transformation of that to the organised one we have today?
The Bus Rapid Transport (BRT ) System was a project initiated by the Asiwaju administration. The BRT was the solution to the then decaying state transportational system of then. Lagos used to be the only mega African city without a functional transportation system. The state used to be filled with ‘molue’ , the large unwieldy buses plying most of the transport routes. But we have the BRTs of today and have forgotten about the Molue . Checking some history about the Lagos traffic and molues era will give us a sense of how well BRTs has improved the Lagos transportational system.
Which governor do you think they call the king of area boys? The city boy, right? Yeah , Bola Ahmed Tinubu is referred to as the king of area boys. Unemployment of the youth is the root of truancy, touts, “area boys” , and so on. What then did he do? He made them “area boys in uniform “. As a result of their inability to read and write clearly, he schooled and provided them with jobs that were in line with their ways of life such as taxation and other related jobs. This made Lagos less of a crime state amongst others.
For an economy like Nigeria, it takes only a leader that is more experienced to change things for the better. My favorite is more qualified as regards the tasks he has performed. To run through some: he governed the most populous city in Africa for eight years; he is the national leader of the number one ruling party; he is the Asiwaju of Lagos; he is the leader of successful businesses. What else makes up an experienced leader? For someone that runs/ran those positions successfully , what makes him incompetent of running our dear country?.
This writing was inspired by Alhaji Tanimola’s tweet when he said: ” We need a template for development “. That made me go through some documentaries to know which candidate would provide the best template for development. All my researches pointed to the fact that Tinubu is the most qualified amongst all those contesting for the presidency come 2023.
Nigerians, let’s forget sentiments and judge by technicalities and track record. Just like in the currency market, technical analysis is better than sentimental analysis.
*Bakare Fuhad lives in Lagos *