System Of Continuity Has Been Responsible For Successes Recorded In Lagos Since 1999 - Fashola

The fourth Bola Ahmed Tinubu Colloquium with the theme: "Looking Back Thinking Ahead" took place on Wednesday as part of activities to mark the 60th birthday of former Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, with Governor Babatunde Fashola (SAN) affirming that a system of continuity put in place since 1999 has been responsible for the successes recorded by the Lagos administrations.

Governor Fashola who spoke at the Eko Hotels and Suites, Victoria Island venue of the Colloquium and book launch alongside a team of discussants including the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yemi Osibajo, former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Yemi Cardoso, former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Edun and former Health Commissioner, Dr Leke Pitan said in the last 13 years, major ministries in Lagos State like Health, Works, Justice and Economic Planning and Budget have had only two commissioners which hallmarks consistency.

He said through the innovative leadership brought about by Asiwaju Tinubu into Lagos State when he was in office, many of those in position of leadership position today including himself have had the opportunity to learn through peer review and mentoring before assuming higher responsibilities.

He added that it is regrettable that in Nigeria there are people without any form of governmental experience who have been catapulted to the highest position without undergoing any form of tutelage that will prepare them for the enormous task ahead.

Governor Fashola explained that at the federal level, the longest any minister stays is two years, stating that such short time leads to policy inconsistencies as well as start and stops in policy formulation and implementation.

He stated that the present administration will continue to seek new frontiers in governance because our society is changing so quickly, some of the methods that worked 12 years ago will not work again but the principles of poverty alleviation, poverty eradication, economic regeneration infrastructural renewal will remain the thrust of the administration's policy direction.

The Governor told all political office holders both elected and appointed to realize that they are all inheritors of a great legacy bequeathed by a visionary leader- Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, stressing that if they betray it, they have let a generation of black people down.

He stated that the administration in Lagos State will intensify its law enforcement capacity and also ensure that law and order is maintained stressing that the State will enforce laws to collect its taxes from evaders and also embark on innovative legislations to control traffic in the state.

Governor Fashola also hinted that as part of the on-going justice sector reform, the State Government is planning to construct a forensic laboratory in Lagos as part of efforts to save lives, secure the people and the state.

While congratulating Asiwaju Tinubu on the occasion of his clocking the age of 60, Governor Fashola prayed for long life for him and urged him to ensure that just as he might not be able to love all of his supporters equally, he must try to do justice fairly amongst them.

Also speaking, the Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola who spoke on the various political battles of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu described him as an astute politician who fought against agents who violated the dues and heritage of the Yoruba nation and successfully rescued the South West.

He identified unemployment as a major factor that is responsible for the boom being enjoyed by members of the Boko Haram group in wreaking havoc on Nigerians, maintaining every Nigerian must be free to move about and live in any part of the nation.

Governor Aregbesola who also spoke on agriculture, said food security should be tackled by the Nigerian government, adding that if concrete action is not taken about it, Somalia may be a child's play.

Speaking earlier, the chairman of the occasion who is also a former Secretary -General of the Commonwealth, Chief Emeka Anyaoku called for a Sovereign National Conference as a way to tackle the nation's challenges.

Chief Anyaoku called for the replacement of the present 36 states arrangement with six federating units while the 36 states should become development zones within the federating units.

The former Commonwealth scribe also prescribed that the outcome of the Sovereign National Conference should be subjected to a national referendum that would give it legitimacy.

He noted that Nigeria cannot face the issue of arresting the destructive competition among its ethnic groups on the basis of the 1999 constitution failure of which may lead to the nation's quest for peace and development remaining elusive.

Chief Anyaoku described Asiwaju Tinubu as an effective advocate of federalism and a dedicated activist who fought for the return of democracy and the restitution of Chief MKO Abiola's presidential election victory in 1993.

He reiterated that he undertook to chair the colloquium in honour of Asiwaju Tinubu because of the significance of Asiwaju Tinubu as a consistent advocate of true federalism in Nigeria who during his tenure as Governor of Lagos State undertook some key development projects which under the existing Nigerian Constitution are federal responsibilities.

Former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Professor Yemi Osibajo who spoke on Rethinking Justice for Change, said Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was a leader who had foresight and tenacity.

Professor Osibajo stated that the former Governor was one who fought all infractions against the federal nature of the Nigerian constitution by litigation, adding that several cases were successfully prosecuted in courts of law to strengthen fiscal federalism in Nigeria.

Another discussant at the symposium, former Commissioner for Finance, Mr Wale Edun stated that taxation was a major source of revenue for Lagos State as it provided over 50percent of internally generated revenues.

He said through financial re-engineering of Asiwaju Tinubu, he singlehandedly achieved the re-admittance of access to the stock market for the public sector especially states for funds after a ban had earlier been placed on their ability to access funds from the market.

Former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr Yemi Cardoso and former Commissioner for Health as well as Education, Dr Leke Pitan paid tributes to former Governor Tinubu for the creation of a full fledged Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget as the centre-point of the economic development which has now been copied by all states in the federation and decentralizing healthcare for the people of Lagos State.

Also speaking, elder statesman, Alhaji Maitama Sule described Asiwaju Tinubu as a man of justice who is a potential national leader that can produce the kind of leadership which Nigeria desires.

Alhaji Maitama Sule also urged Nigerians to emulate the good virtues of Asiwaju Tinubu saying what the country needs now is to raise good leaders and not looters.

The celebrant, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu in his response thanked the people for their show of love and aligned with the position of Chief Emeka Anyaoku in calling for a Sovereign National Conference, saying there is no alternative to it.

Asiwaju also spoke on the value of team effort which he learnt in the private sector stressing that it is very essential in public administration.

The book titled: "Asiwaju Leadership in Troubled Times", edited by Mr Tunji Bello, Mr Sam Omatseye and Mr Segun Ayobolu was reviewed by a seasoned journalist, Mr Kunle Ajibade during the event.

Asiwaju Tinubu who was supported by his wife, Senator Oluremi Tinubu and dignitaries later cut the birthday cake at the ceremony which also featured the launch of the book "Asiwaju: Leadership in Troubled Times" by the Governor of Niger State, Dr Muazu Babangida Aliyu and Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Aminu Tambuwal.

The event was witnessed by many dignitaries including the Governors of Ogun State, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, Ekiti State, Dr Kayode Fayemi, Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole, former governors, Lucky Igbinedion (Edo State), Ibrahim Shekarau (Kano State), Dipreye Alamieyesigha (Bayelsa State), Aremo Segun Osoba (Ogun State, Niyi Adebayo (Ekiti State), Alhaji Lateef Jakande (Lagos State) and the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope–Adefulire and former Deputy Governor, Princess Sarah Adebisi Sosan.

Others include the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi I, members of the State Executive Council past and present, members of the National Assembly, Local Government Councils and Local Council Development Areas Chairmen and from Ghana, a delegation led by the Chief of staff to the Ghanaian Vice-President, Mr Alex Segbefia.              

Lagos Indicator