Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Bari Salau's Responses to an Article in Vanguard Newspaper Titled: "Hear Yar' Adua's Slogan; see Fashola's work"

Bari Salau says:

Because Nigerians have been denied of good governance for a long time , Nigerians are blind to what yardstick to measure good governance. Even though I have not been to Nigeria in six years, I can smell Nigeria because I make contact with Nigeria especially Lagos on daily bases. I wonder each time people say Fashola is doing well in Lagos State . When you probe them further they say , you need to go to Oshodi where the whole place is clear. They say Fashola government has beautified Lagos with flower. What is that? Na flower we go chop? That is not to say his purchase of transportation buses is not commendable provided it could be maintained in the standard of the old `Zapaz and LSDPC before they were destroyed.

When you ask those who eulogize Fashola about non availability of adequate water and electricity supply or school, housing and health facilities they commonly and usually murmur with their tongues stucked in their mouth' you know he has to do it little by little ,at least he is trying' and they do not forget to hastily add that 'you know electricity is the function of the federal government' as if the state has no constitutional responsibility to ensure adequate supply of electricity which I know it has. When I was Chairman of Somolu Local Government I was on the back of NEPA officials in my domain constituting the demised constitutionally recognized Somolu and Kosofe Local which were constituted and separated under my authority to ensure that NEPA discharged its responsibility to my constituents and it worked as NEPA supplied transformers to areas which were denied for years. With my late Supervisory Councilor, late M.A.O. Adeyemi and my intergovernmental committee headed by late Comrade Yomi Olusanya ,we repaired all the taps installed by former Chairmen Engineer Adelani and my friend ,Otunba Fatai Arobieke and paid necessary bills to the Lagos State Water Corporation to ensure water flew to the street taps and households among other functions within my 9 months tenure. So when I am talking about power available to government to render services to the public, I know what I am talking about. I know as a matter of fact that the Nigerian Governor are more statutorily more powerful than American Governors and yet some Nigerian Governors still feel inadequate by asking for what they call 'true' federalism ,an euphemism for more of the share of federal revenue while they impoverish the local governments under them with all kinds of unconstitutional maneuverings. Alhaji L.K Jakande , of the old Lagos for Action fame,may God continue to guide him, who knows a lot about governance in Lagos State has in his 80th birthday Vanguard interview stated the criteria for measuring government performance. According to him any government that does not provide education at all levels to its people or provide them with adequate housing facility with comfort can not pass that text. I for one agree with him as I do not use 'roadside mechanic' data used by Ike compromised newspapers and chorus boys to judge Fashola and Yar'adua government. In a federation there is no basis to Judge Yar'Adua and Fashola. If all the State governments are doing well Yar'Adua could be said to be doing well. But since most of them are not doing well, the bulk stops at Yar'Adua desk. Yar' Adua is said to be slow and I can not agree more, if not how can he open his eyes and send local government funds to Lagos state for Lagos State to be sharing them to institutions that have no constitutional backing? What type of rule of law is that ? How can Fahola do well when he as a Senior Advocate of Nigeria operates an anarchical local government system which he dishonestly divines variably as local governments or Local Development Councils depending on where and when is talking. Those who say that Fashola is doing well do not know the difference between democracy and `demon-crazy'. Those who are now eulogizing him are the same people who were praising Bola Tinubu when he was governor. As they now praise Fashola, they turn Tinubu to a political Lilliputian or at best a Moses before Jesus Christ. As for Yar' Adua ,I will only say a people deserves the government that it has. One more, President Yar'Adua must understand that rule of law goes beyond rhetoric, it can only be a means to the end of providing services to the people.

Bari Salau, an ex Editor of John West Publications; Former Special Assistant to the Federal Minister of Transport and Aviation in Nigeria is an Investigation / Political Oversight Consultant temporarily now based in New York, USA.

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