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The Great Leap… documenting Alausa under Fashola




The Great Leap, a book of speeches of former Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State, compiled by Hakeem Bello, which offers insight into his activities in government will be launched, alongside two others – In Bold Prints: Thoughts of Babatunde Raji Fashola and The Lagos Blow Down: West Africa’s First Controlled Demolition – on August 18, 2015 at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos. 

NIGERIANS and others following political development in Nigeria now have an opportunity to appreciate or dissect activities and achievements of the former Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, during the eight years he held the ace at the Alausa government seat.

This is courtesy of The Great Leap, a book of his speeches selected, compiled and edited by his then Special Adviser on Media, Hakeem Bello.

The publication, coming alongside two other books – In Bold Prints: Thoughts of Babatunde Raji Fashola and The Lagos Blow Down: West Africa’s First Controlled Demolition – will be launched in Lagos on August 18, 2015.

Many people believe that Fashola made some exemplary moves when he governed Lagos. But while some say there was still room for improvement in the course of his tenure, readers will better be able to appreciate the working of his mind when they go through the 299-page The Great Leap.

Besides, the publication has the potential to offer the public an opportunity to match Fashola’s words with his actions and achievements. While the book is presented in some 10 parts, the opening course titled ‘A Governor, his History’ smartly exhibits the professional profile of the former governor.

It comes under the sub-title ‘How it Came to Be’, being Fashola’s speech delivered at the third edition of ‘Project What Next’, an encounter with a group of youths.

Far from being the usual CV-styled profiling, the speech traces his adventures as a young lawyer, from his youth service days in old Bendel State to his early days as a legal practitioner with Sofunde Osakwe Ogundipe as well as Belgore and K. O Tinubu &Co.

The ultimate goal of the relatively long speech is to present the circumstances that led to the dramatic emergence of Fahola as the Action Congress of Nigeria candidate in 2007 and all that happened after.

But a discerning reader cannot miss the lesson the former governor tries to put across when he emphasises how he vehemently chose not to work as a civil servant, where, he believed, his potential would be undermined.

Even against his father’s wish, he had to search for a job outside the civil service, leaving what many would call certainty for uncertainty, until he got into private legal practice where he was for 13 years working with the two firms.

The speech captures how he eventually decided to wean himself professionally even at a time tempting offers were pouring in. Coming in some nine segments, the speeches in The Great Leap are grouped along related themes of the agenda of the Fashola government, executing and launching of programmes, Fashola’s perspective on vulnerable but very important groups like women and children, the mega city project, cultural and tourist development and the former governor’s views on values such as leadership, democracy and international relations. The book launch, holding at the MUSON Centre, Onikan, Lagos will attract many important personalities.

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