‘Tinubu is the architect of good governance in Lagos state’
• He Follows In The Steps Of Awo, Says Rasak
Chief Lanre Rasak is a member of the Lagos State chapter of All Progressives Congress (APC), as well as, the Governors Advisory Council (GAC). He told SEYE OLUMIDE that the National Leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, occupies a unique place in Nigeria politics.
Feeling about Tinubu at 68?
Mine Would be a combination of description and a message. God is a wonderful being and at times He gifts a person of rare leadership traits and very rare ability to manage men and material.
Very rare capacity and know how to manage public and state affairs. The last we had of such a person was the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo, founder of the defunct Action Group (AG). Another person with such quality was Indira Ghandi of India. Tinubu’s love and commitment to humanity is immeasurable and that’s what stands him out among other members of the political class in this country.
Bola Ahmed Tinubu was a governor in Lagos State and the foundation of good governance he established during his tenure between 1999 and 2007 has been the sustaining factor of continuity in Lagos.
His financial engineering cum his special gift of developing human capital and to manage resources are unparalleled. Lagos State’s Internally Generation Revenue (IGR) before Tinubu came was just N600million, but within the first four years he raised it to N30billion monthly without inflicting additional hardship or tax burden on the people.
We knew what he did and he kept on passing it on as in a relay race to the next person in the team. My prayer and that of most of us is that such a rare gift should be able to accept the pressure and the call to serve this country as a President so that we can have such a foundation he laid in Lagos State.
This will enable Nigerians to stop suffering in the midst of plenty with our abundant resources, Nigeria need not to suffer. With our oil resources there is no need to have this percentage of poverty level in this country. I wish Tinubu the best in his 68th birthday celebration. And I pray God will extend his life so that we would continue to enjoy the services God has endowed him to do to Nigeria.
But, aside politics what other things could you say endeared him to you?
Tinubu’s level of tolerance of others and his ability to get along with you, no matter what you are and what you think you are. It is very rare. And his ability to add value to human live are one of those things that attracted him to me and that’s why I believe in his leadership. Of course leadership is described as primarily the act of creating confidence, which Tinubu has been able to do in all of us that are closer to him and strongly see him as a leader.
Coming to the vexed issue of Yoruba leadership, where would you place Tinubu?
Let me tell you, the great Prophet Muhammed was born in Mecca and during his lifetime he was the greatest. He fought with the most difficult pagan groups to a point that he had to escape from Mecca to avoid being killed, but later today, that man is one of the reasons why billions of people travel to Mecca yearly to worship and pay homage.
Awolowo in death was still the greatest leader the Yoruba has ever produced, but some still fault him. Yoruba as a group and as a nation, if you study the composition of the Southwest that claim to be Yoruba there are many groups that are identical and those not identical to one another. We have the Ijesha, Egba, Ekiti, Ondo, Ijebu and many more. To bring these people of diverse thinking together, to accept one person as a leader may be naturally difficult.
But reasonable people, those who can think deep down identify leaders and accept leaders and they promote leaders. You may not get it easy for the entire Southwest to accept Bola Tinubu’s leadership, because of the intricacies involved when you talk of Southwest, but I can assure you, if you ask over 70 per cent of the Southwest people whom they think has the capacity, ability and know-how and the stuff to be accepted as the leader of Yoruba people the answer will flow down naturally as Tìnubu.
You can’t have 100 per cent acceptance. But, many of us who believe the gift of God in Tinubu have accepted and we would continue to propagate and bring in more people to accept Tinubu’s leadership so that Nigeria can benefit immensely from his wisdom.
What are you and other elder statesmen around Tinubu doing to unite him (Tinubu) and the leaders of Yoruba in Afenifere, Yoruba Council of Elders and numerous others to be on one page for the interest and progress of Yoruba in Nigeria?
I am a Balogun of Epe and when you look at Yoruba and examine who is Balogun and what it means to be to go and acquire more territories for our kingdom, but these days there is no more inter-tribal wars.
But the relevance of that position is to ensure there is peace and harmony and the right person is in the leadership position, I am working seriously on that with my other colleagues who are Balogun to see reason for us to rally around one another in Yoruba land for the progress of not only the Southwest, but also the entire nation.
Do you think Tinubu’s political empire is in tact at the moment and what is to be done to ensure it survives him?
I can assure you that the empire is intact and those of us who believe in him are doing so because of his capacity. He has a rare knowledge of how to manage human resources and we have crisis management mechanism that is strong enough to keep the empire moving in every situation. He has already done a lot to make his political kingdom outlive him and that’s what you see in the number of lieutenants Tinubu has made, not just in politics in the Southwest, but also across the nation.