Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, a former governor of Lagos State and All Progressives Congress (APC) leader, said that choosing a worthy successor was his greatest achievement. Fashola, now minister in charge of power, works and housing in the present dispensation, took over the governorship of Lagos State from Tinubu in 2007. Before then, Fashola was Tinubu’s chief of staff.
In “Asiwaju, Untold story of the Leader,” a special publication of TheNEWS, Tinubu reacted to a question of what he would consider his best legacy after spending eight years in office. His reply was that apart from the financial engineering of Lagos, especially to bring financial autonomy to the state and eliminate wastage and mismanagement, “my greatest legacy is Babatunde Fashola.”
He added: “I identified and endorsed him. That was when my corporate background as a recruiter for Deloitte came to play. Part of the training when you go on operational audit is that the first things you evaluate are the personnel and the questionnaire given to them and how they answer it. You look at the ability of individuals to really take and develop others. There is nothing unique about any leadership. Everybody can come up with different ideas. You can take different routes and arrive at the same answer.”
Tinubu went further that no matter how much steel and metal you put together, “the greatest achievement and legacy is the ability to develop other leaders who can succeed you, otherwise your legacy will be in shambles.” He added that though it was a very difficult and challenging period for him, “I thank God I stuck to my guns.”
He revealed another model his government set up in Lagos: to separate politics from governance, a situation that gave Fashola ample time and concentration to perform. As he put: “The model we set up is working well and I will recommend it for Nigeria. Let the governor take care of the administration and its nitty gritty, if he is scholarly enough and sharp, while other political leaders take the political pressures off him. I don’t have files to sign. Let them go and sign the files and deal with the routine of governance so that he can focus on the developmental goals of the state.”