Nigeria News

And you, Gov Babatunde Fashola

I do not question Governor Babatunde Fashola's motive or his efficiency as a governor of Lagos State. I do not see him as a tribalist or xenophobic. However, what I question is his judgment, humanity and his politics.

Gov. Fashola is obviously committed to fixing his state; but the way and manner he goes about doing it is, to say the least, sometimes stunning and shows callousness and elitism. From his actions, the man shows little or "I don't care" attitude towards the down-trodden and the least amongst us.

The word "Progressive" is not a slogan. It means something. One cannot be a progressive when the little people are squeezed out of existence for the benefit of the rich. Yes, Lagos is filthy and needs to be cleaned out. Sure, Lagos has undesirable elements parading the streets. But at the same time, Lagos has a lot of hardworking Nigerians whose livelihood depends on street hawking, hustling etc.

You cannot paint the whole poor people with same black brush as if poverty would infect Lagos by the existence of poor people. Most of his policies favor the rich and the well-connected in the society. If you live in VI, Ikoyi, Lekki etc, then Fashola is your man. But if you live in the inner city, you are a menace to Lagos. You can as well go choke ur self. People held him and still hold him to a higher standard because of his level of education and exposure unlike others.

To deport Nigerians in the cover of darkness to anywhere (state of origin or not) under any circumstances is not only unconstitutional but also immoral and shows a depraved heart. There is no way anyone can rationalize it and make it pass the smell test. Even a Senior Advocate cannot convince a 6 year old of the appropriateness of rounding up any person, detaining him in the name of rehabilitation and then deporting him under the cover of darkness. There is no way anyone can slice and dice it and make it saleable that dumping people under the bridge at night with no food or water and with nobody in sight to receive them is the right course of action to take. Even the Nazis would at least give their victims water to drink.

Then, because all the "Bridge Head dumps" are not from Anambra, it gave a tribal coloration of his actions. If he understands how deep-rooted the Igbos feel about his actions, he wouldn't keep the show of shame in the news by his half-ass explanation. It was more disappointing coming from someone that is admired by many Nigerians and seen as a presidential material.

One expects Gov Fashola to pick up courage and say that he was wrong. A good leader accepts mistakes. It is not a sign of weakness but a sign of inner strength and moral courage. A lot of people would still forgive him. But to try and rationalize it the way he is currently doing is adding insult to injury. Besides, bringing Igbo politicians especially those in ACN cum APC to help him to spin it is putting more fuel to the fire. This would not only kill him politically but would also and drag those people down the drain of ignominy with him!

(c) Chukwudi Nwokoye 2013

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