Today is another great day in the life of another great Lagosian, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Works of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, as he adds another year.
Your Excellency Sir, you are quite simply a great man. By this description, I do not refer to your eminence as a foremost Lawyer and Public Servant; I speak of your person – your attributes, traits, gifts, and the simplicity that has become the essential mark of your greatness.
You were one of the youngest men to have ruled our dear Centre of Excellence – Lagos State, and you didn’t disappoint those of us, the young folks who fell within the reach of your age bracket. You delivered on qualitative governance with the precision of a well-trained Tailor.
Strong feelings about governance and service delivery stirs within you at all times, but no one gets to see even a little evidence of pride about this on your face, except perhaps when you go on your usual ‘surprise inspections’ in order to keep contractors who collected public monies on their toes. Even at those moments, you were always outwardly calm, and never cold.
Your approach to people is unfailingly receptive, friendly, and wherever possible, helpful. You were polite without regard to the status or position of those who meets you for assistance.
Sir, I have not known anyone who could take advantage of you. You always understand the situation in which you find yourself and that of those around you. You are always just, not in the sense of being “fair” (no public officer can ever be), but in that you maintain your stand in fitting exactly to each of your experiences. You instinctively avoid all intemperance, and still, never goes “overboard”.
Your wisdom consists of having learned how to make yourself ready for all contingencies. All these are not traits that you “develop”, you’ve always possessed them.
Sir, when you mounted the saddle of governance in Lagos State, your actions of the first few months gave a us a considerable inkling about the type of leader that you are to become: relaxed, considerate, balanced, modest, unostentatiously secured, intellectual and intelligent. It is quite rare for these named virtues to be embedded in the physique of just one man. It is the reason why it seemed like a miracle that this complex of attributes dissolve themselves into the strikingly simple consistency that we have found in you.
Your leadership presence have always been reassuring, especially when married to your lack of guile, the absence of false modesty, woven with the serenity that bespeaks the inner security of a fulfilled man.
Your Excellency Sir, there is nothing that we can really add to this fame that you’ve worked tirelessly and strenuously to achieve. What else do we really need than to lavish praise on you as a man whose attitude to governance and society has given us so much joy and satisfaction, and a heightened sense of identity – a man, who in a short time, became one of the glories of our dear Lagos.
On behalf of my family, our great party – All Progressives Congress in Lagos Central Senatorial District, our dear Father – Prince Tajudeen Oluyole Olusi, GAC members from the District, State Officers, LGA Chairmen, Ward Chairmen and members, I wish you a happy birthday and all the best, now and always.
I pray that you continue to experience absolute peace of mind, good health, long life and prosperity. You will not spend the rest of your life in penury and infirmity.
HON. HAKEEM BAMGBOLA
State Vice Chairman, Lagos Central Senatorial District
APC, Lagos State.