by Ayobami Olopade
The public presentation of the book, “Out of Africa: Fashola, Reinventing Servant Leadership to Engender Nigeria’s Transformation”, by Dr. John M.O. Ekundayo, presented governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Fashola with a good opportunity to comment on the death of former ASUU president, Festus Iyayi while emphasising that, avoidable carnages like this informed the state government’s decision to implement the road traffic laws.
While noting that the government is trying to better the lives of citizens, he lamented the tragedies which now occur on Nigerian roads, “Things are getting better different from what it was several years ago. The place we are having tragic loss of lives now are on Nigerian roads.”
Governor Fashola stressed that the bad roads could have less impact if the attitude of people to road use was decent and declared that the carnage on Lagos roads have reduced drastically since the Road Traffic Law came into effect. “Today, that number (640 motorcycle accidents monthly and six deaths daily) has reduced to a little over 110 a month. The deaths have also reduced and in the last three months we have not had any deaths from motorcycle accidents. That for me is the responsibility of government.”
In what could be described as a condemnation of the reckless driving governor’s convoy and disregard for traffic rules, Fashola stated “I share your outrage, I share your concern about human life. It resonates very deeply with me.” Fashola also criticised the use of sirens by some government officials, “Those who manufactured these things say they should be used as a call in times of emergency, are we living in perpetual emergency?”
While commenting on the book, which he stated was a thesis on Political governance in Africa with Lagos state as focus, Fashola declared that the Nigerian dream is not dead but alive and capable of making Nigerians fulfilled in their endeavours, if only the people will take time to define and confront it.
“The Nigerian dream is not elusive. It is because we have not confronted and felt about what it has become for us. We haven’t defined it. The American dream is more attractive to us. But the Nigerian dream happens here everyday. It is the Nigerian dream that makes me stand here,” he said.
The governor admonished Nigerians to latch uontothe dream irrespective of their status or background.
“My mother is a nurse and my father was a journalist but the Nigerian dream has happened in my lifetime and the lifetime of all that are seated here. It is happening here everyday and the earlier we embrace it, the earlier we multiply it, the earlier we sink it down and define it and say this is what it is; that if you work hard, if you learn, if you are honest, you can be all that you can in the land of your ancestors, that is the Nigerian dream,” he said.
He continued, “You can cling to other dreams which are not ours, but I cling to the Nigerian dream. It has given me everything; it only calls for me to give back.”
Meanwhile, praises were heaped on the governor for the giant steps he has takes in Lagos and how he has been able to lead exemplarily.
Personalities at the event include, Femi Falana(SAN), National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Chief Bisi Akande, Senator Oluremi Tinubu, representative of Ekiti state governor, Mr. Funmi Afuye among others.