The Democratic Party of the United States of America, loved to play the tune ‘happy days are here again!’ The origin of that delightful tune lies in the response to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s first presidential election victory.
Roosevelt was elected in the dark throes of the ‘great (economic) depression’. That era was a terrible time for most Americans. There was a general feeling of hopelessness. Millions had lost their jobs. Many were underemployed. The famous signs and exhortations were all over the place, ‘brother can you spare a dime?” Providence, mercifully threw up a man with a plan, blessed with a vision. Men and women had cause to dream and hope that the corner had been turned. When they sang ‘happy days are here again’ it was in hope.
A similar feeling of hope is resonating throughout Western Nigeria. The brilliant, invigorating performance of the ‘can-do’ Governor of Lagos State has brought smiles back to many faces. Even those who do not reside in Lagos state can now say, ‘yes it can be done!’ Fashola is of course a throwback to another era, the epoch of government as development. It is obvious that Fashola and his mentor, former Governor Bola Tinubu have read their (economic) history well. They have shown in Lagos state, that government has a duty to lay the foundations and set the parameters for economic development. After years of successive disappointments, it is a rare case of triumph of hope over experience.
What has been done in Lagos has resonated everywhere else, even beyond the borders of Nigeria. The recent triumph of Adams Oshiomhole in Edo State and Dr. Olusegun Mimiko in Ondo State has once again kept hope alive. The duos are expected to replicate the Fashola mantra in their states. Expectations are high and there is a whiff of optimism in the air. This medium is convinced that the two men will not disappoint. Their anticipated success will further reinforce the progressive resurgence in Western Nigeria, and beam a beacon of hope nationwide.
In addition, the long drawn out saga in Osun state, will in our opinion be resolved in favour of the rightful winner of the governorship election, Engineer Rauf Aregbesola, like Ekiti’s Fayemi; he is a proven performer. Both men have shown a rare ability to infuse theory with practice. With Fayemi on the eve of a famous electoral breakthrough in Ekiti, we will now wait hopefully for less than nine months to secure victory in Osun. The dawn of a purposeful progressive focus is now with us.
The contrast with the ‘do nothing’ PDP ‘governments’ in Oyo, Ogun, Osun and elsewhere cannot be more poignant. The intellectually-challenged Alao Akala and the indolent Olagunsoye Oyinlola cannot be anybody’s idea of good governance. Their individual and collective failures stand in stark contrast to the invigorating, get-up-and go Babatunde Raji Fashola. The people now know who is performing and who is not. Their disgust is unhidden.
The do or die posture the PDP as currently exhibiting, is the manifestation of fear. The great Afro beat exponent, Fela Anikulapo Kuti once described this mode as ‘shakara oloje’. The only response the PDP has is that of violence, threatening mayhem and thunder. The PDP in Western Nigeria has been exposed as hollow. The members have nothing to offer and are now dancing naked in the market square.
Everything has gone wrong for the PDP. The ‘mainstream’ charade has been exposed as hollow. Tinubu and Fashola have shown that you don’t have to be subservient to Abuja to offer sensible governance and deliver the goods. With the mainstream argument totally discredited there is nothing left for the PDP to campaign about. The emperor has been revealed to have no clothes. In the meantime, the big masquerade in Ota is also discredited. The charade about anti-corruption and ‘mainstream’ has also been exposed as being hollow. This is only to be expected. You can fool some of the people some of the time, you cannot fool them all of the time.
The glimmer of hope in Western Nigeria is real. There is everything to be optimistic about. Welcome back to a new era of meaningful and purposeful development. The aim of life more abundant for the generality of our people will be realized. The new dawn will see a sharp, decisive and irreversible break with the dismal Obasanjo interlude. Let us be of good cheer, and let us rejoice. The nightmare will soon be over and happy days will be here again.