Some are gloating now and deriving maximum pleasure from his current travails. One ought to join those putting him on the spot over the website upgrade that cost an obnoxious sum of N78m. It is even more appalling to note that the website ‘contractor’ claimed he got only N10m. We should put him on the cross for the alleged N50m concession of Falomo Shopping Complex for 50 years. I would have dubbed it “50/50 gate”. The Afriland response leaves so many holes. Had the shoe been on the other foot, I can imagine how Fashola would have written about the frittering away of our common patrimony over mere pittance. The strategy seems to be the release of one scandal per week as we have seen so far.
So for Fashola, it is one week one trouble but what can we learn from his travails?
Here are my takeaways:
First Takeaway – Fashola Is A Poor Student of Power
For a man who spent eight years in public office after a previous eight year stint as Chief of Staff and couldn’t build a political structure, Fashola is a political neophyte.
Fashola’s naivety explains why he sought to push his own candidate against the wishes of his benefactor godfather at the last Governorship elections – when it was clear he had no political base or platform. Fashola might understand the length and breadth of the roads in Lagos but he obviously doesn’t understand the dimensions of power. A man who couldn’t appoint his own Deputy Governor but thinks he can pull the rug under the feet of his godfather must be living in lala land. Fashola over-estimated his capacity. His timing was wrong. His adversary was not ripe for picking. His strategy was poor. He could not understand the difference between governance and politics. He didn’t even control the State House of Assembly!
He might have read Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power but he didn’t master it. Robert Greene, while explaining one of the laws wrote, “Deceive or outmaneuver some people and they will spend the rest of their lives seeking revenge. Choose your victims and opponents carefully, then – never offend or deceive the wrong person”. Fashola didn’t obey this law and he’s paying dearly for it.
Second Takeaway- If Your Spoon Is Not Long, Don’t Dine With The Devil
That’s one secret Tunde Bakare learnt when he was asked to sign an undated resignation letter when he contested as the Vice Presidential candidate to President Buhari in 2011. That’s the secret Olorunnibe Mamora learnt when he was asked to back out of the Senatorial elections in 2011. I hope the Vice President, Prof Yemi Osinbajo has learnt very well also having been in Jagaban’s corner for several years. It’s either absolute loyalty or nothing. It’s either full subservience or you’re out. There is no in-between. You can’t look the Master in the face. You must exhibit table manners when you go dining. If you still want to maintain your reputation, it’s better you don’t get involved at all.
Third Takeaway- This Is A Fight Fashola Cannot Win
We have to refer to Robert Greene again. Part of the explanation for Law 15 states “All great leaders since Moses have known that a feared enemy must be crushed completely. (Sometimes they have learned this the hard way.) If one ember is left alight, no matter how dimly it smolders, a fire will eventually break out. More is lost through stopping halfway than through total annihilation: The enemy will recover, and will seek revenge. Crush him, not only in body but in spirit”. That’s what JAGABAN and his team are doing to Fashola now. It’s a fight to finish. They still remember how Fashola was forgiven and given the second term ticket and what he eventually did to them.
Final Takeaway- There Is A Time To Retreat and Surrender
Fashola has too much at stake and should quickly re-appraise current events so as to minimize the collateral damage already done to his reputation. Law 22 of Robert Greene’s book states, “When you are weaker, never fight for honor’s sake; choose surrender instead. Surrender gives you time to recover, time to torment and irritate your conqueror, time to wait for his power to wane. Do not give him the satisfaction of fighting and defeating you — surrender first. By turning the other cheek you infuriate and unsettle him. Make surrender a tool of power.” That is what I believe Fashola should do. There should be a rapprochement and it should start from him.
I am a fan of Raji Fashola. I may not agree with him on every issue but I believe he’s one of the leading lights of his generation. I believe he stands head and shoulders above his contemporary governors in performance and espousing of ideas – maybe except Peter Obi. I believe he is one of the most qualified people to be in President Buhari’s cabinet. I believe his presence will give that cabinet a semblance of professionalism and seriousness. I think JAGABAN should use that Yoruba methodology of using the right hand to deal with a child and drawing him closer with the left hand. One single Raji Fashola will add more value to PMB’s cabinet than several tens of others who may be appointed. That is why his constant pummeling by his own party won’t do anyone any good. People of goodwill need to step in and mediate urgently.
Fashola is about to be consumed by the change he clamoured for.
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