In today’s Nigeria, there is no way that a Lateef Jakande would get elected into office. Jakande never gave out one bag of Rice, Garri, Elubo of tin of palm oil to anyone to get elected.
Jakande was a man of modest means and did not have the millions with which to bribe party delegates. Jakande also did not have an army of thugs at his beck and call with which to intimidate political opponents.
During the last Osun State elections, I recollect one of the APC leaders saying that the people came to them to mention that the PDP was handing out stomach infrastructure palliatives. They told the APC that it needed to follow suit if the party wanted their votes and it duly obliged. A man like Jakande would have told them where to go with their votes
When you look at Jakande’s infrastructural projects such as Lagos State University, his housing units, his refuse disposal plant, the ferry service etc, he had ample opportunity to steal millions but alas, the man was not interested.
I am not aware of Jakande awarding any contract to his wife, siblings or family members. That is totally unheard of in Nigeria today.
If Jakande was a politician today, everyone would be calling him a fool and an idealist. The truth is that he would never get the party nomination of either the PDP or APC and even if he did, nobody would vote for him.
French philosopher Joseph de Maistre once said:
“Every nation gets the government it deserves.”
Lateef Jakande symbolises this perfectly. When we wanted to progress, we elected leaders like Jakande. Today, we all just want our share of the national cake, our short-term palliatives, contracts and our own cut, so we elect governors like Ibori and Gandollar.
There are 109 senators in the National Assembly. Now, if you selected 109 Nigerians randomly at Oshodi market, you would find that their thoughts mirror those of the senators. It is a myth that Nigerians want good governance and the only problem with the country is bad leadership. Bad followership is arguably a far bigger cancer in our society today.
As a people, when we are ready for change, we will get it. At the last election, we all saw how nobody had the time for the policies Omoyele Sowore, Fela Durotoye and Kingsley Moghalu were outlining.
They were putting forward policies on health, education, housing, economic diversification, transport, security, etc but alas, the electorate was more interested in: “Wetin you bring us?” I believe the Nigerian elite are well within their rights to rob such ignorant people blind. It serves us damn right.