By Ikechukwu Okaforadi
Minister of works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday said that good governance and ability of politicians across party and regional divides will determine the political party that will emerge victorious in the 2023 presidential and other elections.
Speaking with journalists in Abuja, Fashola, who was Governor of Lagos State, also expressed hope that his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC), will defeat the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) given the numerous development projects initiated and being executed by President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I belong to a political party, APC and it is committed to good governance because I think the best politics is good governance. The beauty of it for me is the opportunity it gives to impact peoples lives. We have elections only once in four years, but we have responsibility to provide good governance everyday and that is the culture of APC”, he told journalists during an interactive session.
Speaking further, the Minister autioned those fanning the embers of conflict in the party saying that those who run the party should be allowed to do so, while those appointed to serve in the executive arm should be equally allowed to do their jobs, which he emphasised as being distinct from each other.
He said “Now in terms of of the Caretaker Committee, perhaps this is a good opportunity. The first meeting of APC don’t forget, what became APC, the first meeting was convened in my official residence in Lagos. Eleven of us, some of you were asking what we were doing, eleven Governors and I said you just watch. But after that, there is a bigger responsibility.
“Winning the election is not the challenge, it is delivering the good governance that is the big deal and that is what I am committed to do. So you see, at that time, we had party officers, some people decided that they wanted to be Chairman, Secretary, Treasurer, Publicity Secretary, we voted for them. That is what they choose. If there is a crisis that has now led us to have a Caretaker Committee, we must also respect the Caretaker Committee, let it do its job. Those of us who did not contest to hold party offices, let us focus on our jobs too and stop bashing in each other’s room.”
Responding to whether he will support the alleged plans by Mai Mala Buni caretaker committee of the APC to get extension time within which to hold a national convention, he said every support the Caretaker committee required, he will provide as long as it is within his reach.
“So, every support that the Caretaker Committee requires we will provide if it is within our reach to do so. I am in touch with him, at the end of the day we are governed bu rules. I know quite a number of them on a personal basis. So let us support them to achieve the immediate mandate of their responsibility. They brought some stability, at least we won an election. Some Governors have joined us where we think that we could not get water before…
“To retain power in 2023, certainly if we keep our promises, is that simple. That is politics. If you do what you said you will do, even if you do not do 100% and they see that you are making progress, they will even want you to finish some of what you started. Our opposition has to think better than us inorder to defeat us, right now they are not doing that. When it is election time they should come and meet us.
Fashola, while dismissing zoning as being unconstitutional, however said it is a mere agreement between the North and South of the country which honour requires must have to be obeyed for peace and unity.
“First let us talk about law, let us talk about agreement, the law is the Constitution. Constitution decides the age which you can contest certain offices and there is nothing in the Constitution that says zoning. All are political parties, political parties are like clubs where you write agreements, just like a social club and we can decide that it is the youngest person who will be the Chairman of the Club.
“Or we can decide that it is the oldest person or the next female or the next male, that is the matter of agreement between people. But the Constitution that sets up the climate of political parties formation does not prescribe zoning.
“The truth is that what makes an agreement efficacious is the honour in which it is made, not whether it is written. If it was about being written, there would be no Court cases of bleach of contract because it is document that is written and signed that go to court. But the private agreement you make with your brother and sister can be bleached, so it is honour.”