Performance, Track Record Will Give Governor Fashola Second Term

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Last week the Chairman of PDP Lagos State Mr Setonji Koshoedo told The Guardian newspaper in an  interview that performance will not guarantee Governor Babatunde Fashola’s second term. Though our  great party, Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, in Lagos has reacted to the careless and uncouth  statement, I still feel the compulsion as a writer to look at the word ‘performance’ in our  contemporary society and how far we have gone as a nation. First I went into the Advanced Oxford  Dictionary to look at the word ‘performance’ as it relates to the subject of discussion. It describes  performance as an action or achievement, considered in relation to how successful it is: an  impressive, a spectacular, a strong, an inspired performance by the national team – performance  related pay – performance targets. For example, ‘he criticized the recent poor performance of the  company’. Performance is also described as the ability to operate efficiently, react quickly, etc.  high performance cables, high performance individuals e.g. ‘he is impressed by the machine’s  overall/all round performance’. A performer is a person who performs theatrically, or musically. It  could be in school, his place of work, etc.

What of the word perform? Perform means to do, e.g. a piece of work or something or has been ordered  or has agreed to do, to perform a miracle, or experiment, or a remarkable feat – perform an operation  to save somebody’s life, perform a vital service for the community, state or country, to act in an  official way at something, to conduct something, to carry out a duty, etc.

In civilised world and decent societies people who have done well for themselves and see themselves as  performers seek political offices to bring to bear their skills and wealth of experience to better the  lives of their people. These are common and ordinary people blessed with uncommon and extraordinary  experiences and opportunities who seek power with responsibility, wealth with work and politics with  principles. These are people who know that you do not enter the World Series accidentally. There are  instruments God has used to re-brand their societies and countries. They are men of great faith, the  kind of faith children of God have used to wrought righteousness, subdued nations, obtained promises  and even caged the mouths of lions in the days of old and even now.

These are dedicated men, tested and trusted, dependable, very deep, very decisive and determined to  make the difference. These are sophisticated and 21st century leaders who understand Dr John C.  Maxwell’s 17 Laws of Teamwork. They are not hut builders but builders of world class edifice. They are  devoted students of law of communication because they know that interaction leads to action, they are  committed scholars of law of the Price Tag because they know that everything has a price. They are  scholars of the Law of Compass because they know that vision gives the team confidence and direction.  They are disciplined advocates of law of the big picture because they know that the goal is more  important than the role. They are good followers of the law of high moral because they know that when  you are winning nothing hurts, not even the wicked and callous antics of the enemies who see nothing,  hear nothing and feel nothing.

The Chairman of PDP Lagos State Mr Setonji Koshoedo may not have the words ‘perform’, ‘performance’,  or ‘performer’ in his lexicon because he belongs to a party of blind, clueless and warped minds. I am  not worried about Setonji’s age but I am deeply worried about the age of his ideas. It is not that  Setonji does not know what performance is all about but he cannot get it. He cannot figure it out. He  lives in the past. He is lost. In decent societies, it is a well known fact that people get to exalted  positions because they have performed very well in lower positions. The world judges us by what we  say, and what we do. People are promoted to the next level because they have done well at a lower  level. When some 10 or 20 persons are gunning for a position and the recruiters are men and women of  standard, they go for the best performer after both written and oral interviews. In a nation that goes  for standard only the best are good enough. After degree examinations all over the world, the first  class brains (the best performers) are persuaded to remain in the universities as teachers. I was a  witness to how the 2010 World Cup was fought for in South Africa and at the end of the day, the best  performer, Spain ran away with victory.

We say that all roads lead to America today because in action and deed, Americans have showcased  performance. Today, we rate the American, Japanese, German, French, Chinese, Korean, English  technologies highest because of performance. Coach Jose Mourinho is rated the best coach in the world  today because of his performance. I can go on and on but time and space will fail me to continue to  recount the glory of performance in everything we do. We get it right through standards set by  performance and it is only through performance that we can judge those fit for roles and not through  pristine qualities.

Honestly, I do not expect that Setonji of PDP will know the meaning of performance judging from the  antecedents of his ruling party PDP in the past 12 years in Nigeria . This is a ruling party that that  has earned more money in 12 years than what this country has earned from 1960 to 1999 and yet you  cannot point to anything tangible on ground to suggest that we have a Federal Government in place.  They promised security and gave us insecurity, they promised us jobs but created nothing, they  promised us food but gave us stones, they promised us good health but gave bad health, they promised  us good educational system but gave us the poorest in the world. Judging from the ruling party’s  woeful and abysmal performance in the past 12 years, one can easily conclude that PDP has forfeited  its right to continue to preside over the affairs of this country and they must go.

In fact as I am writing this piece, I read of the story of a Nigerian family residing in Dubai, which  came home, planned to travel to Asaba but ‘disappeared’ around Ore. It was after many days that the  distraught father of the family, who did not travel with the rest of the family got to know that his  family was involved in a deadly accident on the perennially bad Benin-Ore road. That a PDP government  cannot fix a simple road in twelve years with trillions of naira speaks of where the Setonjis and  their PDP are coming from. It is indeed a monumental historical disaster and all Nigerians are feeling  the sore effects of PDP’s stay in power when they don’t believe in performance.

Now coming back to Lagos where Setonji says performance alone cannot give Governor Fashola second  term, please let us ask him his benchmarks for measuring leadership. If he cannot tell Lagosians his  parameters for judging a sitting government like that of Governor Fashola in Lagos, I beg that he  should shut up. Setonji must clearly understand that he is dealing with a sophisticated people in  Lagos and he and his party will be judged by whatever they say. Trying very hard to whittle down  Fashola’s monumental service delivery in Lagos in the name of playing politics will hurt PDP more not  only in Lagos but the whole of Nigeria.

Governor Fashola is consulting, he is communicating with Lagosians, he is paying the Price Tag, and he  is showing the way forward for Nigeria. He is re-branding Nigeria; he is giving confidence and  direction to Nigerians. He remains the best governor in Nigeria, all things considered. He has  provided the required templates and benchmarks for leadership in Nigeria. He has successfully made  Nigeria and Lagos a destination of choice because he believes that leadership is all about performance  and nothing else. He believes that he will only get another term when he satisfies the people and not  when he steals all the money to bribe and coerce the people for another term, which is the primary  belief of Setonji and his PDP.

Nigeria is in dire need of heroes that will add value to leadership, give hope to the hopeless, give  confidence and direction to Nigerians and Governor Fashola has done exactly that in Lagos. When he  finishes with Lagos in 2015, he will proceed to Abuja to show the way forward for Nigeria. This I  promise!

•Joe Igbokwe wrote from Lagos.

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