Most of us had worked with the then Governor of Lagos State, Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for several years, some for four years, some for eight years. And we decided that every year, on the occasion of his birthday, we would take time to discuss matters of national importance. Part of the reason why we did so was because Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu was an unusual governor in Lagos State.
Let me say why it was unusual. The reason why it was unusual was because it was a government where there was a great deal of argument and he, as the leader of that government, allowed so much argument and so many different shades of ideas.
I recall a particular occasion, when we started talking about the land use charge. I know that there are issues around the land use charge today. But when the old concept developed around the land use charge, there were so many arguments. One group felt that we shouldn’t even introduce the charge, another group felt that we should do so. I remember that in Ikeja, where this argument was taking place, we were in a small room; Lai Mohammed was there, Wale Edun, Yemi Cardoso, I think Dele Alake, and a few others. We were all there arguing on both sides. At some point, when Asiwaju was losing the argument, he said, “Ah, were you the people who were voted for?” Then he stormed out of the room and left. Then, we all waited. Nobody left. He came back a few minutes later and said, “ah, are you people still here? Then he continued the argument. Now he came back with more facts and figures. So we suspected that when he stormed out of the room, he actually went to bring some more facts.
In the end, we instituted the charge and so many other different ways by which the foundation for what we see in Lagos State today were developed. And I want to just commend Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu again, for ensuring that, not only did he develop a whole generation of persons who have become, in various respects leaders, but also that he allowed that group of people to develop ideas to contradict him many times, to controvert his own ideas many times, and many times, he gave in to those ideas, and we’ve seen the results of it.