Former Governor of Lagos state, Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) has recounted how he met the national leader of the All Progressives Congress, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has been instrumental to his blossom career as a politician.
An interview published in “Asiwaju: Untold Story of The Leader” , a special publication of TheNEWS which profiles the National leader of the All Progressives Congress, Bola Tinubu as a powerful politician.
In one of the the excerts, the new Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola explains how he first met his mentor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu.
Question: When and how did you meet Senator Bola Tinubu? What was your first impression of him?
Fashola: “That is an invitation to walk down memory lane. I think it must have been 1990 or 1991. He was treasurer in Mobil, then. His office was at the Bookshop House at CMS on Odunlami Street.
I didn’t directly meet him. I had seen him at parties, but we never met. At that time, I was a senior associate at the law firm of Sofunde, Osakwe, Ogundipe and Belgore, where I was practising.
Wale Tinubu, his nephew, came to join the law firm, then. He was always mentioning “Uncle Bola”, and one day, he said: ‘’let’s go and see my uncle.” We got there and went out to lunch with him. That was then I could say we formally met.
From then on, he would consult us on legal issues and we would help and give him advice. Sometimes, he would just come and say. “See we have this issue, what do you lawyers think?” We ran around and he would always give us pocket money.
I think one thing that left some impressions on me was his commitment to his staff and that was symbolised by what I witnessed on a particular day after the Sallah celebration.
He brought Sallah meat to the office and supervised its sharing from floor to floor. As exalted as his office was, he was concerned to ensure that those who could not come to his house, even to the lowest driver, got part of the Sallah meat.
I recalled that after the sharing of the meat, he sent someone to aggregate how much it would cost to buy soft drink for everybody and equally distributed money to them.
The incident left an impression on me and what became a practice when I started observing the killing of rams for Sallah. For me, it speaks of his concern about those working for him”