Governor Fashola of Lagos have been widely praised for his many infrastructural developments and advances in Lagos state. While a lot of this has to do with Lagos unique financial position as the business capital of the nation; there is another major factor that has been responsible for this reality that many have overlooked and which reflects in the recent Ekiti state election result.
In Nigerian democracy as it is with many worldwide; there are two pivotal legs that hold our bourgeoning democratic edifice. First is Politics. Second is Operational Governance. Politics has to do with the oiling of the party political machinery and keeping the foot soldiers happy, engaged and loyal during the many months of political inactivity between elections. This involves in the Nigerian context, keeping the boys and godfathers happy in whatever way possible. Politics also involve managing the aspirations of party members and their hopes and ambitions for the next election. This involve building the party structure and supporters and making sure they do not decamp to the opposition. For this to be achieved; you will need to spend lots of money and skill to manage and control the grassroots.
The second leg is about the art of governing. This relates to the operational and infrastructural development and the bureaucracy of governance, law enforcement and planning for growth and prosperity for all. Lagos has been unique amongst all other states because of the ubiquitous presence of Asiwaju Tinubu. Ex Governor Tinubu leads on and has taken full ownership of the real Politics leg in Lagos state. This has in turn freed Fashola to concentrate of governance without worrying or being distracted by many political gymnastics by party loyalists. When was the last time you heard that Fashola was settling fight between party members in Lagos. Almost never. Tinubu rules the politics arena and keeps the foot soldiers happy. This has allows Fashola to concentrate on governing and that has served Lagos well. Fashola would have been less successful like many other governors if he had the misfortune of daily party management of political shenanigans in addition to operational delivery.
In all other states in Nigeria; there is no Tinubu figure. There used to be one in Kwara in the late Dr Olusola Saraki. So all other governors have had to occupy both roles in Politics and Governance. But most have not been able to do this properly. They struggle to get the balance right. Fayemi was good at operational governance but he was bad at politics. He was good with one leg but failed with the other. So much so that the party split under him with some going with Bamidele. It was naïve for Fayemi to think that operational governance alone was sufficient to re-elect him without the price of real politics being satisfied.
In every democracy; there is always a need for a strategy to keep the base happy while at the same time delivering infrastructural and developmental outcomes. So Fayemi was inexperienced if he thought simply brandishing the projects and infrastructure he had completed was sufficient; when he failed to effectively and cohesively motivate the base (and the voters) for his candidacy. In the USA, the truth of this thesis was borne out in last week’s de-selection of Eric Cantor for re-election as Republican candidate in the US House of Representative. Cantor was the most powerful republican in the house outside of the speaker. He was the number 2 man in the house. Very influential and effective. But he neglected his base in his constituency. The base felt he was no longer caring for them and that he was too preoccupied with operational delivery of the house agenda in Washington. So they voted him out. Cantor’s complacency was so brazen that on the day his base were voting; he was pictured having lunch in far away Washington while his opponent was still travelling the local street canvassing for support of the people. Fact is in a democracy; you have to be able to balance both the operational governance of officialdom with real politics of grassroots development that keeps the party base happy. You must be able to do both.
Leaving aside any perceived underhand activities some alleged; Fayose clearly has the real politics sorted in Ekiti. But will he learn from his past mistake by also working to develop the state infrastructure and operational development like Fayemi did. There are many examples of governors that seem unable to multitask on both these legs. Fashola has been lucky. He does not strike me like a typical real politician but a bureaucrat. Without the shield Tinubu provided for him, he would have been unable to achieve as much as he did if at all.
The lesson for all political office holders from a strategy point of view is to either learn to work these two legs, or ensure there is someone handling competently the real politics for you while you focus more of governmental operations. You cannot win elections simply by operational delivery of infrastructure and development; you MUST also be able to play real politics in ways that carry your base with you and ensure their loyalty. You cannot walk far or fast walking on one leg; so also you cannot win re-elections based on one democratic leg.
It is an indisputable fact that the prophetic declaration of the Bible states that the kingdoms of this world will become the kingdoms of our God. Underlining this declaration is an imminent battle of the kingdoms. This take over will not be through negotiations; it will be through firstly intense spiritual warfare then a physical assertion of a spiritual reality by believers all over the world. But who are we going to take over from?
The current epidemic of Islamic fundamentalist violence in their quest to establish Islamic states (Caliphates) across the nations need to be explained. Firstly, we need to understand that groups like the Taliban in Afghanistan and Pakistan, ISIL in Iraq and Syria and Boko Haram in Nigeria as well as many others are not carrying out an Islamic agenda. They are carrying out a satanic agenda, but Islamic disposition seem to have given the Devil a convenient and suitable vehicle to advance his evil agenda in the earth. Afterall; many of the victims of these Islamist groups are innocent Muslims as well. Satan will use whoever is available and yielded to him to pursue his evil agenda. Any religion that encourages you to physically fight on behalf of an all-powerful God, will invariable fall victim to and be hijacked by Satan’s expansionist agenda.
The advance of these violent groups is made possible through the institutionalisation of Islam as a state religion in many countries. So these fundamentalist groups want their brand of Islam to be entrenched in all nations of the earth; and they will kill anyone who stands in their way. Christians have vacated the public space over the past hundred years that all the primordial Christian countries like the UK and USA have now been taken over my liberal dispositions that is increasingly becoming anti-Christian. Most Muslims believe they are not just hear to serve their God; but to take over territories in his name and institutionalise his teachings in the cultural and socio-political space in every nation.
That is why all officially Islamic states are bold and bellicose in enforcing Islamic rights and values as they perceive it. During Ramadan in most Islamic countries; you will be arrested if found eating in public even if you are not a Muslim. During the call to prayers five times daily, public address systems in supermarkets and stores come alive with the Islamic call to prayer; even though many of the shoppers in them are not Muslims. They are not apologetic at all in enforcing the Islamic way. These are commendable traits but the ‘Christian tolerance’ as preached by many passive and pacifist Christians has meant the removal of anything Christian from public life in the traditionally Christian nations. Together with the rise of atheist movement, fundamentalist Islam has moved the Christian flags away from the political totem to a small basement cupboard when nobody can see it.
In addition to the atheist movement and fundamentalist Islam; there is one last factor that has led to the current sorry state of Christian testimony in public life. That is the internal collaborators within Christianity who believe that Christians should not engage with anything in public life from Politics to social organising. These Christians believe we should just stay in our little churches and allow the politicians to do politics. This gospel on non-engagement is not only unscriptural but it creates a vacuum for the Islamic fundamentalists and atheists to fill. So how will the kingdoms of this world become the kingdoms of our God and His Christ (as stated in Revelations 11) if we do not engage with the political arena and other domains of culture?
So what is the point of this short writing? My point is that the time has come for the soldiers of Christ to engage with the world and begin to dominate it. Isaiah chapter two states that; “it shall come to pass in the last days that the mountain of the Lord’s house will be lifted above ALL other mountains”. It went on to say ”..and all the NATIONS shall run unto it (the mountain of the Lord) and they shall say please teach us your ways…”. That means Christians will establish such dominance that all others will come and ask us to teach them our ways because all the fruits of life will dwell in Zion. How do we achieve this? That was revealed in my last book titled “BREAKTHROUGH STRATEGIES FOR CHRISTIANS IN THE MARKETPLACE”. This is over 400 pages of revelation on how Christians must wake up from their slumber and begin to engage in the power of the Spirit of God to dominate territories and extend the frontiers of the kingdom for God. It is about being accurately positioned for what God Himself is about to do. The battle is the Lord’s; but we must be readily available to do what is required of us. And to be rightly positioned; we must get out of the four walls of the building called Church. We must understand that the Church is not a building but a people.
As you will see in the book; this strategy will not involve physical violence of any kind. But it will be a bloodbath battle with Satan and his demons manifesting itself through fundamentalist Islam and atheist mind-sets and strongholds.
So wake up Christian from your slumber and put on the whole armour of God and get ready for the battle in the spirit over the nations. The Marketplace has already been redeemed by the Blood of Christ; it is time we reclaim it and make the kingdoms of this world bow to the King of all kings.