• As Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, commends the former Lagos State Governor for good governance
• "It's for commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges in the world's most challenging urban environments", says ICG
Oct 26, 2015 - Immediate past Governor of Lagos State and Minister Designate, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, in faraway New York, dedicated the honour of the prestigious annual Stephen J. Solarz Award presented to him by the International Crisis Group (ICG) to team work, saying he was only privileged to be head of a dedicated team of men and women who devoted their lives to a chosen cause.
Fashola, who becomes the seventh recipient worldwide, got the award during the 2oth Anniversary Dinner Award of the global conflict resolution organization in New York "for commitment to resolving social, economic and security challenges" in Lagos, considered by the world body as "one of the world's most challenging urban environments."
In his short remark after receiving the award presented on behalf of ICG by founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr Mo Ibrahim, Mr. Fashola insisted that what happened in the eight years he governed Lagos State happened only because he was privileged to lead "a team of dedicated men and women who devoted their lives to the same cause".
While thanking the organization for the honour of the award, Fashola noted, "When you talked of Ebola, when you talked of security, it was the health workers and the Police who did the work and as leader of the team, I was only blessed with the men and women who really were ready to serve in the place we call home".
The Minister Designate, who said he would have brought the whole team to New York for the award if it were possible, added, "For me it is an honour and it is on their behalf that I accept this award. Let me say that such honour will continue to inspire us to make our State and our country a better place to live for our people".
Describing himself as lucky to be blessed with such a team, Fashola declared, "In all our life's journey we encounter, we meet people who lend a hand, we meet people who inspire, we meet people who support and all of the things that happened throughout the eight years I served as Governor of Lagos State did not happen because of me".
He congratulated the International Crisis Group for the work it has been doing in the past two decades which he described as remarkable and also thanked the Group for the honour accorded him in presenting the award adding that the works of Stephen J. Solarz in whose memory he was receiving the honour has continued to inspire good leadership especially across Africa.
Fashola, who expressed his delight to have received the award from Mo Ibrahim who he described as "my brother", praised the Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation for his commitment to the development of good governance and the eradication of poverty in the Continent of Africa.
Earlier in his remarks before presenting the prestigious award, Mo Ibrahim described former Governor Fashola as "a wonderful man" who, for eight years, exhibited good governance in Nigeria, "a country which suffered for many years from bad governance".
According to Mo Ibrahim, the former Governor came and gave a new face of governance to Nigeria and showed in his eight years in office that he understood what he was sent to do, which according to him, "is to deliver service to the people".
Pointing out some of the remarkable landmarks of service by the former Governor and his team, Mo Ibrahim declared, "For instance, before he came into office, transport from the airport to the city was a nightmare. But when he came he did a wonderful job and things began to move".
He recalled that before Fashola came into governance security was a major challenge in in the country and the State with the Police in bad shape due to lack of institutional support adding that with the coming of the Governor, a new initiative was introduced into security management whereby he invited the private sector and other major stakeholders to support.
According to him, the police were equipped with vehicles decent uniforms and other security gadgets and equipment and Lagos became safe again through the initiative adding that the former Lagos State Helmsman also did the same in the Education and Health sectors.
He recalled that in the area of Education, which according to him is a major challenge in Africa, Fashola invited the Private Sector and they supported in building new schools and equipping them with modern learning aids adding that in the area of Health his most prominent Achievement was the eradication of Ebola.
"I can keep going on and on about all his achievements but the important thing here is that all these happened in Nigeria where governance was a major issue. That is why I am happy today to offer this award to a man who has provided good governance in Nigeria", he said.
The International Crisis Group is an independent, non-profit, non-governmental organisation committed to preventing and resolving deadly conflicts across the globe with Mission and Method which include Field Work, Analysis and Advocacy in crisis locations based on seriousness of a situation, value to international understanding and response, availability of fund and safety of operation.
Former Governor Fashola was accompanied to the high profile event by several prominent members of the Class of 2011 – 2015 of the Lagos State Executive Council including former Commissioner for Economic Planning and Budget, Mr. Ben Akabueze, his Works and Infrastructure, Finance and Commerce and Industry counterparts, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi and Mrs. Olusola Oworu respectively.
Also in the entourage were former Special Adviser on Public Health, Dr. Yewande Adeshina, and former General Manager of the Lagos State Pensions Commission, Mr. Kunle Hussien, as well as a Chieftain of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, Pastor Akintola Daramola, among others.
And present at the impressive ceremony were Nigerian members of the Board of Trustees of ICG including the Vice Chairman and prominent legal practitioner, Mr. Ayo Obe and Founder of Fate Foundation, Mr. Fola Adeola, President & CEO of ICG, Mr. Jean-Marie Guehenno, fellow honorees including President Emeritus of the Group and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Australia, Mr. Gareth Evans, who received the Founder's Award and former Minister of Foreign Affairs of Italy, Ms Emma Bonino as well as Founder of Mo Ibrahim Foundation, Dr. Mo Ibrahim, who presented the Stephen J. Solarz Award on behalf ICG to Mr. Fashola, among others.