Mr. Segun Ayobolu, a former Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Lagos State ex-governor, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has said the first 100 days of the administration were his worst nightmare.
Ayobolu spoke yesterday in Ikeja, the state capital, while presenting a paper, titled: The Dynamics of Public Affairs Management.
The occasion was the celebration of the 60th birthday and retirement from the state civil service of a former Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Folarin Adeyemi.
The former CPS recalled the overwhelming challenges the administration confronted as it was settling down to govern the state.
He said: “As Chief Press Secretary to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the anniversary of his 100 days in office in 1999 was one of my worst nightmares.
“The reviews in the media were exceedingly negative and abominable. Critics after critics focused on the refuse heaps on the roads, the potholes and veritable craters on most roads, the scarcity of water, the terrible insecurity with armed robbery attacks on banks and snatching of vehicles occurring almost on a daily basis.
“For a government, which had about three months to get ready, the first three months in office seemed to have caught it by surprise. No practical solution had been applied on any problem so far then.
“Refuse heaps, which, like armed robbers, can neither talk nor think, challenged the wits of the governor.
“Consider all the other areas, like housing, education, health and rural development. They were still at the blueprint level… Asiwaju Tinubu had enough time to prepare. He was even praised for taking the initiative of setting up a team to draw up an action plan.
“His inauguration speech was excellent, showing clarity of thought and evidence of insight. But what went wrong? Could it be the fish in water syndrome which, out of water, just bobs and bobs? The future, the very near future would tell.”
Ayobolu told the gathering comprising three ex-commissioners for Information and Strategy, among other media practitioners and scholars.
The former CPS said most of the critics were not bothered that the problems were the inheritance from years of military neglect and misrule and could thus not be resolved instantaneously or magically.
Happily, he said the Tinubu administration rose to the occasion and set a standard in governance that has been difficult to beat across the country.
Also, Adeyemi announced the setting up of a foundation, Fola Adeyemi Foundation, to train indigent journalists.
He broke the cheery news at his 60th birthday and retirement from the state civil service.
During the launching of his book, titled: The Dynamics of Public Information Management: Memoirs of A Veteran Public Affairs Manager, Adeyemi said the proceeds from the book would go to the National Association for Women Journalists (NAWOJ).
The former commissioner said the foundation is his way of giving back to the society and journalism, which was instrumental to his rise and successes.
He made an instant donation to the foundation and promised to make the gesture a yearly affair.
Adeyemi said this would ensure that indigent journalists get the requisite training to excel in their profession.
The foundation has representatives of the Nigeria Union of Journalists (NUJ) and NAWOJ on the board that will administer its fund.