Olorunfunmi Basorun, a former secretary to the Lagos State government, on Sunday, September 16, described Gbenga Ashafa, the senator representative of Lagos East, as the district’s greatest ever senator in the Fourth Republic.
“Senator Gbenga Ashafa is the best in Lagos East Senatorial district. There have been other senators like Omoba Kingsley Adeseye Ogunlewe and Adeleke Olurunnimbe Mamora before Ashafa came in. We cannot physically point out what they did in terms of attracting projects to the area or coming near the people and making them to have the dividend of democracy. Ashafa has been doing this,” he said.
Basorun, the pioneer chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, in Lagos State and a former Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, director cited railway modernisation projects in Nigeria, rehabilitation of the Ikorodu-Shagamu Highway, facilitation of water and irrigation projects within the district, installation of transformers in the rural areas, distribution of entrepreneurial empowerment tools, several medical outreach programmes across the district, supporting senior adults, widows and youths as areas where Ashafa performed excellently.
“Senator Gbenga Ashafa has performed on the floor of the House in terms of motions and bills. He has been a pillar of the All Progressives Congress, APC, in the senate. He is a pillar of support for the party and the government. We can’t send Eaglet to the senate. We need Ashafa to be in the senate; to stand and make sure that the right person leads the senate, the right environment that will make Buhari succeed in his second term. We need people like him. The Lagos East Seat is not just for anybody.
“I do not believe Osinowo is in any way in a comparable position to Ashafa” he told journalists in Ikorodu.
“They say somebody is doing fourth term in Lagos State House of Assembly. That does not mean experience. I was reading in the media yesterday, somebody was comparing Ashafa and Sikiru. I have nothing against Osinowo. You cannot compare the two. Ashafa is an accomplished graduate, a civil servant in the state who rose to the position of permanent secretary before retiring. He has been showing it. They call him Mr. Railway in the senate. How can anybody say we collected money? Which money? Our training is not collecting money but saying thank you to those that have done well by asking them to continue.”
Ashafa is understood to have the backing of the leaders of the APC in Lagos State and members within the Lagos East Senatorial District.
“All the leaders without exception assembled on March 1 at Epe and adopted the current governor of the state for a second term. After that ceremony, the arrowheads met again, considered Ashafa’s performance and approved another term for him. There was a second meeting. We met under the leadership of our senatorial leader, Otunba Bashura Alebiosu and formally adopted Ashafa for another term. Just last week, one Mr. Sikiru Osinowo, a four term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly said he wants to run. I do not see anything wrong in it. He can run. I have been in this game since 1963. I was brought up by Chief Obafemi Awolowo and Senator Ayo Fasanmi. We are not taught to run left, right or back because somebody wants to occupy a position. We are taught to have reasons for following someone. We must be consistent in doing so. Ashafa is not being followed in this particular case for nothing. He has attracted projects to this small community,” Basorun said.
He praised Ashafa for his impressive and resourceful delivery of the mandate of the district, particularly his contributions towards the growth of Igbogbo, Ijede, Imota and other areas in the senatorial district.
“Ashafa attracted to Igbogbo an information technology centre. He brought his friend, Rotarian Dr. Adewale Lateef Ogunbadejo to locate a vocational training centre. Over 300 people are being trained now. How can they say I have no reason to support Ashafa?
He urged aspirants in Lagos State to yield to people’s yearning.
“The decision of the leaders is not to impose Ashafa on anybody. We are going to do direct primaries. Ashafa is going to benefit from what he has done. Three days ago, his latest rival was here. My staff told me that one of those who came with Osinowo from Kosofe brought out his phone and showed them photographs of a machine given to him by Ashafa. The machine produces six blocks at a time. This is the story in the senatorial district. I know the number of people who took note from us to collect school fees for their children. Those who have benefited will vote Ashafa, except ingrate,” he said.
Basorun said a particular aspirant appeared to be increasingly violent.
“Some aspirants are carrying thugs about. They should stop it.”
“The PDP is zero in Lagos State. I am in a party that is doing well in Lagos State. Buhari is doing well. He will win in 2019. He should institute a system to redistribute Nigeria’s income. It is too lopsided” he added.
– Sept. 17, 2018 @ 16:09 GMT |