Lagos Gov Race: Ashafa, GOS, Hamzat To Fight For Ticket

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Following the zoning of the 2015 governorship ticket to Lagos East Senatorial District by the Lagos State chapter of the All Progressives Congress, APC, it is going to be a straight battle between two close friends, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon popularly known as GOS and Senator Bareeu Gbenga Ashafa as well as others.

Senator Solomon, P.M.NEWS reliably gathered, will be contesting for the Alausa seat from Ikorodu division.

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The national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, made the declaration after a brainstorming stakeholders’ meeting held at the party secretariat on Acme Road, Ikeja, Lagos, southwest Nigeria.

However, the former governor did not comment on the agitation for a Christian governor for the state in 2015.

Other aspirants fingered to be jostling for the plum job from the zone include Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, Adeyemi Ikuforiji; Commissioner for Works, Obafemi Hamzat; member, House of Representatives and Chairman, House Committee on Diaspora, Abike Dabiri-Erewa; former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan; former aide to Tinubu, Tayo Ayinde, former Accountant-General of the State, Akinwunmi Ambode and others.

The declaration it was gathered, ended the speculations as to which of the three zones would produce Governor Babatunde Fashola’s successor.

P.M.NEWS further gathered that the declaration has equally doused a lot of tension which could have resulted in controversies among party faithful.

Tinubu, who governed the state on the platform of Alliance for Democracy (AD) before it transformed to Action Congress (AC) from 1999 to 2003, came through Lagos West, while his successor, Fashola, came from Lagos Central and he will complete his two terms of eight years in 2015.

Lagos East is the only zone yet to produce a governor in the state since 1999. Lagos East comprises  Somolu, Kosofe, Agboyi-Ketu, Ikorodu West, Ikorodu North, Imota, Igbogbo-Bayeku, Agbowa, Ejinrin, Epe and Ibeju-Lekki Local Government Areas.

•Gbenga Ashafa

Addressing members of the party at a stakeholder meeting held at the state party secretariat, Acme road, Tinubu said: “as we are preparing for the state congress of the party, the people from Lagos East will have to make do with whatever position they give them in the State Executive as they are going to have a chunk of producing the next governor in the state come 2015.”

He also announced that a new guideline for the composition of the State Executive for the benefit of women and youths in the party has been introduced to reflect new faces and loyal members.

Tinubu revealed that the party had arrived at 30% seats for women, 30% for  youths who should not be more than 35 years of age and the remaining 40% for men. He added that the race for the State Executive positions is open, urging interested members to obtain application forms.

On the issue of religion, the APC national leader advised that it should not be politicized, saying that leadership, good quality, competence are more important, especially when the battle and the intention was right.

The interim chairman of Lagos APC, Otunba Henry Oladele Ajomale said Lagos West and Lagos Central have had their share of the governorship slot, hence the turn of Lagos East to have its fair share.

He disclosed that the decision, among others was reached at a crucial meeting of the party on Tuesday.

On whether he would still contest for the party chairmanship in the state, Otunba Ajomale affirmed his intention.

Meanwhile, the stakeholders in Ikorodu area have begun moves that will ensure Fashola’s successor emerges from the zone.

The zone had during a meeting mandated a newly-inaugurated group of eminent persons to shop for a credible candidate for the post.

At a meeting of Ikorodu Division Human Resource Development Board (IDHRDB), its chairman, Prof. Kunle Wahab, said the governorship has continued to elude the division.

“When Lagos was created in 1967, our leaders gave us the impression that the manpower requirement of government and, indeed, the provision of welfare services and infrastructure development would be spread evenly across the five divisions in the state.

“These divisions are Ikeja, Badagry, Ikorodu, Lagos and Epe. Today, we know better. Ikorodu is no longer recognised as a division. It is only part of Lagos East Senatorial District. As part of Lagos East Senatorial District, it is struggling with others in the district for a position believed to have been zoned to the district. For the avoidance of doubt, the district consists of Ikorodu, Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Kosofe, and Somolu/Bariga.

“We have information that Epe is poised for action in the struggle to snatch the governorship position in 2015 from Ikorodu despite the fact that Ikorodu, at one time, precisely in 1992, conceded the governorship position to Epe by outvoting her own son, Prince Abiodun Ogunleye, in favour of Sir Michael Otedola. If one good turn deserves another and if we are to remain politically relevant, we must ask that the governorship race this time be conceded to Ikorodu Division.

“Epe should therefore refrain from the struggle. Lagos East is now in search of an acceptable candidate who would be capable of raising the political and economic bars of Lagos State to a higher level. That is the task ahead of us all and it is a task that must be accomplished. Let us search for eminently qualified candidates for presentation to the powers-that-be in the politics of Lagos State. Thank God we have the numerical strength and the determination to occupy the Oval Office in Ikeja, come 2015,” he said.

The chairman, Ikorodu Division Resource Development Group (IDRDG), Prof. Adebayo Ninalowo, said: “Despite a formidable repertoire of human resources, the governorship of the state continues to elude us. Now, there is a dire need for co-operation and unity of purpose in that regard, irrespective of political or ideological differences.”

Culled from: www.pmnewsnigeria.com

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