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Ashafa lists gains, as Lagos East APC tackles inducement

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Senator Gbenga Ashafa

In a bid to tackle the issue of inducement during election, Lagos East Senatorial district chapter of the All Progressives Congress (APC) has began a sensitization programme to educate its members on various crucial things to look out for in the selection of candidates from the zone.

This is just as the incumbent Senator, Gbenga Ashafa and his challenger, Chief Lanre Razak, used the opportunity to declare intention to contest the senate seat as well as their plans for the zone.

Senator Ashafa, who is seeking to represent his constituency for third time, expressed confidence that his achievements both in legislative activities and siting of critical projects across the zone would work in his favour.

The senator, who hails from Ibeju-Lekki area of the district, thanked his constituents for showing him tremendous support and offering to pick up the party’s nomination form on his behalf.

“On this ground, I cannot deny them of my services or turndown their request for me,” he said, adding that his achievements are tangible, meaningful and beneficial to the people.

He said: “By way of legislative interventions, there are the Nigerian Railway Bill and various projects that are directly beneficial to Lagos, as well as, the NIPOST bill and topical motions.

“There are also various constituency intervention projects, including ICT/skill acquisition programmes, renovation of schools, portable water projects, upgrading of facilities at healthcare centres, several other scholarships and women empowerment programs among others.”

He said it is understandable why the people want him to seek another term, even as he commended the support of the national leader of the party, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Ashafa pointed out that Tinubu’s “unprecedented leadership vision has impacted positively on the affairs of the party and the state for the past 19 years that the country returned to democratic rule.

“The bold and unpopular step of nudging the party towards adopting an open primary system where every card carrying member of the party will have a stake in deciding their standard bearer and not just few delegates was commendable.” 

He however said that other contestants are welcome, adding: “The mandate remains with the people but their unyielding clamour for my return once more makes it clear that they have kept faith with me. I am confident of victory.”

However, Chief Razak charged electorate to shun material and financial inducement from politicians desperate for power in the 2019 general elections, saying it is necessary for people to shun financial inducement to ensure the emergence of only credible leaders.

He commended the party leadership in the state for its recent decision to adopt direct primaries in electing candidates for the state and national assembly elections as well as the governorship ticket.

Razak, who is an aspirant for the Lagos East senatorial district further, implored the mass media to educate all prospective voters on the repercussions of vote buying and the need to reject politicians offering them cash and food items for support.

“My appeal is that nobody should sell his or her conscience to the highest bidder or succumb to any form of material or financial inducement because those offering voters money are political traders who will spend N10 and later divert millions of Naira of public funds to their private pockets under the excuse that they have paid the people off through vote buying and must therefore recoup their investment’’, he stated.

He attributed most of the nation’s socio-economic woes to bad leadership adding that those seeking public office to render selfless service to the people will not be involved in vote buying.

He urged the reelection of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, who he said has met the expectations of Lagosians and fulfilled all his 2015 electioneering promises to the people by closely following the footsteps of the national leader of the APC and former governor of the state, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

Describing Asiwaju Tinubu as the architect of modern Lagos State, Razak urged public office holders to emulate the leadership qualities of the former governor who he said laid a solid socio-economic and financial foundation for the state when he was in charge between 1999 and 2007 and made the Centre of Excellence first among the 36 states in the federation based on all development indicators.

This, he noted, has ensured that Lagos State is financially independent and not borrowed money to pay salaries and meet its socio-economic and financial obligations to workers and citizens.

According to him, direct primary, which is similar to the Option A4 (open ballot) adopted by the defunct Social Democratic Party (SDP), in conducting its primaries that produced the late Chief M.K.O. Abiola as the presidential candidate in 1993 in the aborted Third Republic, if strictly implemented, will produce popular and credible candidates with massive grassroots support.

Losers of such direct primaries he noted will readily accept defeat and work for the success of the APC in the general elections since the candidates were not imposed on the members of the party.

He urged the political class to fulfil all promises made to the electorate during electioneering, adding: “It is unforgiveable sin for anybody to raise other people’s hope and dash it.

Promising people and not fulfilling it is dashing their hope because they believed you when you were making the promise.”


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