The senator took the audience through memory line, enumerated his achievements, why he remains the best man for the job and seek the support of the party members for October 2, 2018 Lagos East Senatorial, National Assembly direct Primary election.
SPEECH DELIVERED BY SENATOR GBENGA B. ASHAFA AT THE PRESS CONFERENCE HELD TO BRIEF THE CONSTITUENTS OF LAGOS EAST ON HIS ACHIEVEMENTS IN THE SENATE AND ASPIRATIONS TOWARDS THE 2019 GENERAL ELECTIONS AT MERCY HALL ON MONDAY 24TH SEPTEMBER, 2018
Dear Good people of Lagos East Senatorial District, slightly over 7 years ago in 2011, we began a new phase in the advancement of our Senatorial District in the area of representation at the National Level. We began this journey together when on the platform of the Action Congress of Nigeria, you gave me a mandate to be the face and voice of our district in the Senate of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. I am very grateful for the solidarity and support you have given me from the very beginning to date and I do not take your support for granted. To the people of Ibeju Lekki, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Somolu and Epe I say thank you.
I made a commitment to you then and indeed in 2015 when on the strength of your votes, I returned to the National Assembly to continue the assignment. My commitment to you has remained that I would continue to provide qualitative representation to every single constituent of our district. This entails that I ensure that every thing that accrues to our senatorial district and indeed our state from the center is attracted and delivered to our people. This also entails that I carry myself in a way and manner befitting of the legacy of brilliance, good character, good conscience and personal leadership that have become characteristic of the Senators from our district since the inception of the 4th republic in 1999.
You would agree with me that our district currently stands tall on the legislative precedents that have been laid down by the succession of Senators that have represented us since 1999. My distinguished predecessors Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, my immediate past predecessor and brother whom I fondly refer to as my teacher, the most Distinguished Senator Olorunimbe Mamora and my humble self. It is a legacy of excellence which the Eastern District of Lagos has worked hard to maintain and improve upon. Nothing short of excellence is expected and nothing short of excellence is deserved by the resilient, industrious and hardworking people of Lagos East. It is a privilege to stand on this legacy as I address you today.
In the past 7 years, through your support, I have been able to deliver 96 verifiable and functional projects, 26 Bills, and 12 Motions of local and National importance. Together we have been able to deliver poverty alleviation programs that have benefitted over 50, 000 of our constituents directly and through them even more. Together we have constructed and rehabilitated schools across our Senatorial District, we have provided ambulances for some hospitals and embarked on various free healthcare initiatives for our people. Together we have instituted a back to school program that annually benefits our children in public schools across all the Local Government Area’s and Local Council Development Area’s of the greater Lagos East. Together we have made haste calmly to deliver portable water projects as well as rural electrification projects to improve the living conditions of our people in the township and suburbs as well. Our dear state has never missed an opportunity for international funding and support because, together with my colleagues we have ensured that the Lagos State Government secures the approval of the Nigerian Senate for every such intervention. The Lagos State Development Policy Operation from the world bank in the sum of 200 Million Dollars is an example.
In my capacity as the chairman of the Senate Committee on Land Transport, I have solidly stood in support of the rail revitalization work of this administration ably led by President Muhamadu Buhari GCFR. We have ensured that funding for all the critical rail projects are appropriated and overisghted as at when due. We have ensured that the benefits of these projects accrue to Lagosians as well in the area of job creation and infrastructure development that are associated with the ongoing Lagos to Kano Standard Gauge Rail Modernization Project as well as the upcoming Calabar to Lagos Coastal Rail Project which would be of direct impact on Lagos East Senatorial District.
Politically, we have remained one. We have remained resolutely committed to the progressive and democratic ideals of our National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and our great party the All Progressives Congress. Despite the influence of my rank as your Senator, I have made sure that I tow the path of consensus of the leadership of the party in the State and our District in arriving at the choices of leadership at various levels within the party and Local Government Structures. It is not in our character to impose leaders on you but to consult with you all and with you align with your choice as the strength of our party.
Therefore, I say to you today that the choice before us in 2019 is a choice between consolidating on the legacy of qualitative and excellent representation with proof or taking a blind gamble on a path with no proven reward. The track record of each and every one in the race for the Lagos East Senatorial District Senatorial Ticket is right before you. It is therefore only wise that our choice is made based on the strength of character, track record of service, competence and trust.
My ever supportive people of Lagos East, I must equally remind you that I am one of you and I am just like you. I was born and bred in Lagos State, with my background firmly rooted in Ibeju Lekki. I attended Christ Church Cathedral Primary School, Lagos, the prestigious CMS Grammar School Bariga Lagos before proceeding to the United States of America where I obtained my bachelor of sience degree from Morgan State University, Maryland USA and my Masters Deegree in Public Health from the University of Tennessee. I started out in the Local Government Service of our dear state immediately after my National Youth Service and I served meritoriously for a decade before proceeding to start out in the business world. Having also been in the business world I understand your plights and the need to influence policy in your favour to stimulate market forces. I understand how much funding is a problem and why only policies and legislative intervention at the federal level is your best bet. As a member of the National Assembly Business Environment Roundtable, I was equally involved in the passage of the Secured Transactions in Moveable Assets Act 2018 which has already started making access to finance easy for our young people. After a decade long stint in business, I returned to the Lagos State Civil Service where I served under Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for 10 years and then under Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola for almost four years before this call to National Service. I am one of you, civil servants and business/craftsmen I have walked in your shoes and I am still walking with you. I know where the shoe pinches and I ask you all to walk with me as we aspire for victory at the upcoming primaries of the All Progressives Congress.
On the 2nd of October, 2018 the members of our great party would file out in line with the democratic standards laid down by our National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to participate in the direct primaries to elect our representatives at various levels in the upcoming 2019 general elections. The power has been returned to the people. Therefore I commit myself to you with the promise that we are taking the representation of Lagos East Senatorial District to the next level. In 2015 we improved on our work in the term that commenced in 2011, as at today on the strength of work done, we make bold to say that together we have taken it up another notch. Our sacrosanct commitment to you is that together we can do much more.
As I conclude, I want to express my gratitude to every member of our party in Lagos East Senatorial District, our leaders in the district who have remained on the path of truth, good conscience and justice, the leaders of the party in the state and Nationally and most importantly my leader, our National Leader Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu who has continued to lead us in the path of progress. I am grateful for what we have been able to achieve together, I am grateful for the opportunity to serve and I thank you in advance for reaffirming your mandate to me to continue to be of service to the good people of Lagos East Senatorial District.
Thank you, God bless the greater Lagos East!
God bless Lagos State!!
God bless the Federal Republic OF Nigeria!!!
Together We Can Do More.