by Oluwatosin Fatoyinbo
In preparation for the 2015 elections, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola has invited the party’s governorship aspirants for an interactive session on their vision for the state. THISDAY reports.
The meeting was attended by seven aspirants and served as a form of screening by Fashola to arrive at the likely candidates with the vision he wanst in a successor.
The invited aspirant were the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji; the Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat and former Accountant-General of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, Senate Minority Whip, Senator Ganiyu Solomon; former Commissioner for Special Duties, Dr. Tola Kasali; former Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan and the Senate Vice-Chairman on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, Senator Gbenga Ashafa.
Although Attorney-General and Commissioner for Justice, Mr. Olasupo Shasore was not at the meeting, he is regarded as one of the likely successors to Governor Fashola.
Senator Gbenga Ashafa, one of those invited,has however dropped his Governorship ambition in favour of return to the Senate.
According to a source who spoke to THISDAY, Fashola invited the aspirants “to a private session individually. All the aspirants got to the venue as early as 7a.m. The governor had a private session with them one after the other, though the reason for the invitation was not clear to them until the session kicked off.”
He added that the governor did not disclose to the aspirants the rationale behind the invitation, though he essentially interacted with everyone of them on the vision for Lagos to enable him prepare a list of likely successors to the party leaders.
After the meeting, the source said Fashola privately had another meeting with the APC national leader, Senator Bola Tinubu, during which he discussed the outcome of the interactive session he had with the aspirants contesting on the platform of the party.
Even though he did not participate in the interactive section that took place at Marina, the source said Shasore, who was Fashola’s attorney-general during his first term from 2007 to 2011, was ranked above other aspirants.
He added that the governor might have reconsidered his support for Hamzat, who had served as the Commissioner for Science and Technology and now a serving commissioner for works and Infrastructure.