Former Lagos Commissioner for Health, Dr. Leke Pitan has declared his interest in vying for the state governor’s seat in 2015.
He made the declaration at a media interaction weekend in Lagos where he expressed confidence in the ability of his party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) to win all elective positions in the state during the next general elections.
The former Commissioner during the eight year administration of former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu declared that he joined the race because his party would need a candidate Lagosians are familiar with and could trust for the party to emerge victorious in 2015 elections.
“As progressives, we have promised the people social service. If you promise to cloth the people, you won’t send a carpenter to them. You will rather send a tailor who has been doing that for them, they will be happy and have confidence in such. As such, my coming into the race is not about personal ambition, but to keep the tempo of providing social services for the people, the foundation of which some of us worked with Asiwaju Tinubu to lay in 1999 and which the incumbent Governor Babatunde Fashola has creditably built on”, he stressed.
According to him, the leadership of his party is conscious of the fact that it must present to the people an acceptable candidate, particularly somebody like him they have had an encounter with in the past through some of the people-oriented programmes he implemented while in office.
He cited some of the laudable programmes he initiated in the education and health sectors where he served under Governor Tinubu to include the Lagos State Ambulance Service(LASAMBUS) meant to save accident victims and give them medical attention right from the scene of the accident to the hospital; creation of the first Health Service Commission in Nigeria; creation of the first HIV/AIDS Control Agency in Nigeria; creation of Blood Transfusion Screening Centres with the first enabling blood transfusion law in Nigeria; mass free health schemes such as, the Blindness Prevention Programme; Free Corneal (Eye) Transplant Programme; open Heart Surgery Programme; Free School Milk Programme for school children; Creation of 25 technical and vocational training centers as annexes to the technical college all over the state and the Creation of 29 inclusive education schools all over the state for handicapped children among others.
He emphasised that the core programme in the manifesto of his party is provision of social services to the people, which he assured Lagosians would get more if chosen by his party and voted for by the people.
Appealing to the people, he noted that his party needed their support to prevent any form of electoral malpractices which the opposition is scheming to engage in during the general elections to force their way into office despite the fact that they have failed the people in all capacities they have served.
Dr Pitan who is currently the Special Advisor for Africa, International Hospital Federation, IHF promised the people to bring to bear his experiences both in his professional endeavours and political exploits which date back to the second republic in making the state a more conducive clime.
While reacting to the position of the party leadership which favours a Christian from Lagos east senatorial zone, the former Commissioner said all that works in his favour since he is a Christian from the area.
According to him “I was born into a christian family of Late Snr Evang. David Ibikunle Pitan and Madam Solabomi Ojuolape Pitan in Agbowa – Ikosi LCDA in Epe local council area of Lagos East Senatorial District.”
While also defending his credentials as a thorough technocrat and an experienced politician, Pitan said “I have worked and served in various capacities. I am a member of the Forum on evidence-based health policy-making of the Nigerian Academy of Science. I am Chairman of the Project Advisory Committee of the Ford Foundation’s Health Journalists’ Immersion programme on Maternal, Child and New born Health and an Executive Director of Pitman-UK training Centre in Nigeria.
“I was the Commissioner for Education between April 2006 and June 2007. I was also the Commissioner for Health between June 1999 and March 2006. Before then, I was Chief Medical Director of the Mayowa Hospital here in Lagos. I was elected Governing Council member for Nigeria, the first African at the IHF 34th World Hospital Congress held in Nice, France, in 2005, for a six-year (2005-2011) term of office. During this period, I was elected Treasurer for two consecutive terms (2007-2009 & 2009-2011). I am also a member of the IHF Executive and Audit and Finance Committees.”