The lawmaker representing Lagos-West senatorial district, Senator Ganiyu Solomon, says among all other governorship aspirants in the state, he is the most qualified person to rule Lagos.
Solomon, who is the Minority Whip of the upper chamber of the National Assembly, said this on Tuesday during his formal declaration to contest for the governorship seat on the platform of the All Progressives Congress.
He said having served as a local government chairman, a member of the House of Assembly, a member of the House of Representatives and a senator between 1999 and 2014, he was the most qualified to run the affairs of the state.
Solomon, who also inaugurated his Ikorodu campaign office, said he had inborn leadership qualities having learnt from his father, Alhaji Rafiu Solmon, who held key positions in Chief Obafemi Awolowo’s Action Group and Unity Party of Nigeria.
Solomon said, “Beyond the legacy of being the son of a politician, I am self-made and my desire to become the Governor of Lagos is borne out of the belief and determination to make a positive change in the lives of our people.
“At the risk of sounding immodest, I wish to say that I stand as the most qualified among my colleagues also aspiring to the position of governor of Lagos, having contested and won elections into the local government, state Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate. I hold an unblemished record of service at every level and position that it has pleased God to place me.”
The party leadership had zoned the governorship to the Lagos-East senatorial district which consists Agboyi-Ketu, Ikorodu, Epe, Somolu, Kosofe and other communities.
However, Solomon, who has been representing Lagos-West for over three years, said he had strong ties with Ikorodu as his father was born in the community and also held a councillorship position in Ebute Ikorodu at the Divisional Local Council in the 1940s.
He promised to reduce poverty, build roads, construct new hospitals and ensure improved security should he become governor in 2015.
(Full Text Of Declaration Speech)
LaGOS CHOICE 2015 DECLARATION: MY PACT, MY HONOUR
BY SENATOR GANIYU OLANREWAJU SOLOMON ON THE OCCASION OF THE OPENING CEREMONY OF HIS IKORODU CAMPAIGN OFFICE, TUESDAY 7TH OCTOBER, 2014
Leaders of our great party,
Gentlemen of the Press
Distinguished Ladies and Gentlemen
I give profound gratitude to God Almighty for making this day possible and bringing us all together here. I pray the Almighty to preserve our lives and grant our desires for the good of our dear state and our people.
Next, I want to thank you all for your invaluable commitment and support to our campaign and the LaGOS CHOICE 2015 project. We have come a long way and by the grace of Almighty God, the time to realize the goal for which we have toiled day and night and persevered for over eight years is just a few weeks from today.
On that day, members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress (APC) will gather to elect the candidate to fly the party’s flag in the 2015 governorship election in Lagos State.
The inauguration of this campaign office in the heart of Ikorodu is a step further in our preparations for this contest. In fact, our gathering here today is the biggest and boldest statement of our unwavering commitment and drive to take Lagos to the next level.
My dear people, with a population of over 18 million, Lagos State is not just the most important destination in Nigeria, its economy is bigger than the economies of many African nations. Lagos State as mini Nigeria is home to all ethnic groups and remains the economic capital of the nation. The status of Lagos as a mega city makes its constant improvement and regeneration of infrastructural facilities very important. Lagos is the centre of excellence and the people of Lagos deserve the best possible.
To this end, since the inception of democratic governance in 1999, our party has produced administrations that have changed the face of Lagos and improved the quality of lives of our people.
Our distinguished leader and governor emeritus, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu laid the foundation for a new Lagos with the introduction of policies, programmes and projects, which set the state far ahead of its peers.
The incumbent administration, led by His Excellency, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN), has in almost eight years taken governance a notch higher and left no one in doubt that Lagos is a reference point in good governance.
Kudos to our great party and party leaders for providing the platform, the environment and the personnel for this enviable progress and development.
We have a duty to sustain these legacies of progressive politics of good governance and development. We have a duty to consolidate on the laudable achievements of the previous and incumbent administrations and improve on them. We have an unflinching commitment to take the baton and move Lagos to greater heights of excellence.
My dear people, today is not just about opening our campaign office. It is a day we have chosen to proclaim to Lagosians and Nigerians far and wide our desire to follow the footsteps of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu and Governor Babatunde Fashola, SAN, to make Lagos more secure, conducive and prosperous.
I am not new in this struggle. That I am in this quest again is a testimony to my belief, commitment and determination towards a greater Lagos. I believe strongly that I have the knowledge, experience and commitment to deliver policies, programmes, projects and services that will enhance the quality of lives of Lagosians.
I started a business career after successfully completing my Bachelor of Science B.Sc degree in Political Science at the University of Lagos. The zeal to offer service later saw me contesting and winning a House of Assembly seat, closely followed by winning the Chairmanship of Mushin Local Government. I served in that capacity between 1999 and 2003.
During my stewardship as local government chairman, I undertook many people-oriented projects and programmes. (Some of them have already been listed in the handbook on my stewardship which soon be distributed across the state). I also contested and won the election as House of Representatives member for Mushin Federal Constituency 1 in 2003.
In 2007 I was elected to the Senate, representing Lagos West District and appointed to several committees, including Works, Sports, Rules & Business, Integration & Cooperation and Capital Markets, on which I served as chairman.
I sponsored bills on amendment of the National Directorate of Employment Act, Electronic Commerce, Whistleblowers Protection, Institute of Capital Market Registrars and Elderly Persons Centre, as well as sponsored or co-sponsored many motions. I was re-elected into the Senate and currently hold the position of Minority Whip.
I have been engaged in philanthropy using the platform of GOS Foundation, which I set up to provide assistance in skills acquisition, educational development, micro-credit, healthcare and poverty alleviation.
Many have raised questions on my political career and particularly the choice of Ikorodu as my base for the governorship contest. Those who raise these questions are not informed about my Ikorodu ancestry. My father, Alhaji Rafiu Ishola Solomon popularly called R.I of blessed memory was born at Ipakodo in Ikorodu here to the family of Taiwo Solomon and Comfort Ogunsanya.
Today, some may not also know that my father lived the early part of his adult life in Ikorodu where he became a successful businessman before he joined politics. His popularity here in this great town made him contest a councillorship seat, which he won, to represent Ebute Ikorodu at the Divisional Local Council in 1940s when he was still in his 20s on the platform of Action Group (AG). It was to further the interest of this great political camp that R.I left Ikorodu to establish a formidable base in Mushin in 1949. He was twice a Councilor in Mushin town council. First as a nominated Councilor in 1972 during which he held the chairmanship position of the council’s market committee. He later became the de facto chairman of UPN in the state.
A close ally of the late Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo and contemporary of former Lagos Governor, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, my father held the position of the Deputy State Chairman of the defunct Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) until the military takeover in December 1983.
Beyond the legacy of being the son of a politician, I am self-made and my desire to become the Governor of Lagos is borne out of the belief and determination to make a positive change in the lives of our people. At the risk of sounding immodest, I wish to say that I stand as the most qualified among my colleagues also aspiring to the position of governor of Lagos, having contested and won elections into the local government, state Assembly, House of Representatives and Senate. I hold an unblemished record of service at every level and position that it has pleased God to place me.
What am I offering Lagos as governor? I will lead a government that will ensure improved security of lives and property.
I will assemble a formidable team that will not only adequately maintain existing infrastructure, but provide new ones.
Lagosians will enjoy more road and sea infrastructure, hospitals, schools and renewal of the environment. I promise to reduce poverty, create new jobs and youth development programmes. I promise support for the organized private sector. I promise to accord the traditional institution, the elderly and vulnerable citizens of our state due recognition and support.
I intend to run a transparent and corruption-free government that will give all stakeholders: civil servants, public servants and residents of Lagos their dues and make everyone happy.
My dear people, I hereby formally declare my intention to seek nomination as a candidate of the APC to contest the 2015 governorship election in Lagos State.
By the grace of God, I, Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, will stand in the governorship primaries as your candidate and the popular choice of the mass of our people on the platform of our great party, the APC. It is heartwarming that our party has adopted the modified open primaries to select candidates for elective offices at all levels. This is a paradigm shift that will guarantee the choice of candidates favored by the majority of our party members. I commend our party leaders for this laudable initiative and look forward to transparent and rancour-free primaries.
I urge you all to go back to your wards and mobilize for the party primaries and for our success. With your prayers, hard work, loyalty and support, we shall triumph.
Can we make it happen? Are we ready?
By the grace of Almighty God, Team LaGOS CHOICE 2015 will produce the fifth democratically elected Governor of Lagos.
I thank you all. E seun pupo
Eko o ni baje o!
Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon