Wednesday, 3 December 2014

The worst APC candidate better than the best PDP can offer – Shashore

The erstwhile Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General of Lagos State, Olasupo Shasore is one of the leading All Progressives Congress, APC aspirants in the race to succeed Governor Babatunde Fashola. In this interview with newsmen in Lagos,
Shasore gives a peep into his plans and policies for Lagos.

By Emmanuel Aziken, Political Editor
WHY are you running for governor of Lagos State?
I feel strong passion for Lagos State, I have served in public service for a while and have gained a lot of experience of what the demands of the people of this state are. With my experience, I have several advantages than other people, but besides that, I feel Lagos State, demands only the best at this time and I think I have the services available to lead the state. I’m running because I have a lot to offer and I have the passion and the commitment to serve the people of Lagos State.

Are you not worried that you are outside Lagos East, the zone the party leadership is looking at to produce the next governor?
I see Lagos personally, as one united constituency, the enormity of the developmental challenges and the share demand on the resources to deliver such services to the people of the state don’t afford us the luxury on cancelling out people on the accident of where they were born or where they come from or the religion they practice.

Historical record
Personally, I feel that the voters in Lagos State want a governor that can deliver those social goods to them.

It is a fact, my family has over a 180-year history to the east division of this Lagos, and that is a matter of historical record. I’m not conjuring it to try and pretend that I’m from the east. We have deep rooted history to east division of Lagos. So, if it was to conjure an identity, I could have easily said that I’m as much as an easterner as anybody in the field.

Many aspirants have political godfathers, who is yours?
This situation is unique in the sense that I have to deal with several stakeholders. I don’t have a godfather who is sponsoring me. I believe that I have all round acceptability. The disadvantage of having a godfather is that you suddenly lose all-round acceptability across board.
There are those who said your coming into the race was after much persuasion from those who don’t want to see you run, so at what point did you finally make up your mind to run?

This is all news to me. I took the decision to participate in this process a while ago. There was nothing like anyone trying to convince me, I’m convinced, it a strong desire, I feel a strong pull to offer myself, it just an offer. I’m stepping out this time to take Lagos to the next level.

Have you consulted with the national leader, Asiwaju Ahmed Tinubu?
I have had extensive discussion with our party leaders both in the state and national levels. Only two or three weeks ago, our national leader called a meeting of all the aspirants in the party in his home which I attended; we discussed issues of mutual interest, the rules and guidelines guiding the process.

Some have said you were brought in to cause an upset. When really did you start nursing this ambition?
Well, immediately the announcement of the availability of forms, I felt like there is an opportunity to present myself for service, because as soon the process kicked off and I could see the terrain and the environment, I actually saw that there is an opportunity for me to present myself. The issue of coming in to create an upset, I cannot see how I should be perceived as that.

If asked to step-down what will you do?
If it emerges after a free and voluntary open and transparent discussion, I will for the good of the party do that because the interest of the party is sacrosanct in APC.

Will you also step down even if you are convinced you are better than the person you are asked to step down for?
As I said, we are fortunate in Lagos APC to the extent that we have an excellent array of aspirants who have signified their interest to run. I believe any of us is eminently suitable to be the governor of Lagos State.
Do you agree with the saying by some that the APC administration in Lagos is anti masses?

Anti masses, I don’t agree with that. It is not anti masses to initiate the first access to affordable housing project in the country. It is not anti masses to extend access to housing policy into policies for our social interest and for our people in the informal sector. It is not anti masses to help a strategic transport master plan that involves increasing the use of the water ways by 25 per cent.

The statistics are there, the use of the water ways are increased by 25 per cent now. We have developed 11 routes and six feeder routes and by next year we will have 26 routes for ferry services. We have imported an organisation called Lagos Ferry Company, which is an initiative to collaborate with private sector to create a Lag Bus on water, to augur the effect of what the private sectors are doing because the deployment of ferries by private sectors are not meeting the demands.
Equalisation measures
So, government has decided to create a Lagos State Ferry Company, you will see a Lag Bus on water very soon. So, these things are not anti masses, they are actually equalisation measures to bring majority of our people to have access to these social services.

Must a lawyer succeed Fashola who is also a lawyer?
Profession is a new one, has it been also zoned away from lawyers? I think lawyers are eminently suitable for public service because of the higher skills a lawyer needs to build to become a successful lawyer. I think the competences you build and develop are what you need in multi tasking leadership role.

Considering that the opposition is seeking to wrest power from your party, how would you work to ensure that your party succeeds?
First and foremost, I am a member of the APC, I will work assiduously to ensure that he succeeds. We do not have a viable workable party option in this country, we don’t have except APC. So, I will assiduously work to ensure we succeed because the worse APC candidate is better than the best PDP candidate.

Why is the worst APC candidate better than the best PDP candidate?
It is based on the assessment of their party candidates and ours over the last four years. I’m sure if you do the statistics and you compare, you will see yourself. The performance, the track record is what people should judge by. Just from the point of view of agenda, personnel, vision. It is extremely unlikely that you can find a candidate from the APC whose vision and agenda is not better than a PDP candidate. So, the worse candidate that we have in APC is better than the best that PDP has.

Source: Vanguard News