Shasore’s entry changes dynamics of Lagos governorship race
The entry of Olasupo Shasore, a senior advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and former attorney-general and commissioner for justice, into the Lagos State gubernatorial race is changing political dynamics in the state, political analysts have said.
Shasore recently joined the fray for the All Progressives Congress (APC) ticket for the 2015 governorship election in Lagos, with the analysts saying he may enjoy the blessing of critical stakeholders within the party and the state.
With Shasore’s entry, the analysts say there are now four major contenders for the APC governorship ticket in the state. They are Akin Ambode, Femi Hamzat, Ganiyu Solomon, and Olasupo Shasore, who is the latest entrant.
Other less-likely aspirants include Leke Pitan and Tola Kasali, both medical doctors and former commissioners for health, Adeyemi Ikuforiji, incumbent speaker of the House of Assembly, and Lanre Ope, a former member of the state House of Assembly. Gbenga Ashafa, senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, who earlier indicated interest in the governorship, has withdrawn from the race.
Just last week, Shasore presented his recent book on Lagos, titled ‘Possessed – A History of Law and Justice in the Crown Colony of Lagos, 1861-1906’.
At the event, the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu, and Governor Babatunde Fashola spoke glowingly of Shasore.
The Oba specifically described Shasore as a “true son of Lagos”, saying, “There are many things that were taken unlawfully from us. When Fashola leaves office after eight years, Emi pelu e ni ajo ma joko (you and I will sit down). What we used in Oduntan between 1905 and 1913, we will use it to get them back.”
Shasore’s entry is also said to be causing a stir for aspirants who had long declared intention to vie for the governorship. He is believed to have in-depth knowledge about Lagos and at a vantage position to better defend the state’s interest, especially regarding the agitation for the Federal Government to accord the state a special status.
Nonetheless, Akin Ambode, former accountant-general of the state, remains confident that he will win the party’s ticket for the 2015 elections. Although there is ongoing argument about indigeneship, Ambode remains one of the strongest contenders for the seat.
At the opening of his campaign office with thousands of party members in attendance, Ambode promised to build a new level of leadership that would eradicate poverty in Lagos and set up a committee to campaign at the grassroots level.
Femi Hamzat, sitting commissioner for works and infrastructure, is believed to have the support of Governor Fashola. But with Shasore’s entry, political pundits in the state say the support base may shift.
Hamzat also has indigeneship issue to contend with. He faces the denigrating remarks from Oba Akiolu, who while publicly endorsing Ambode, declared that a man whose father is an Oba somewhere in Ogun State cannot be the governor of Lagos State. Hamzat’s father is the sitting Oba in Ewekoro community in Ogun State.
Ganiyu Solomon, another strong contender for the Lagos governorship seat, has since opened his campaign office in Ikeja.
A former chairman of Mushin Local Government Area, Solomon was elected into the Federal House of Representatives for Mushin Federal Constituency 1. In April 2007, he was elected to the Senate on the Action Congress (AC) platform for the Lagos West constituency.
In the run-up to the 2011 elections, Solomon was unopposed in his bid in the Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN) primaries to run for re-election. He was re-elected on 9 April, 2011.
But in spite of the increasing number of aspirants, BusinessDay gathered that the party is working assiduously to arrive at a consensus through rancour-free primaries.
“We are not leaving anything to chance, we are not ruling out primaries. The Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) is waiting to see a crack within the APC and take advantage. We are aware of this; our party will not allow any internal wrangling. We will arrive at a deal through rancour-free primaries,” said an APC chieftain at the weekend in Lagos.
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