The lawmaker representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Sen Gbenga Ashafa, in this interview, speaks on his prospects of emerging victorious at the senatorial primaries scheduled for October 3, 2018.

BY CHARLES KUMOLU,Deputy Features Editor

How are you preparing for the senatorial primaries in Lagos East Senatorial District?

Our campaign is on top gear and my constituents have showered me with love and support. I am quite glad that my leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, has created a level playing field for everyone within the party by adopting the direct primaries method. As such I have been engaging with my constituents and running a campaign that is largely hinged on my achievements over the years. There is no doubt that the people would elect me  for another term.

Sen Ashafa

There are reports lately that claimed that your re-election ambition is experiencing some hitches. How true is that?

That is not true and it is another clandestine tactic from the camp of one of the contestants who is known to us. It is a signal of their fear and their unfortunate attempt to avoid free and fair contest at the primaries as prescribed by  the All Progressives Congress.

At this juncture, it is crystal clear that our opponent is jittery and intimidated by my popularity and has resorted to the dissemination of propaganda, fake news and the unwarranted use of force.

We wish to reassure our teeming supporters and party faithful that I am in a very good spirit and positive of victory at the upcoming polls. I urge my supporters to remain resolute and confident while going about their activities peacefully and within the bounds of the law. No amount of fake news and propaganda can stop this movement. We are in this to win. We are in this for the people of Lagos East, we are in this together.

What are the contentious issues that resulted in the challenges you seem to be experiencing at the moment?

As I said, there are no challenges except  the rigours of running an effective campaign. Otherwise, I’m in high spirit.

As a ranking senator, one would have expected that the representation you have offered so far would have foreclosed the current intrigues over your ambition?

With what I have seen reaching out to my constituents across the five major Local Government Area ,LGAs, I am confident that they will be putting me forward to represent them. No one wants to change a winning team. I have been loyal to the party, delivered 96 projects to my constituents, pushed 26 bills and led 12 motions. I am a reliable hand in the Senate, highly dependable and firm believer in the agenda of the APC.

It was even alleged that your appearance at the declaration of Governor Ambode was one of the issues that some APC chieftains hold against you. How true is that?

Let me assure everyone that such allegation to the effect that there are issues between  any party chieftain and I over my appearance at the governor’s declaration is baseless and false. We have to remember that I am the Senator representing the Senatorial District where Ambode hails from. Hence when the sitting governor extended an invitation to me to attend his declaration, I believe that protocol and courtesy demanded that I attend such an occasion. In actual fact, the larger picture is that as a Senator in Lagos State, it would not be out of place to attend the declaration of any member of my party. The upcoming primaries is a family affair and in line with the direction of our party and our National leader, all aspirants are going to face the polls and would only be elected based on a popular appeal to the members of the party across the state. There is no big deal about my presence at Governor Ambode’s declaration.

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