By Ayodele Adio
Yesterday, in what became an anti-climax, Honorable Bayo Osinowo declared to run for a seat in the senate, to represent the people of Lagos East – a constituency already enjoying credible repressentation by Senator Gbenga Ashafa. Surrounded by friends and supporters, Honorable Osinowo read to his audience a prepared speech that was rather uninspiring – while struggling to articulate anything close to a coherent agenda if given the mandate. One would have expected a little more detail and rigor from a legislator who has served in the Lagos state house of Assembly for 15 years. To say his declaration speech was disappointing is only to put it mildly.
Perhaps a case of gross negligence, it was quite surprising that there wasn’t a single mention of any key legislation, sponsored or championed by Honorable Bayo, capable of positively impacting the well-being of the average Lagosian. So, It is either the bills sponsored by Honorable Bayo aren’t worth a mention or he has been unable to sponsor a single bill in his 15 years of ‘service’. The latter seems more plausible, as I have exhausted every search engine at my disposal in search of a bill to his name, only to be reduced to a futile adventure of attempting to fetch water with a huge basket.
In what seemed like an attempt to reel out his achievements as a 15 year old legislator, Honorable Bayo read out the following words, “Based on what people are saying in the House of Assembly, I have been known to be a peacemaker, and with the support of my colleagues in the house, we have made the Lagos State House of Assembly the most peaceful in the country. So, I am taking the message of political peace and love to the upper chamber. So help me Allah”. Dear Honorable, love and peace are wonderful virtues, but much more is required of a Senator. Stacked before the people of Lagos East and Nigeria as a whole, are a plethora of challenges that require creative pragmatism, detail, discipline and capacity to deliver on legislations that would form the bedrock of socio-political and economic development.
Forgive me Honorable, but your message of peace and love is a weak attempt to sell a ‘pig in a poke’ and the people of Lagos East would not allow a wool to be pulled over their eyes.
Senator Ashafa, has, by hard work and diligence earned the respect of his distinguished colleagues in a manner that allows him push bills through and lobby effectively un-behalf of his constituents. This explains why he has been able to attract and complete 96 projects in his constituency and sponsored several bills like The NIPOST bill, The Nigerian Drug Law Enforcement Agency Act Amendment Bill 2016, National Transport Commission Bill, The Nigerian Railway Bill and a host of others. Senator Ashafa has matched his rare capacity to deliver remarkable results with an unwavering loyalty to the party, its agenda and the leadership. He has defended budgetary proposals by the executive with regards to railway funding and was crucial to getting the senate to approve the 200 million dollar loan for the Lagos state government, requested from the world bank for infrastructural development.
There is no doubt that the choice before the people of Lagos East is an easy one, a serving senator, Gbenga Ashafa, who has demonstrated unusual capacity and a long serving state legislator whose resume is filled with ‘peace and love’.