A frontline contender in the race to occupy the seat of the Lagos East Senatorial District in the upper chamber of the National Assembly, Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru, popularly called GOA by his teeming supporters has formally withdrawn from the race.
Abiru, a retired Permanent Secretary and former Clerk of the Lagos State House of Assembly, whose campaign for the Senate seat has put the spotlight on Ikorodu Division as the ‘legal’ occupant of the Lagos East Senatorial Seat at the Senate in 2019. This is, judging from the overwhelming support from youths and key stakeholders across Ikorodu Division and the entire Lagos East District since he joined the race.
Abiru, in the statement, made available to Ikorodu Oga Radio, blamed some selfish Ikorodu political leaders and their myopic followers for trading the collective interest of the entire Ikorodu Division in return for their personal selfish interests.
‘Experience in the last couple of days has shown glaringly that, the interest of some of our political leaders lies in self-seeking pecuniary gains. Their attitude towards our cause in recent time has called for caution and utmost restraint, in pursuing our struggle any further. The political leaders have chosen to align with ‘familiar’ faces and their interests’ the statement reads.
Ordinarily, Ikorodu Division, which controls 30 wards, representing about two-thirds of the entire wards out of the 90 wards in the entire Lagos East zone is better positioned to clinch the Senate seat but, for selfish interests of some leaders, who have decided to abandon the Ikorodu Division agenda for personal benefits.
With the withdrawal of Otunba Ganiyu Abiru from the race, the battle for the Lagos East Senatorial seat is now a two-horse race between the incumbent, Senator Bareehu Ashafa. Who is bent on running for an unprecedented third term in office and a serving fourth term member of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon Bayo Sikiru Oshinowo, popularly called, Pepper.
The irrepressible community leader and Administrator however assured his teeming supporters and lovers of Ikorodu Division of his commitment to the propagation of the progress and development of Ikorodu Division.
‘I have decided to continue this struggle in my private capacity, to ensure that Ikorodu Division is never taken for granted in the scheme of things in Lagos State’, he submitted.
Full details of the press release is reproduced below;
FORMAL PRESS STATEMENT TO ANNOUNCE THE WITHDRAWAL OF OTUNBA GANIYU OLUSEGUN ABIRU (GOA) FROM THE RACE FOR SENATE 2019.
LAGOS EAST SENATORIAL DISTRICT SEAT 2019: TIME TO QUIT… “The great enemy of freedom is the alignment of political power with wealth. This alignment destroys commonwealth – that is, the natural wealth of localities and the local economies of household, neighbor, and community – and so destroys democracy, of which the commonwealth is the foundation and practical means” – Wendell Berry
HOW IT ALL BEGAN A few months ago, some progressive young minds walked into my office, they introduced an idea to me; that after careful deliberations and consultations with well-meaning members of the community, the community has offered to support me for the position of the Senate come 2019 election if I chose to contest. I felt humbled and requested for a period of time to ruminate, and make consultations with the royal fathers, my friends, and family members. However, my Community which is so dear to my heart, has found me worthy, who am I not to heed to the clarion call.
The struggle to save Ikorodu division from political oblivion which is the basis of our campaign started with consultations with political leaders, traditional institutions, party leaders and the masses within the Lagos east senatorial district; the aim is to share my objectives and vision for Lagos east senatorial district. We combed the nooks and crannies of Lagos east senatorial district where I met with the critical stakeholders in each community, political leaders, the youths and members of each community. Their positive response, their concerns and regret about the falling standard of representation in the district motivated me to continue in this cause and pursue the same up to this point of address.
OUR HUMBLE STRIDES As time passed, we were determined and have designed impactful programmes. We began with our campaign for registrations and collection of permanent voters (PVC) card within Ikorodu division because we believe our selling point to be politically relevant is to ensure massive votes for the party’s candidates in the 2019 general elections. We held series of meetings with party leaders and politicians alike.
Politics as they say, is a game of reality and number. It is a strife for interest masquerading as a contest of principles. Though, these interests swing in different perspectives to each individuals.
CURRENT REALITIES Experience in the last couple of days shows glaringly that the interest of some of our political leaders lies in self-seeking pecuniary gains. Their attitude towards our cause in recent time has called for caution and utmost restraint in pursuing our struggle any further.
The political leaders have chosen to align with familiar faces and their interests myopically should be the interest of others in the Community Their disposition to our cause as party primaries draw near has given us a genuine reason to reconsider our stance and jettison our cause, though this was not envisaged. The claim that we did not consult is nothing but balderdash. Some of our leaders don’t want their subordinates within d Community to be greater than them. Indeed, some of them are on vengeance mission. But no mortal can say Yes where God has said No and vice versa. I must confirm that I have no regret for my political action and promise to continue d struggle of liberation from self- seeking political overlords
On this note, I wish to thank my team, our well-wishers, royal fathers, traditional Institutions and other well-meaning members of the Community for their support so far.
MY RESOLVE I have decided to continue this struggle in my private capacity, to ensure that Ikorodu division is never taken for granted in the scheme of things in Lagos State. I hereby announce my withdrawal from d Senatorial race of Lagos East Senatorial District, effective from 8th September, 2018.
My gratitude to everybody.
Signed. Otunba Ganiyu Olusegun Abiru.