Contrary to the rumour on internet that Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu had tipped Mr. Ayo Ariyo Gbeleyi, the Commissioner for Finance as Governor Fashola’s successor in 2015, ENCOMIUM Weekly can reveal that this is far from the truth.
We gathered that it was Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) that has chosen Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi and three others as his likely successor. The three others include Mr. Olasupo Shasore, his close friend and former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in his (Fashola) first term, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, his former Commissioner for Finance in his second term, who left to take up an appointment with First Bank of Nigeria Plc. in July 2013 and Dr Femi Hamzat, his Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure.
ENCOMIUM Weekly gathered that Governor Fashola submitted these names to the leadership of the party in the state when his opinion was sought on his likely successor.
ENCOMIUM Weekly also gathered that Mr. Ayo Gbeleyi is not the only one jostling to succeed Governor Fashola, and therefore the choice of Lagos Christians. There is Dr Leke Pitan, the former Commissioner for Health and later Education during Tinubu’s tenure between 1999 and 2007. He is a Christian and from Epe, where the next governor is likely to come.
A prominent member of the party who does not want his name mentioned warned that journalists should be wary of those promoting themselves and claiming they are being sponsored by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
He reminded us of 2006 when the likes of Mr. Hakeem Gbajabiamila, the then Commissioner for Housing, Professor Adekunle Lawal, then Commissioner for Education and Dr Tola Kasali, then Commissioner for Rural Development and later Health, were parading as Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu’s candidates before Mr. Babatude Raji Fashola (SAN) eventually emerged as Tinubu’s candidate.
Another person that is being speculated as Tinubu’s candidate is Mr. Akinwunmi Dapo Ambode, the former Permanent Secretary, State Treasury Office and Accountant General of the state who resigned in 2012 because of his governorship ambition.
We gathered that the man, whose wife just delivered twins after almost two decades of their marriage, has gone back to school (Harvard University, Boston Massachusetts, USA) to hone his skill in governance.
Meanwhile, the list of aspirants who want to succeed Fashola keeps on increasing. Aside those we have mentioned, there are Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, Rt. Hon. Adeyemi Ikuforiji, Dr Muiz Banire, Senator Gbenga Ashafa and Hakeem Alibo.
– TOLANI ABATTI