THE Senator representing Lagos East Senatorial District, Gbenga Ashafa, has said the entrance of the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Aminu Tambuwal, into the race for the presidential ticket of the All Progressives Congress will not divide the party.
Ashafa, who spoke at an empowerment programme in Lagos, said the APC was determined to take over power from the Peoples Democratic Party at the 2015 Presidential Election, a statement said on Monday.
With Tambuwal throwing his hat into the ring, the number of aspirants jostling for the party’s ticket has increased to five. Others are a former Head of State, General Muhammadu Buhari, Kano State Governor, Rabiu Kwankwaso; a former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, and publisher of Leadership Newspapers, Sam Nda-Isaiah.
Tambuwal had caused a stir in the House of Representatives when he announced his defection to the APC.
He later declared his presidential ambition.
Ashafa said the growing number of aspirants was not only a plus to the party, but showed the qualities at its disposal.
He said, “APC has the best of leaders in all those that are vying for the presidential ticket. One of them will be our flag bearer at the presidential election.
“You may think it will break the party if we choose one of them. No, it will never happen. We have to free Nigeria from the shackles of poverty – poverty brought on us by the Peoples Democratic Party. That is why our symbol is the broom, which is to sweep out rubbish from our country.”
Addressing members of the party, who reportedly turned out in large number for the empowerment programme at the Centre for Management Development, Ikosi-Ketu, Ashafa said a total of 17,395 party members who were artisans, traders, farmers, students and other less privileged people benefitted from various items distributed at previous programmes.
He also said apart from the weekly empowerment of indigent residents, and in line with the party’s focus on improving the lives of the people, 76 projects had been completed in the constituency.
He said, “I am delighted to say that we have successfully executed 76 constituency projects across the senatorial district. Some of these projects included 30 boreholes; 11 classroom blocks, two drainage channels, four ambulance points, 22 power transformers, streetlights on some arterial roads, one skill acquisition centre, and one science laboratory”.
Among the items distributed at the event were taxis, tricycles, sewing machines, refrigerators, grinding machines, among others.