The Senate Minority Whip, Senator Ganiyu Olanrewaju Solomon, Thursday said he would be the next governor of Lagos State come 2015.
Solomon, who represents Lagos West Senatorial district, said with his experience and developmental vision nursed over the years for the state, declaring that he was more than prepared to take the state further.
This sort of declaration would be the first time that any intending governorship aspirant in the state, irrespective of political party, would come out to indicate interest in Lagos governorship race in the countdown to 2015. Others, who have been previously quoted as nursing similar ambition, have denied the attribution for one political reason or the other.
As former chairman of Mushin Local Government Area, Solomon had progressed in his political career over the years, moving from the House of Representatives, where he represented Mushin Federal Constituency I for four years, to the Senate where he is currently serving a second term in office.
However, justifying his intention to become the next governor of the state, Solomon, who is by this decision giving the governorship a second shot, told the interviewer: "I have the experience and I am convinced that I will take the state further from where it is now."
The lawmaker also dwelt on the agitation for local government’s autonomy, saying while the councils could not have full autonomy, they deserve a degree of independence to be able to function effectively, especially in terms of finance, adding that it amounts to sheer semantics calling them by whatever names such as administrative vehicle or arm.
Frowning on the state of the local governments administration, as a former council chairman, Solomon said things were different in his days as they had their allocation directly from the federation account, and, as such, could put development to serious task.
He, however, defended the attitude of the state government to the councils in the state, saying no local government chairman has come out to protest perceived injustice.
On the ongoing constitution review, which public hearing Solomon chaired the South-west chapter, he said some of the key issues that dominated discourse included special status for Lagos, council administration, state creations and state police, noting that a referendum may be impossible because it is not provided for in the clause that pertains to amendment of the constitution.
But as an individual, he declared support for state police because it is in sync with federal character. "We cannot choose to embrace whatever suits us to define our federalism in terms of character. I support state police because it will reflect the character of federalism in the true sense of it."
The senator, who described the controversial allowances of National Assembly members as over-exaggerated, explained that the Budget Act is a document of the National Assembly which comes from the executive as mere proposal and that it is the duty of the parliament to determine what goes where, if convinced by the defence presentations of the various ministries.
He also described as misplaced opinions of certain people who would rather the National Assembly passed the budget as presented by the executive, noting that the document is the parliament’s and not the executive’s as may have been misconstrued.
Solomon condemned in strong terms the menace of political thugs in the society and established a link between the ugly trend and the growing unemployment rate in the country, adding that it was a global concern and must be addressed as such.