Hon. Shola Giwa is one of the All Progressives Congress (APC) members who emerged winner of the Lagos State House of Assembly elections on Saturday, April 11, 2015. He will be representing Lagos Island Constituency 11.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly, the former LASTMA boss took us on how he would live up to all his campaign promises and bring good governance and dividends of democracy to his people.
Congratulations on your victory. How does it feel?
Thank you. It feels good but the appropriate thing is the service to the people which is my focus now. The reality of it is the task ahead.
How would you access the electoral body? Do you think the elections was credible?
Of course. I can tell you that the elections was credible based on the use of the Card Reader. There were less complain from the people, it was a bit transparent. INEC did their best apart from the issues we had during the presidential election, they improved. Though there is need to improve on what we have today.
What would you say gave you the edge over your opponents?
First, talking about edge for me is about the task but if I must answer this, the major edge I have is my party. I have a party that is accepted by the people, a party that they believe. Also, the fact that I am for the people (my constituency).
They know me and I know them. I know what their yearnings are, their aspirations. They believe in my campaign and by the grace of God I will not disappoint them.
It is obvious you are accepted by your constituency in Lagos Island. So, what is your message for them?
First, I will say a big thank you to them. Although I have done that through several means, I want to use this medium to say a very big thank you to the electorate that voted for me. I will definitely live to my promises. I will be accessible to them, I will ensure I go extra mile to represent them.
How will you improve the lives of your constituents?
If you really look at it, governance is about improving the lives of the general public both the voting public and those that did not vote at all. They gave you their mandate, trusting you to give them value and I am challenged to give them value.
I have been in government for eight years and have served at the pleasure of the governors but now I want to serve at the pleasure of those people that gave me their mandate. I have to shout so that their desires and their yearnings are met. I have a good relationship with the people in the executive and hopefully, I am going to lean on them to get things done for my people.
I do not have a choice than to give them those things they desire. With all humility, I am Lagos Island personified.
How would you make yourself accessible?
I have always been accessible. I am from Lagos Island and I live here in Lagos Island. Though my office is in Alausa, I will be sitting more in my constituency office than Alausa because legislative duty is an everyday thing.
For me, politics is about service to humanity. If I’m not accessible to them, no matter the ideas or project I have cannot be done because I may not know what they want. So, I will be meeting with them regularly and get feed back for them.
To be able to deliver to my people, I need to go extra mile by representing them as if I am an executive.
As a lawmaker, what would you be taking into the state House of Assembly that will make you have an edge over others?
To be sincere, it’s not all about having an edge over my colleagues, it’s about being what you want to be, it’s about delivering, giving the people what they want. As a legislator, you have to bring governance to the people by doing things as if you are an executive. It is not a position that defines a man but a man defines a position. I will be a check to the executive and attracts projects for my people.
It is believed that once you have served in government, you are wealthy. How true is this?
I don’t like talking about wealth, I like talking about success. Success is measured on how you touch the lives of the people. How do you measure wealth? One of the major issues we have in this country is we so much rely on the government. If you look at the western world, they do not need the government to be large and this is the mentality we really need to change.
This is why I will support declaration of assets. We are here to serve humanity, it is not about the material things but about building the nation, sustaining development. I am not rich but I am not hungry either.
What is the relationship between you and your predecessor?
We have a cordial relationship, he is a nice gentleman. He was very helpful to me. In fact, he has given me some blueprints.
APC has been said to not be a grassroots party, how true is this?
It is obvious that APC is a party of the grassroots, I am a grassroots person. You see the massive turnout in most states, South, north even here in Lagos. In fact, all over the states.
Do you see the President-elect, Gen. Buhari disappointing the South East?
I do not understand what you mean by disappointing the South East. Let’s leave geo-political issues aside, we are talking about change, talking about Nigeria. Let’s see ourselves as Nigerians. Even if is one person that voted for him in one state, he has to serve them.
Don’t forget that as a leader, it goes beyond the election. You serve those that voted for you, those that voted against you and even those that did not vote at all. You are in government because of them. I am sure Gen. Buhari will perform.
Remember, he is not the only one that will do it. It is not all about Gen. Buhari, it’s about all of us. It’s about how the followers perceive their leaders. I am sure, I am optimistic, I have a high hope for Nigeria and I am sure this government will deliver.-