A man of words and not of deeds, is like a garden full of weeds,” goes one of the best moralistic rhymes in any language. Certainly, to put one’s mouth in a matter is the easiest thing in the world. To put one’s time and money where the mouth has already gone is an entirely different proposition.
Yet, in this world where those in high positions disperse words with all the grace of and commitment of court jesters, some still regard their word as their bond. Old fashioned that sentiment might be, but it is also timeless. Step forward Gbenga Bareehu Ashafa, the former Senator representing Lagos East at the national assembly.
The end of a man’s political career is often regarded as the end of the man. But for Senator Ashafa, it is a new beginning. For the people of his senatorial district, it might be even better. Far from hanging up his boots and excusing himself to some remote but luxurious corner of the world to feast on the fat dividends of prolonged service, Senator Ashafa has instead moved closer to his constituency.
The Gbenga Ashafa Trust Endowment (G.A.T.E) is a Trust Fund set up by the Senator and it provides funds for projects covering ICT Training, Education, HealthCare, Micro-Finance, as well as Agricultural Development. Only recently, an ICT center/Town hall in Oreyo Grammar School, Ikorodu, which he sponsored as a constituency project, was commissioned for the benefit of his constituents.
If these projects touched and continue to touch thousands of constituents, fears were amplified that they would die a slow, sad and painful death along with the dying of Ashafa’s ambitions of returning to the Senate for a third time. As his Ashafa Action Group vehemently protested his alleged exclusion by the APC powers that be, few would have blamed the soft spoken man of the people for momentarily taking his eyes off the larger picture.
As it turned out, Ashafa is like a man reborn. Fresh from helping the Lagos APC coast to victory at the polls, he has settled down to the laudable task of giving his constituency the best he has to offer. Projects sponsored by the amiable and popular dude and his foundations have been springing up left and right in Lagos East.