By Sunday Okobi
As political actors in Lagos State warm up for the Lagos East senatorial seat contest after demise of Senator Bayo Osinowo, who represented the district on the platform of the All Progressive Congress (APC), a grassroots politician and seasoned lawyer, Wasiu Banjo, has declared his interest to vie for the vacant position.
He made his intention known to the public through a letter submitted before the APC leadership recently in Lagos.
According to a statement issued by his camp, Banjo’s interest for the senatorial seat must have been driven by a Lagos-based group, Lagos Frontliners Initiative, which declared support for the lawyer cum politician to contest for the Senate seat to replace late Osinowo. The aspirant, according to the statement, through his letter to the party leadership, described himself as most qualified and experienced politician suitable for the seat.
He said with his educational qualifications and as a legal practitioner, “his wealth of experience would be beneficial to the state and his constituency if he is given opportunity to serve the state as he had truly demonstrated.”
In the statement, Banjo, who is an alumnus of the University of Lagos, said: “Lagos State needs experienced and grassroots politician who can represent the state at national level where interest and priority of the state would be well represented and protected.
“I am of the utmost belief that I am qualified to serve my people as their senator based on my educational qualifications and political experience.
“I also believe that my experience as a politician with contacts nationwide will help me settle into the job easily as those in the Senate are people who I have known for more than 15 years.”
Meanwhile, the frontline group, after declaring its support for the aspirant, described Banjo as a seasoned politician and lawyer who is well known among APC chieftains in the state, South-west region and Nigeria at large.
In a statement issued yesterday by the group’s convener, Adebola Ogunniyi, it said declaring support for Banjo would be its first time of going into politics openly and declaring support for a politician since its establishment 19 years ago.
The group said: “We are a Lagos-based non-political group, comprising professionals from all works of life, and for the first time since their establishment in 2001, we are showing interest in politics and declaring our support for Banjo
“Banjo is a seasoned lawyer and veteran politician with a specialty in grassroots mobilisation and coordination that has served in various capacity, including deputising as Director of Planning and Strategy for the state Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu campaign organisation during 2019 election.
“He is well known among the APC chieftains in the state and Nigeria at large. And on our part, we appeal to the leadership of APC not to overlook the wealth of knowledge and professionalism in Banjo as he is the right person for the post of Lagos East Senator.”