60-year old Gbenga Ashafa, the senator representing Lagos East in the National Assembly, had a word of advise for the University of Wolverhampton’s Centre for African Entrepreneurship and Leadership. He asked the centre to understudy the paradigms and methodologies of the leadership of APC national leader Bola Tinubu, and develop a curriculum on it.
The senator said in a statement made after Tinubu’s investiture as a patron of the centre that a Tinubu curriculum “would prove immensely beneficial to future generations that would pass through the four walls of this institution.”
Ashafa has a long political history with Tinubu dating back to 1998 when he worked with a political group towards Tinubu’s emergence as Alliance for Democracy (AD) Lagos governorship candidate.
Ashafa worked in Tinubu’s campaign as one of the campaign coordinators for Kosofe LGA. After victory, Ashafa became a member of Tinubu’s transition team, working on local government reforms; he later became Director of Planning, Governor’s Office in charge of local government administration in September 1999 and Executive Secretary, Lagos State Land Use and Allocation Committee in January 2011. Still under Tinubu, Ashafa was appointed Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Lands Bureau in February 2005.
Ashafa became a senator in 2011 and won reelection this year to the senate where he now chairs the land transport committee. He never fails to pledge loyalty to Tinubu whenever the moment arises. Consider the press statements which Ashafa has released just within the last two months.
On October 15, one day after former governors Babatunde Fashola and Kayode Fayemi, as well as Lai Mohammed, were screened by the Senate, Ashafa released a statement charging them to make the APC and Nigeria proud. He dedicated two out of the six paragraphs in the statement to Tinubu.
“The revered National Leader of the All Progressives Congress and Former Lagos State Governor, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, should be proud of himself on a day like this,” Ashafa said. “It was his farsightedness and uncanny judge of character and talent that brought the likes of our Publicity Secretary, Alhaji Lai Mohammed; Former Ekiti Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi; and Mr. Fashola to limelight. These three are graduates of the Bola Tinubu School of Leadership and today, they are ministerial appointees. This is indeed a lifting moment for us all who have climbed on Asiwaju’s broad shoulders to our current heights in political and leadership accomplishments.
“May the Almighty bless our leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, and increase him in wisdom and good health.”
On November 10, Ashafa was part of a senate ad-hoc committee on local and foreign debts which visited Lagos to ascertain if previous World Bank loans to the state had been used properly before approving a fresh $200m loan. Afterwards, he released a statement saying, “I am certain that with Governor Ambode, who showed he was a brilliant, creative and prudent accountant when he was the Accountant General of the state, more of the same will happen. Lagos state has always had governors (Tinubu and Fashola) who put the interest of the people first; leaders that extract the maximum value from every kobo kept in their trust.”
On November 13th,just two days after Pres. Buhari swore in his 36 ministers, Ashafa released an excited statement talking about how Nigerians are expectant and happy about the list. Of course he found a way to include Tinubu in there.
He said, “I must also make special mention of our respected National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Tinubu. With the appointments of Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Dr. Kayode Fayemi and Babatunde Fashola (SAN), he has shown once again that he is an awesome judge of talent. That Mr. President found these three men, who owe their political careers to the Great Maestro of Bourdillion, worthy of manning very critical ministries is testament to Asiwaju’s gift for raising and mentoring leaders. You, sir, are the Leader of Leaders!”
And then yesterday, in the United Kingdom, where he attended the Tinubu investiture, he was full of praise for the university which “carefully identified and selected the person of Ashiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, our Leader, as the Patron of the Centre for African Entrepreneurship and Leadership (CAEL).”
Ashafa said that the choice of Tinubu is perfect because Tinubu is “a colossus that has excelled in both the area of nurturing global Leadership and entrepreneurship.” In addition to asking then to develop a curriculum modelled after Tinubu, the Lagos senator urged the centre to “take full advantage of the depth and wealth of experience, which the Asiwaju brings on board as the patron of the centre.”