Chief Lanre Isaac is a chieftain of the All Progressives Congress, APC in Lagos State. He is also the Balogun of Epe. He speaks on his ambition to the National Assembly come 2019.
Q: Is it true that you are running for the Senate next year?
A: I know you must have been hearing stories that I want to run for Lagos East Senatorial District election at the federal level. It’s a fact. I have given serious thought to it and I have made several attempts to serve. I contested for governorship three times, I have also contested as a senator three times but the strength in me to continue contesting is the belief that I have, before the steam gets out of me, I want to serve in Lagos at that level. I cannot think of governorship again because Ambode is doing a wonderful job. I think it would be necessary for me to serve if I have somebody like him, almost as my son doing a very good job. But at the national assembly, they need elders like me with a lot of experience that I can bring to bear in Nigeria’s legislature, that is the reason I believe I can add value. All my supporters have told me that this is the right time for me to do it, that at 72, I am sufficiently knowledgeable, experienced and equipped of what it takes to do legislative job.
Q: How do you attempt to affect the lives of the people in Lagos East as an experienced man?
I know Lagos inside out, not only Lagos east senatorial district. I know our needs and wants. I would contribute to an impactful legislation to ensure that we walk hard to ensure we stop corruption and give support to Mr. President. We will also fight poverty in all ramifications and support the president in his effort to improve agriculture, to use agriculture to create jobs for our people and also to reduce foreign exchange that is being spent on food items. I believe that once you take hunger out of life, life will be better.
Once we can feed our people well, they can have strength to pursue their education which is an instrument for development. I must let you know that I have served this country in various capacities. In the UPN era, I was a chairman of a ward. During SDP era, I was the chairman of EPE LGA of the party and at the same time the vice chairman in the state. I was the chairman of APP in Lagos state and vice chairman and deputy. So, with all these experiences, I am well placed for this position. For several years I was also chairman of federal parastatals and I am a grassroots man.
Q: With all these experiences, people expect you to sIt and be advising the people of Lagos state, why do you choose run for an election?
A: Well, the best advice is through demonstration. I cannot sit down and be advising someone in the national assembly because once he misses one, he misses all. But when he sees some of us doing it with practical example, they would know what to do. About 50 per cent of people in politics today are there for economic reasons. We must encourage elders who would not compromise certain things for money.
Q: People say that the present governor of Lagos state in running with several projects at the same time, causing traffic in the state, what is your take?
A: See, there is no way you can get out of life unless you die. You cannot have this project without some pain and if you keep delaying the projects, the more expensive they become. I think the governor should be appreciated because he is doing a very good job. He is a wonderful governor in Lagos and in Nigeria. He has removed bureaucracy, look at what he has done in three years.
Q: Don’t you think people in the national assembly would be intimidated with your presence with these experiences?
A: No way. I have learnt to be a team worker, and you can only convince them to believe you, if you have a superior argument. If you have something reasonable, if you have the interest of Nigerians at heart, there is no cause to fear. After all, I have worked together with many of them in one way or the other
A: Do you think the leader of the party, Bola Tinubu, would subscribe to your ideas?
A: Well, Bola Amhmed Tinubu is a leader of l leaders, a very rare species. And maybe because people do not go close to him to know him; he doesn’t stop anybody that he knows is a valuable material. If you look at the emergence of Fashiola and Ambode as governors, you would know that he loves quality people and believes we must push Nigeria forward. I have no fear that I would pass the huddles and get the support of Tinubu because he knows what I stand for.
Leadership is primarily the act of creating confidence. Bola have demonstrated beyond any atom of doubt that he’s a leader of several leaders. He knows very well that I am committed to his leadership absolutely; he knows also that I am committed to learning more from him.
I see Tinubu as a very important politician and I will continue to learn and take instructions from him so as to make a better Nigeria. I don’t have fears that he would not support me because he knows the stuff I am made of. I am made of what he believes in, high quality, high commitment and patriotism; and that is what he stands for.
A: What is your message for the people of Lagos east senatotial district?
A: My word to them is that I have put forward myself to serve them, they should please accept me. I will do extremely well as a legislator. I would bring to bear, my experience in governance. I would work towards their needs and wants.
Finally, I appreciate them. I have been moving round and the session I have received so far is encouraging.