Lagos State is undoubtedly the leading state in Nigeria with its cosmopolitan nature and commercial viability.
Over the years, the state prides itself as centre of excellence and there is no denying the fact that whoever would rule the state as Governor, must not only be talented, he must be experienced about issues affecting the state and be ready to work tirelessly for the development of the highly populated state.
This must have informed the choice of the incumbent Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola of the state by Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu as his successor in 2007.
So, as Governor Fashola is preparing to leave, it is not out of place to choose another worthy candidate that can move the state forward in the coming years from 2015.
However, amongst the numerous aspirants jostling for the governorship ticket of the All Progressives Congress, APC, to take over from Governor Fashola in Lagos State is a former Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice in the state, Supo Sasore (SAN).
Sources within the party revealed that Sasore has the support of Fashola as his successor apart from the fact that some chieftains of the party are rooting for his candidature.
Sources maintained that some leaders of the APC in the state have discovered that Sasore is experienced and talented about what is required to move the state forward.
Fashola was said to have individually invited all the party governorship aspirants to the State House, Marina sometime ago.
According to sources, the governor did not tell the aspirants why he invited them but when they met that Monday in the cosy sitting room of the State House, they knew it must be in connection with their ambition to replace him in the State House.
He reportedly called them one after the other into a private room and interviewed them on every aspect of governance in the state, particularly in the areas of taxation.
After the interview, the governor was said to have submitted the list of the aspirants according to their performance to Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, the national leader of the party and former governor of the state.
We gathered that top on the list of the name of aspirants submitted by the governor to Tinubu was the name Sasore based on his brilliant performances during the discussion.
It was reliably gathered that Sasore had been manifesting leadership qualities even before now, especially during his stint in the state as Commissioner for Justice and Attorney General from 2007-2011.
Sasore once said that his desire to become the next governor of the state was borne out of his passion for service and the realization that he has a lot to offer Lagosians based on his deep experience in governance.
Our sources commended the eloquent and brilliant postulations of Sasore in core areas affecting the state such as housing, education, healthcare, security, road, infrastructural development, rural development, electrification amongst others.
Speaking at an interactive session with journalists in Lagos, Sasore said that his desire was equally borne out of the need to meet people’s demands, which he described as significant.
Reacting to a question on his relationship with Fashola in a recent interview, Sasore said, “I think anybody who knows me would know that I share close relationship with Mr Governor, I have known him for several years and I had served in his cabinet before.
“However, anybody who knows Governor Fashola would know that it is not in his character to anoint a candidate. It is not in his character.”
He also revealed that the desire to participate in politics has been with him for decades, and that it is not a new desire.
“However, if you serve in public office as an Attorney-General, you are supposed to be Attorney-General for the state not for the government, so the office of the Attorney-General is unique, you are appointed by the Governor but you don’t serve the Governor alone you serve the people.
“So an Attorney-General cannot and must not be member of a political party.
“However, in spite of being the Attorney General and thus not expected to be card carrying member of any political party, my persuasion has been clearly progressive hence I had sympathy for the Action Congress of Nigeria, ACN, at the time as I never serve in any APC administration,” he said, when questioned on his political history.
Sasore made it clear that as soon as APC was formed, he was excited like many Nigerians, and that he was excited at the prospect of a progressive party.
“Progressive is so distinguished from conservatism and reactionary politics in dynamics. It is forward moving. I think we belong to that train in APC, we desire to bring about positive element of welfare to the general public, the people who otherwise didn’t have any protection under PDP and other conservative type of government. I was excited and I joined the party. Then I took a step further by deciding to participate in politics of my own area which is Lagos,” he said.
Sasore was born in Lagos Island, Lagos in 1964. His father Taoheed Olakunle Adio Sasore was a diplomat and Africa policy expert, who later became Chief The Sasore of Lagos of 8 Sasore Court, Lagos Island. His mother Bilkis Oladoyinbo Adufe was a civil servant and a businesswoman.
Sasore started his education at Christ Church Cathedral Primary School, Lagos in 1968.
He completed his primary education at Broadfields Primary School, Middlesex, England in 1974, and thereafter started his secondary education at Orange Hill Grammar School, Middlesex, England. He graduated from Federal Government College, Lagos in 1980 with his West African School Certificate – Grade 1. He attended Igbobi College Yaba, Lagos from 1980 – 1981.
Sasore graduated with a Bachelor of Laws (LLB) degree from the University of Ife, Ile-Ife in 1986. He earned a Master of Law (LLM) from the University of Lagos in 1990.
He is a Litigation Partner at Ajumogobia & Okeke, a leading commercial law firm in Nigeria. He was Attorney General & Commissioner for Justice, Lagos State from 2007 – 2011.
Sasore is a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) and a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators. He currently serves as Chairman, Arbitration & Dispute Resolution Committee of the Section on Business Law of the Nigerian Bar Association.
Sasore led the Lagos delegation to the 2014 Nigerian National Conference. At the conference, the delegation made a case for a ‘special status’ for Lagos. The delegation also canvassed and achieved consensus on several recommendations:
To restructure federal revenue allocation to create an increased distributable pool of funds for the states from the Federation account;
To devolve legislative and executive power to sub-national level; To create State Police Jurisdiction.
Sasore has authored three books.
Over the course of his career, he has received several appointments, including: President, Lagos Court of Arbitration Chairman, Lagos State Waterways Authority Chairman, Lagos State Law Reform Commission Chairman, Lagos State Executive Council Committee on Power Fellow, Chartered Institute of Arbitrators
Chairman, National Arbitration and Dispute Resolution Reform Committee (2012), Chairman of Arbitration and Alternative Dispute Resolution Committee, Section on Business Law, Nigerian Bar Association Member, London Court of International Arbitration, Africa User Group Member, International Bar Association Member, Maritime Arbitrators Association of Nigeria. Member, Nigerian Society of International Law and International Association of Prosecutors Member of panel of experts – Panel of Recognized International Market Experts (PRIME) Member, Advisory Committee – International Lawyers for Africa (ILFA).