Election: Lagos has chosen competence, experience – Sanwo-Olu

Lagos State governor, Babajide-Sanwo-Olu

Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Monday said his re-election for a second term has reaffirmed that Lagos has chosen competence and experience, on the march to true greatness.

Sanwo-Olu said this at the Lagos House Marina, while giving the victory speech for his re-election, following the official announcement by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).

The governor was declared winner of the Lagos State gubernatorial election at 1.15 a.m., haven  scored 762,134 valid votes to LP’s 312,329 and PDP’s 62,449 votes.

He said that elections were over now, and governance must continue, and the dividends of democracy must continue to be delivered, as there must be no break, and no time-off.

According to him, his government will keep all the promises made to the people of Lagos state.

”Lagosians, you did not just vote for Babajide Sanwo-Olu. You voted for a greater Lagos. I promise that together we shall achieve this. This is a promise that shall not be broken. A greater Lagos shall be ours.

”Let me boldly and proudly say that we are already well on the way to that greater Lagos, and we now have four more years to join hands to advance in ways that will pleasantly surprise even the most skeptical amongst us,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu said that four years ago, the people of Lagos gave him cause to deliver a similar victory speech, and since then, he had been conscious of the great responsibility upon him and the administration.

”I have worked very hard to live up to this responsibility of governing the most important subnational economy in all of Africa.

”We certainly could not have done this by ourselves. What we have achieved, both in the last four years, and in the just-concluded election, could not have happened without a long list of supporters and partners.

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”First and foremost, let me thank the Almighty God, to whom we owe our very breath, and who has spared our lives to see this day. I am also very grateful to all of you the good people of Lagos. Everyone, not just the people who voted for us, or those registered to vote.

”Lagos is what it is today because of each and every one of you, regardless of ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, gender or age.

”We are a vibrant and thriving hub of commerce, finance, entrepreneurship, innovation and culture because of the diversity that has come to define us, over the decades and the centuries. Thank you,” he said.

The governor commended fellow contestants for their participation in the democratic process, and their contribution to creating a truly competitive political space in Lagos.

According to him, in the true spirit of sportsmanship, there is no victor, no vanquished.

He said that during the course of the campaign, sadly there was a lot of divisive rhetoric used, as some tried to make the elections about ethnicity and religion but when in fact they should only have been about capacity, competence and experience.

”We saw hateful and hurtful ethnic profiling by fellow citizens – which is totally out of place for us as Lagosians, the proud residents of West Africa’s pre-eminent melting pot.

”I want to recognise and salute all of the multitudes of residents who refused to succumb to those who sought and still seek to divide us with their unguarded and inciting comments.

”Unfortunately, there are reports of skirmishes in some local government areas wherein some citizens were reported to have been injured. We strongly condemn these reprehensible incidents – that is definitely not who we are as a people.

”The relevant law enforcement and security agencies have been directed to investigate these breaches of the law, and to ensure that those found culpable face the full wrath of the law.

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”Now that the elections are over, we must reaffirm the spirit of solidarity and togetherness that binds us as Lagosians.

”As I said in my final pre-election address, we have a lot of work to do in working and moving past the divisive rhetoric that has shaped the course of this election cycle,” Sanwo-Olu said.

He said that it was very importantly, and this could not be over emphasised that what united all as residents was far more important and substantial than whatever differences existed among all.

He said that the true Lagos spirit remained a welcoming, embracing, liberal one, not a divisive, exclusionary one.

”In the days and weeks and months ahead, we will continue to do everything to demonstrate and amplify this,” the governor said.

BRANDPOWER reports that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had earlier declared Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State winner of the Saturday’s Governorship elections.

Prof. Adenike Oladiji, Vice-Chancellor, Federal University of Technology, (FUTA) Akure, the Returning Officer, disclosed this on Monday in Lagos.

She said that Sanwo-Olu polled a total of 762, 134 votes to defeat his closest rival of the Labour Party, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour who scored 312, 329 votes.

Oladiji said that the PDP candidate, Dr Abdul-Azeez Adediran garnered 62,449 votes to come a distant third in the election.

She disclosed votes garnered by other political parties in the contest as: A (800), AA (904), AAC(627), ADC (6,078), ADP(2833), APM (884), APP (259), BP (616),NNPP (1,583), NRM (340), SDP (1,746), YPP (461) and ZLP (1,635).

Oladiji put the total number of registered voters at 7,060,195; total accredited voters at 1,182620; total vote cast at 1,173,631, total valid vote at 1, 155, 678 and rejected votes at 17,953.

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Oladiji said: “I declare that Sanwo-Olu Babajide Olusola of APC, having satisfied the requirements of the law by scoring 25 per cent in two-third of the local government areas in the state and also scoring the highest number of vote cast is hereby declared the winner and he is returned elected.”

The returning officer invited party agents available to sign the results of the poll, but agents of the LP and PDP were not present to sign the results.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that APC won in 19 Local Government Areas of the state, the LP won in one LGA while the PDP did not win.

In his remark, the INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, noted that some of the allegations of manipulation leveled against him were fallacy.

Agbaje, however, said that such allegations were not strange in a clime like ours and decried the poor turn out of voters.

Assessing the process, Mr Olusegun Mobolaji, Lagos state Chairman, Inter-Party Advisory Council (IPAC) decried the pockets of violence experienced in some parts of the state as well as vote buying and apathy.

He urged the candidates to imbibe the spirit of sportsmanship and accept the outcome of the elections in good faith.

Mobolaji urged INEC to improve on the shortcomings in the future elections.

Earlier, before leaving the collation centre, Pastor Dayo Ekong, Lagos State Chairman of LP and party’s State Collation Agent, called for the cancellation of the elections.

Accusing Agbaje of disappointing the youth, Ekong decried high level of violence, attacks, ballot boxes snatching, disruption, disenfranchisement as well as killing in some case that characterised the exercise.

Meanwhile, the APC’s State Collation Agent, Mr Fouad Oki, who expressed satisfaction with the outcome of the poll, described the ruling party’s victory as democracy at work.