•Kick against plunging Lagos into political, and security crisis
Election Observers on the platform of the National Observer Group (NOG) have adjudged the just concluded Governorship and State Assembly elections in Lagos State as a credible, transparent, free, fair, and gender-friendly election.
The group said the outcome of last Saturday’s gubernatorial poll, won by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and the victories of House of Assembly candidates at constituency levels should be “happily accepted by all political parties and candidates as a true reflection of the people’s mandate.”
National Observer Group, a coalition of civil society groups that monitored the last elections in Lagos State, spoke on Monday during a press conference addressed by the group’s Coordinator and National Coordinator, Grassroot Mobiliser for Better Nigeria Initiative, Hon. Safiya Ibrahim Ogoh; Founder of Ayisat Gbajabiamila Foundation, representing Centre for Childcare and Youth Development, Hajia Ayisat Gbajabiamila and Leader of Global Policy Advocacy and Leadership Initiatives, Comrade Adewale Adeogun.
Speaking at the press conference, Ogoh said the outcome of last Saturday’s elections largely reflects the wishes and aspirations of Nigerians, who voted for candidates of their choice without hindrance.
“We wish to congratulate the Independent Electoral Commission (INEC) for organising a free, fair, credible, and gender-sensitive election, and indeed all Nigerians for peacefully conducting themselves, which proved once again that the principle of ‘one man, one vote’ is now the norms in Africa’s biggest democracy,” she said.
She also commended the security agencies for conducting themselves professionally and with the utmost civility, thereby ensuring that elections took place and met international best practices.
Gbajabiamila urged those planning to plunge Lagos State into a political and security crisis to desist from it immediately before the law catches up with them, adding that political thuggery and cultism remain prohibited.
“Elections are not a do-or-die affair, politicians should always approach it with a high level of civility and patriotism. They should see themselves as part of the society they want to lead and must not destroy it with their ambition to lead or rule by all means,” she advised.
Comrade Adeogun, who described the outcome of Saturday’s election as a victory for democracy, commended Nigerians and Lagos residents in particular for performing their civic responsibilities during the last elections without fear, favour, intimidation, or any form of harassment.
He said: “We appreciate the Independent National Electoral Commission in Lagos State for remaining resolute and committed to conducting a credible, transparent, free, and fair Governorship and state Assembly elections in the State whose outcome has truly reflected the people’s mandate by being neutral and fair to all participating political parties.
“The Lagos State Governorship and State Assembly elections of March 18, 2023, took place as scheduled across the entire state under a peaceful atmosphere. We, therefore, adjudged the election to have met the international best practices of credible, transparent, free, fair, and gender-friendly elections.”