The re-elected governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured Lagosians that religious and ethnic rhetorics will not cause division among residents of the state.
Sanwo-Olu said this during his victory speech shortly after he was declared winner of the Saturday, March 18, 2023, governorship election in the state.
He also praised his fellow contestants for participating in the election and urged them to, in the spirit of sportsmanship, team up with his government to take Lagos to the next level of development.
Sanwo-Olu’s words: “To all of our fellow contestants, we want to salute you for participating in the democratic process but Lagosians have spoken and they’ve spoken well. They have spoken loudly. Please remember that we’re extending a hand of fellowship to you. No victor, no vanquished in the true spirit of sportsmanship.
“If you indeed believe that you want to serve this city, you want to serve this state, you have an opportunity with us and we will open our doors listen and to give you a space in this government.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) in the early hours of Monday, March 20, 2023, announced Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) as the winner of the heated contest that also featured Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour and Abdul-Azeez Olajide Adediran of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).
The Returning Officer and Vice Chancellor of the Federal University of Technology, Akure (FUTA), Prof. Adeyinka Oladiji, said the incumbent governor scored a total of 762,134 votes to defeat his closes challenger Rhodes-Vivour who polled 312,329 votes.
Adediran popularly known as Jandor polled a total of 62,449 votes to finish a distant third.
Pulse reports that the Saturday exercise was marred by cases of voter intimidation, voter suppression, and violent attacks targeted at opposition supporters in the state.
Also, there were several reports of attacks against voters of South-Eastern extraction, which was a culmination of the divisive religious and ethnic sentiments that were heavily deployed by political actors in the days leading to the election.
During his speech on Monday, the governor condemned the ugly incidents of Saturday but insisted that those events didn’t reflect the true nature of Lagosians.
He also appealed to all the residents to come together and deploy their capacity and competence to build a better city.
Sanwo-Olu’s words: “During this campaign, unfortunately, we’ve seen very divisive rhetorics which isn’t a definition of who we are. And so, Lagosians, we need to come together and further build the capacity, the competence and the experience that we have in this city. Religion will not divide us. Ethnicity will not divide us. Lagos will come out bigger, stronger, and better.“