• Friday, April 19, 2024
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Sanwo-Olu, Agbaje hopeful of victory

Jimi Agbaje

Governorship candidates of the All Progressives Congress (APC) and the People’s Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and Jimi Agbaje, respectively, have expressed optimism that they would win the election, just as Bola Tinubu, former governor of the state says there’s no threat to APC in Lagos.

On his part, the governorship candidate of Alliance for Democracy (AD) in the state, Owolabi Salis, has said he would only accept the results of the election if the process was free and seen to be fair.

Salis spoke with journalists at his Gbagada Estate Polling Unit 064, inside Atunrase, accusing some parties of attempting to buy votes and influence voters at the polling unit.

Sanwo-Olu spoke with newsmen after voting at his Polling Unit, 019, Lateef Jakande Road, Ikoyi, Lagos.

The candidate, who also described the governorship and states assembly polls as generally peaceful, said he was sure of victory.

According to Sanwo-Olu, a former commissioner for establishments and training in Lagos, having in the last few months met with various stakeholders across sectors of the economy, and sold his programmes, he was certain of securing a win.

The governorship candidate, who, however, acknowledged receipt of reports of late arrival of INEC staff and election materials in some parts of the state, said it was a temporary setback that would be overcome.

He said he equally had a slight delay casting his vote as a result of malfunctioning of the card reader at his polling unit, but was later resolved, enabling him and his wife to vote at about 11am.

 Agbaje, who also expressed optimism that he would win the election, noted that the low turnout of voters witnessed in the elections may not be unconnected with the violence that rocked some parts of Lagos on February 23 Presidential/National Assembly elections.

Agbaje spoke with journalists after voting at Polling Unit 002, Ward A, Apapa, appealing, however, to the voters in the state not to be deterred or discouraged from exercising their voting right.

BusinessDay observed general low turnout of voters in most parts of Lagos metropolis and late arrival of INEC staff with election materials, a development that led to delay in the commencement of voting in affected polling units.

“We have quite a number of units where elections have not taken off yet. We still have this confusion about card readers. We are having a situation where in some polling units, the card reader is not working, and people are saying they cannot vote.

“For me, however, today, fortunately after several attempts the card reader identified my fingerprints, but what I am saying is that it has to be a uniform process.

“If the card reader is not working, is manual going to be allowed, is it not going to be allowed? So, we have that as an issue. We hope that, as the day goes by, we would have more people coming out to vote,” said Agbaje.

On the low turnout, he said, “in the case of Lagos today it could be as a result of what happened during the last election in terms of intimidation, in terms of thuggery, ballot snatching, violence.

“But there are deeper issues and that is that if the people do not believe in the process, then they ask themselves why bother?  It’s a chicken and egg situation. We just have to appeal to the people that they must come out to exercise their franchise,” he added.

Agbaje expressed confidence that he would emerge victorious in the election, saying, “the numbers are on our side.”

Meanwhile, the national leader of the ruling APC, Bola Tinubu has dismissed any form of threat to victory of his party in the ongoing elections in Lagos.

Tinubu, who spoke to journalists after casting his vote at polling unit, 043, Sunday Adigun Street, Alausa, said  the major opposition party, PDP, was no match to APC in Lagos, and therefore, possesses  no threat at all.

He said Lagos State since 1999 has been governed by progressive minds, adding that the state would continue to be administered by the progressives.

Tinubu also alluded to the financial strength of Lagos which, according to him, is a function of the ingenuity of the  leaders since 1999.

“From N600 million monthly Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) in 1999, the state today is generating over N30 billion monthly IGR. No state in Nigeria can boast of that. They all depend on federal allocations. Lagos is the state that is building infrastructure and tarring roads with its IGR. That’s what the progressives in the state have done,” said Tinubu.

The former governor, while answering question relating to the violence that rocked some polling units in Lagos, especially Okota, in the February 23 Presidential/Assembly elections, said though unfortunate, it was not enough to discredit the overall outcome of the elections or to tag Lagos a violent place.

On today’s elections, Tinubu, who described it as orderly, reaffirmed his belief that APC would sweep the polls.


Joshua Bassey