The February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections have come and gone, attention has now shifted to the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly polls holding on March 11, 2023.

In an unprecedented manner, the outcome of the poll was a watershed in the history of elections in Lagos, particularly, as it recorded great upsets where the Labour Party, LP, defeated the All Progressives Congress, APC, the ruling party in the presidential election.

According to the result released by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC, the Presidential Candidate of the LP, Peter Obi, defeated the APC, candidate, Bola Tinubu.

Obi of LP won in nine of the 20 local governments and polled 582,130 votes, while Tinubu of the APC won 11 LGAs and polled 571, 575 votes. The Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, candidate, Atiku Abubakar, came third with 75,750 votes.

The result has undoubtedly, unsettled the ranks of APC in the state as they have gone back to the drawing board to woo voters, particularly those who did not come out to vote on February 25

The party and some political watchers have attributed the defeat of APC in Lagos to apathy on the part of supporters and some aggrieved members of the party, vis-a-viz wide disenchantment by residents against the President-Elect, Bola Tinubu for foisting the out-going President Muhammadu Buhari on the nation, whose administration has been described as a colossal failure.

According to INEC, the final list of governorship and House of Assembly candidates has 16 political parties contesting the governorship seat.

The leading Governorship candidates are: incumbent, Sanwo-Olu, APC; Dr. Olajide Adediran, PDP; Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, LP; and Olufunso Doherty, African Democratic Congress, ADC, among others.

Members of the state executive council and chieftains of APC, it was gathered had been directed to embark on door-to-door campaigns to canvass votes from residents and aggrieved party members in order to ensure victory.

“We have embarked on door-to-door to appeal to residents on the need to come out en-masse and vote for APC. We have been to Agege, Ojo, Badagry, Alimosho, Ikeja, Apapa, Kosofe, Ibeju-Lekki, among others,” Tayo Ayinde, Chief of Staff to Sanwo-Olu confirmed.

The Publicity Secretary of the APC in Lagos, Seye Oladejo, when contacted simply said: “We’re doing everything within our power legally and politically to ensure that Governor Sanwo-Olu secures a second term. We will rather keep our strategies close to our chest.”

Sanwo-Olu during one of the campaign rallies, rolled out reasons he, and his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, deserved to return to the state government house in 2023 for a second term. “Now, we can say ‘Greater Lagos Rising’ because our state is rising on all our modest achievements through the THEMES agenda.”

Stakeholders highlighted some of the major landmark achievements why Sanwo-Olu should be re-elected to include: the Blue Rail Line from CMS on the Marina to Okokomaiko on the Badagry Cross boarder highway, redline rail system, Lagos Rice Mill, construction of roads, flyovers and bridges, like Pen Cinema flyover, the Ikeja along flyover and the attendant expansion of the Obafemi Awolowo way, the Ojota-Opebi Link Bridge.

All these are complemented with new bus stop shelters constructed with the awarded Fourth Mainland Bridge project, buses, ferries and rides, and upgrade of health facilities. Education reforms include: upgrade of polytechnics to a university of Technology, as well as the College of Education to a University of Education, youth employment, apart from the structured support system for the youth and their aspirations, among others.

The stakeholders believe that he has displayed an uncommon touch by leading from the front as displayed during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ethnic groups, stakeholders’ endorsement

In series of endorsements, Lagos State chapter of Ohanaeze Ndigbo, had at a forum with leadership of the state Leaders of Thoughts, led by Yoruba Council Worldwide, expressed support for Sanwo-Olu.

President, Ohanaeze Ndigbo, Mike Kelechi and Sunday Ossai, expressed unalloyed support for Sanwo-Olu’s re-election.
“Sanwo-Olu’s administration has performed creditably well in the state by giving every tribe an equal fair share of supports in all sectors,” they affirmed.

Also, a chieftain of APC, and ex-Minister of Works, Senator Adeseye Ogunlewe, stated that a second term for Sanwo-Olu, is sacrosanct, “What Sanwo-Olu has been able to achieve in Lagos and what he wishes to complete, is the wish of Lagosians that he should be allowed to complete them.”

The former minister’s endorsement is on the heels of similar support by key stakeholders across party lines. Also, Senate President, Ahmed Lawan, leader of the pan-Yoruba organization, Afenifere, Chief Ayo Adebanjo and the leadership of the Lagos State chapter of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN endorse him.

The state chairman of CAN, Stephen Adegbite, said the governor performed well in improving the lives of residents.

“For us to thank him for his good work in this first tenure is to rally around him and re-elect him for a second tenure in order for him to complete many of his people-oriented projects in varying stages of completion,” Adegbite added.

In the same vein, Adebanjo said Sanwo-Olu deserves commendation for what he described as the governor’s prudent management of resources as well as “the visible transformation of the state in a little over two years.”

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