A former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Bode George, has described Saturday’s governorship and House of Assembly elections in Lagos State as a disgrace to the country.
The governorship election was a three-horse race among incumbent Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress; Olajide Adediran of the Peoples Democratic Party, and Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of the Labour Party.
As of the time of filing this report, Sanwo-Olu was leading with a wide margin while the LP candidate was in the second position.
Reacting, George, in a statement he personally signed on Sunday, said, “During the presidential and National Assembly elections on February 25, soldiers were seen on the road and there was civility. Thugs didn’t mess up. There was complete peace. So, who ordered that the soldiers should be withdrawn during the governorship and House of Assembly elections? Was their withdrawal ordered to ensure that thugs had a field day, snatching and burning ballot boxes and papers?
“When are we going to be civil in our approach to constitutional democracy? This is not the Lagos we used to be proud of. This election is a total disgrace to the APC as a party and Nigeria as a country. Due to threats from thugs, many potential voters returned home in anger without voting. In many polling units, we watched videos of the snatching of ballot boxes/papers by APC thugs. Ballot boxes and papers were also burnt.”
Meanwhile, the LP candidate,who was endorsed by George, also on Sunday expressed disatisfaction with the results being released, saying they didn’t reflect the wishes of voters.
In a Twitter post on Sunday, Gbadebo wrote, “I am saddened by the confirmed reports of violence and gross disenfranchisement of voters who only wished to perform their civic duty.
“Attacks on polling units, voters, and our party agents are totally antithetical to what we stand for and what Lagos truly represents.
“Collusion between the ruling party and electoral officials to return the candidate of the APC is a slap on the face of democracy and everyone who came out to vote for us on Saturday.
“In light of this, I am convinced beyond any doubt that the results being released by INEC do not represent the wishes of the majority of peaceful Lagosians.”
“More so, the results from our field agents and situation room indicated that we won this election. I am a champion of the people. We are far from done. Do not lose hope, do not waiver.
“This is not over, we have not come this far to accept outright lies, criminality and falsehoods. A fight for freedom is never easily won.
“Every vote cast for me was done in the face of intimidation and risk of personal harm. Every such vote must count. Defending every one of those votes is a sacred duty. I will defend your votes – this is my vow to every LP voter.”