Amidst the poor turn-out of voters and accusation that the government of the day “selected” those they wanted to be Chairmen and Councilors during Saturday’s elections, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday expressed confidence in the ability of the elections to produce credible chairmen and councilors who will govern the local governments and Local Council Development Authorities to deliver dividends of democracy.
Ambode who spoke to the media after the elections said Lagos was too cosmopolitan not to have a peaceful, free, fair and credible election, adding that he was happy the council elections happened during his tenure. Lagos for five years under his predecessor, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, now Minister of Power, Works and Housing operated without democratically elected Local Government Chairmen and councillors. Developments like this have continued to fuel the impression that Ambode’s achievements in the state would completely erase Fashola’s memory in the minds of Lagosians.
Ambode, who led Lagosians to cast his votes at his polling unit at Ogunmodede Junior and Senior College in Papa Epe by 9:35am said it was high time the people begin to show interest in governance especially at the local government level to ensure that their interest is well protected. He said only a free and fair election can enhance democratic value and retain the confidence of the electorate in the process.
He said: “You cannot stay back at home and just expect that things will work well. Yes, we have tried at the state level but we also need credible people at the local government level and that is the nearest government to our people and all we have been advocating is about participatory governance. He said adequate security measures were put in place to ensure that voters cast their votes in a peaceful atmosphere and also forestall any breakdown of law and order, saying that what was left was for people to come out and perform their civic responsibility.
“So far so good, from the reports I have received from all the other parts of Lagos State, we are pleased with what is going on. Voting has commenced in every part of Lagos; the whole thing has been very peaceful thus far and I believe strongly that it would be peaceful throughout. The elections expectedly have been swept by the APC.