The just-concluded general elections in Nigeria have been said to be a reflection of the level of advancement of the nation’s democracy.
The Deputy Majority Leader of the Lagos State House of Assembly, Hon. Olumuyiwa Jimoh, stated that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should be commended for organising free and fair elections.
Jimoh, who represents Apapa Constituency 2 in the Assembly, noted that the country’s democracy has grown over the years and that even
the United States of America that gained independence 200 years ago is still improving in its democratic process, adding that there is certainly need for improvement.
“There are tribal sentiments in this part of the world. I remember in the Second Republic, those who were not from the South West did not support the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) of Chief Obafemi Awolowo, whereas there was no segregation against the people from other parts of the county.
“I could remember that the non-indigenes enjoyed what we were enjoying in the region then. You cannot be living among a set of people and not respect them, you must respect your hosts,” he said.
On the allegations of rigging, and under-age voting in some parts of the country during the elections, Jimoh said that the elections were okay to a large extent, and that the allegations of massive rigging and under-age voting had not been proven.
He stated that there was nothing wrong with the fact that the Presidential candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Alhaji Atiku Abubakar went to court on the results of the election, but that the case would not go far.
“Look at the figure of the presidential election in Kano for the APC, it was 1.4 million out of five million voters. How do you determine underage voting?
“In the North East that should be the stronghold of the PDP, the APC performed well. Give it to President Muhammad Buhari, he did not even interfere in the primaries of APC in his hometown.
“You can see what Buhari demonstrated in Abeokuta, Ogun State, where Governor Ibikunle Amosun of the state had a candidate for the governorship and the APC leadership had their own, Buhari told the people to vote for the candidate of their choice.
“It is good that people like Atiku Abubakar are part of the process. Look at the governorship candidate of the PDP in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje, he congratulated the candidate of the APC, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwoolu before the results were announced,” he said.
The lawmaker disagreed with the notion that non-indigenes were coerced into voting for the candidates of the APC in the governorship and House of Assembly elections, but that the APC campaigned vigorously for the people to vote for the party.
“We have been accommodating them, now they want to be antagonistic to the ruling party in Lagos.
“The non-indigenes have been living in Lagos more than they live in their home towns. Their population is not up to that of the Yorubas.
“The insinuation that Lagos is no man’s land should be discarded. This is a state that has its own obas and chiefs. You are insulting your hosts if you say it is no man’s land.
“The governorship candidate of the PDP, Mr. Jimi Agbaje was saying that he would upgrade the Ezes to Ibos in Lagos State to the position of our obas if they voted for him and this is very wrong.
“Agbaje was part of the progressives before he crossed to the other side. The Bible says that it is God that crowns all kings,” he said.