•‘Lagos diversity should propel prosperity, not division’ – Sanwo-Olu
•Guber poll’s outcome surpasses previous elections despite attendant challenges, says REC
In Lagos, the wheel of governance will now race on higher gears, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu pledged, Thursday, when he received his Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The governor won his re-election in a landslide victory in the gubernatorial elections conducted penultimate week, polling 762,134 votes to defeat his rivals.
Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, were joined by their wives, cabinet members and All Progressives Congress (APC) leaders to receive their Certificates of Return at the INEC office in Yaba.
According to a statement signed by Gov Sanwo-Olu’s Chief Press Secretary, Mr Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday, the electoral commission also presented certificates to all the 40 House of Assembly members-elect at the event.
Sanwo-Olu said his second term mandate was won on the strength of Lagos’ diversity, proclaiming that his re-election reflected the wishes of all residents, irrespective of faith, creed or tongue.
The governor declared it was time for the State to move forward and forge new frontiers for its progress. He extended hands of fellowship to contestants in the opposition parties to join APC in leveraging the State’s diversity to bring about new prosperity for Lagos.
He said: “Today, I stand before you older, wiser, more experienced, and more committed than ever to deliver on the contract that binds me to the good people of Lagos. We have made promises and we have also delivered on so many of them over the last four years, in line with our THEMES Agenda.
“Now, we must take the work to a new level of performance and delivery. We will complete all the ongoing projects and ensure that new ones are funded, prioritised and delivered. As we countdown to May 29, when this renewed mandate will commence, I assure Lagosians that together we are unlocking four more years of peace, progress, and prosperity for the state.
“It will be four more years of massive infrastructure renewal and development, four more years of forward-looking policies in transportation, health, education, environment, agriculture, security, wealth creation, entertainment and culture, and youth development. We are more determined to march into the future. Let us hold fast to all the lessons we have learnt and use them as valuable building blocks for what lies ahead.”
Sanwo-Olu expressed gratitude to the electorate for giving him and his party an overwhelming victory and renewing the mandate to lead the State for the next four years. He promised never to take people’s confidence in him for granted.
The governor recognised and showed gratitude to President Muhammadu Buhari and the President-elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, for “laying solid foundations for future generations to build upon”.
He urged the residents to continue to uphold the ideals of hard work, tolerance, innovative energy and quest for excellence, which, he said, united and bound Lagosians together more than their individual faith, tongue and social status.
Sanwo-Olu further made a passionate appeal to the residents to remain law-abiding, promote citizenship, and fulfil their civic obligations, including obeying laws, paying taxes and being brothers’ keepers.
He said: “Every day, regardless of where in Lagos we live, or what mother tongue we claim, or the faith we embrace, we all set out full of hope and expectation that our hustle will pay off, that today will be better than yesterday, and tomorrow will be better than today.”
Resident Electoral Commissioner of INEC in Lagos, Mr Segun Agbaje, said the 2023 general elections had a good outcome despite challenges that characterised the process.
The commission, he said, remained undaunted and focused on doing all required within the ambit of the laws to avail all registered political parties that nominated candidates for the election equal opportunity to participate in the process.
He said: “The nation’s electoral process that INEC under the leadership of Prof. Mahmood Yakubu will never do anything that will alter the gains it has achieved in terms of credibility. The commission will continue to build on its credibility in line with the rule of law to ensure it does its best to meet the aspirations of the people.
“I urge all stakeholders to join hands with INEC as the commission continues to improve the electoral process by positively playing your roles. The political class must change its ‘do or die’ attitude to good conduct in politics.”