Fashola Thinks Credibility Of Our Democracy Is Regrettably Diminished

February 9, 2015 3:37 pm
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola SAN, Sunday expressed
disappointment at the rescheduling of the General Elections by the
Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on grounds of
insecurity describing it as an abdication by the Federal Government of
its primary duty of protecting the life and property of Nigerian
citizens.

Fielding questions from newsmen after collecting his Permanent
Voters’ Card at the State Junior Grammar School, Itolo, Surulere,
stressed that the postponement for reasons of withheld
support from the security agencies was an ambush of INEC by the Peoples
Democratic Party controlled Federal Government aimed at blackmailing and
arm-twisting the electoral body to shift the date for the exercise.

The Governor, who described the shifting of the elections as a great
set back to democracy with “great implications” for the nation, pointed
out that the process and outcome of the elections were being watched
globally. “I think that when a country sets in motion a process like
this, it ought to know that there would be political and economic
consequences and that is why investors and the global community watch
what is going on”, the Governor said.

Saying the postponement was a move by the ruling party to avoid
defeat at the elections, Governor Fashola dismissed the reason of
insecurity being touted by the Federal Government noting that countries
like Afghanistan, Syria and other countries where war and international
conflicts exist have carried out elections even in the face of the
situation.

“I don’t see why the Federal Government should give that as a reason
since it never objected when INEC set the date of the election. I mean
it’s really a very low point for governance in this country because
whether we go to elections or not, government will still have a duty to
secure this nation and if countries like Afghanistan, Syria and all
those countries where there was war and internal conflicts have held
elections, I don’t see why not”, he said.

Governor Fashola appealed to disappointed Nigerians and party
supporters to remain calm, adding, “This is just a matter of time and
the momentum of Change is already on and the momentum is a Nigerian
people’s momentum; but it’s just that it would have consequences for us
as a nation, the credibility of our governance is regrettably
diminished”.

“I think that the reality is that INEC was ambushed by the PDP and
the Federal Government and I think Nigerians must be disappointed but I
use this opportunity to appeal to Nigerians, especially the supporters
and members of the APC, to remain calm”, the Governor said.

Reiterating his rejection of insecurity in parts of the country as
excuse for the shifting of the polls, Governor Fashola noted, “Don’t
even forget, we held elections in 2011. Some of these terror attacks
have started as far back as 2010. Where was the ability to guarantee
security then? So, I think Nigerians can see beyond this smokescreen,
but it is a deferment of the imminent date of Change”.

The Governor, who expressed satisfaction that he was able to collect
his PVC at last urged those who have not collected theirs to do so
before the closing date and hoped that with the postponement of the
elections, from Saturday next week to March 28 and April 11, INEC would
also consider extending the time within which people could still get
their PVCs.

On the audio tape alleging rigging of Ekiti elections, Governor
Fashola expressed disappointment that some of the principal actors in
the rigged election whose voices could be identified were still denying
the fact that they were involved even when people could identify their
voices.

“Well, I am sure some of those people who spoke in that audio,
especially the one who claims that the promotion of security officers is
in his hands, and they have drawn the Presidency into it. They said
they were acting on behalf of the presidency. I am sure that fellow;
even his grandchild will know that is his voice, so how he wants to deny
it I don’t know”, the Governor said.

Noting that many people have already recognized the voice of the one
who said the promotion of security officers is in his hands, Governor
Fashola declared, “This must open the mind of the Nigerian people to
what it takes to win an election”.

“When Governor Aregbesola was celebrating, I know what he went
through, because we have been through it, we have been in opposition
here and when we win elections in Lagos, as we have always done, we know
what it takes to do so, to keep votes that are legitimately cast for
us”, the Governor said.

He described the people in the audio as “the examples of some of the
kind of base desperation for power that you can ever see”, adding, “So,
while ordinary Nigerians are struggling in the sun trying to collect
their PVC, trying to vote, you see what they are doing at night, you see
how seriously that party that they represent takes your vote and your
effort and your sacrifice for democracy. I am sure now that Nigerians
are getting wiser, because all of the things that they thought was done
in the dark, is now out in the open”.

On hand to receive the Governor at the State Junior Grammar School ,
Itolo, Surulere was the State Electoral Commissioner, Mr. Akin Orebiyi.

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