ELECTIONS ARE OVER: HEALING PROCESS MUST BEGIN
With the conclusion of the Governorship and State Houses of Assembly elections, I congratulate all the elected governors and assembly members for earning the mandate of the people. The March 18 governorship election held across 28 states and the state legislative poll across the 36 states of the federation have brought the 2023 election circle to a fitting close.
I must praise President Muhammadu Buhari, the Independent National Electoral Commission, security agencies, Observer Groups, Civil Society Organisations, development partners and the electorate for the success of the elections. The election is pivotal to the growth and sustenance of democracy and democratic governance at the state level.
Consolidating democratic governance at the sub-national level will bring more development and improved quality of life to the masses. The more we entrench and consolidate the gains of our democratic venture across the length and breadth of our country, the more our people benefit in terms of dividends of democracy and good governance.
However, I’m saddened by the reported isolated infractions during the elections and its aftermath in some states. I strongly condemn it. Also, the report of arson after the announcement of governorship results in one state did not represent who we truly are: peace-loving people.
The physical and verbal assaults committed are unacceptable and antithetical to democratic ethos.
Elections should be a celebration of our maturing democracy and freedom of choice and ought not to be moments of grief. I am particularly pained by cases of ethnic slurs, which are capable of creating needless mis-characterisation reported in some locations.
My appeal is for us to rise above our differences, which, in reality, are fewer than the valued strings that bind us together as a people irrespective of the circumstances of our births.
As former governor of Lagos State, I can attest to the strength in our divers