Bola Tinubu, National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), was the most notable name in attendance as Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos State Governor-Elect, and his running mate Obafemi Hamzat received their certificates of return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) at a ceremony held at the commission’s office in Yaba, Lagos Mainland, on Friday.
Clad in Agbada with caps to match, the Governor-elect and his deputy were accompanied to the carnival-like event by their wives, associates, family members and APC leaders, including the party chairman in Lagos, Hon. Tunde Balogun; party leader, Prince Tajudeen Olusi; and former Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro, among others.
At exactly 11:30am, INEC National Commissioner in charge of Lagos, Ondo and Ogun states, Dr. Adekunle Ogunmola, presented the certificate to Sanwo-Olu, charging the Governor-Elect to be magnanimous in victory. Sanwo-Olu received the certificate in company of his wife, Ibijoke.
Ogunmola charged Sanwo-Olu and Hamzat to pursue reconciliation and close ranks with their opponents, reminding them that tolerance of opposition remains a key foundation of constitutional democracy.
The state’s Resident Electoral Commissioner (REC), Sam Olumekun, described Sanwo-Olu’s victory as rancour-free, noting that international observers adjudged the Lagos governorship election to be free, fair and credible.
Pointing out that 45 political parties fielded governorship candidates in the election, Olumekun, however, lamented apathy among voters in some constituencies. He particularly made a reference to Eti-Osa Constituency 1, which recorded a four per cent voter turnout — a development he described as unprecedented.
In his six-minute acceptance speech, Sanwo-Olu promised to lead “an all-inclusive government”, while extending a hand of fellowship to his opponents in the governorship race. He expressed joy that his victory was not tainted by violence and bloodshed.
He specially paid tribute to President Muhammadu Buhar and Tinubu for displaying “responsible leadership”, which “led to victory of APC in Lagos and the centre”.
He said: “Our resolve to lead the state as Governor and Deputy Governor is not about our personal welfare and that of our families, but a determination to build a state that all of us will be proud of. We will not disappoint Lagosians for the confidence reposed in us to lead on their behalf. We promise to lead a government that will be responsible and that will work for the greater majority of residents.
“Whatever happened during the campaign period belongs to the past. It’s time for reconciliation and the state must move forward. Therefore, we will not engage anyone or group based on their political affiliation, ethnic nationality or whether they voted for us or not, we are all Lagosians and we will run a government that will work for all.”