The Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode has kicked against voter apathy, saying that for the state or the nation as a whole to witness credible elections, everyone has to fully participate.
He said this after he cast his vote on Saturday for the election of chairmen and councillors in the 20 local governments and 37 local council development areas (LCDAS) across the state.
He said while some success has been achieved in this aspect at the state level, participatory governance at the grassroots is also necessary to achieve same.
“What is important for us is for us to be able to conduct a free fair and credible election and you know, local government election has not taken place in Lagos State in the last five years so we are happy that we are able to do this and also enhance democratic values that we are trying to build up in this country.
“Everywhere is peaceful and the whole thing is for people to be able to carry out their civic obligations. You cannot stay back and just expect that things will work well.
“We have tried at the state level but we also need to put credible people at the local government level and that is the nearest government to our people and all we have been advocating is about participatory governance.
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He further stressed that “If you don’t take part, you will not just be part of what is coming out and the whole essence is for you to be able to choose people who will really touch your needs. So if you sit down at home and anyone that is not credible gets there, it would not be their fault if they give you bad results and that’s what we don’t want. I am happy that this election is coming at my own time.
“The whole idea is for us to evolve a process where the citizens come out, believe in a process that is credible and then when we do this and they are able to see it, next election that comes at the local government level, they will be excited to do it because they know that it’s been credible, peaceful, there’s no violence and that’s what we’ve been preaching,” Ambode said.