Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Obafemi Hamzat, on Thursday received their Certificate of Return from the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) following their re-election in the March 18 poll.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the commission also issued Certificates of Return to the 40 lawmakers-elect in the Lagos State House of Assembly.
The INEC Resident Electoral Commissioner, Mr Olusegun Agbaje, at the presentation of the certificates, urged the elected public officers to be true to the promises made to the people and shun do-or-die politics.
Agbaje, who congratulated the winners and all the stakeholders in the electoral process, said he was humbled by the outcome of the election despite the enormous challenges that characterised the exercise.
He said: “The journey towards the accomplishment of success in the Governorship and State House of Assembly Election was not completely smooth, as some desperate elements used their negative utterances which unnecessarily overheated the political environment.
“Armed thugs were used to unleash mayhem on the process in some areas while unfounded allegations were peddled against INEC to distract her from focusing on its mandate during the period.
“The commission was, however, undaunted as it remained focused on doing all that was required within the ambit of the laws of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to avail all registered political parties that nominated candidates for the election equal opportunity to participate in the process.”
According to him, the commission prepared adequately and set up all the machinery needed to guarantee the smooth conduct of election in the state.
He said that political party leaders needed to do away with the culture of violence, malpractice, thuggery, vote buying and all other forms of election vices.
The REC urged the winners to be magnanimous in victory by having an open hand approach to all Lagos residents.
Agbaje said that government must be seen by all as enhancing good governance for the benefit of the good people of Lagos State.
He added: “For those that could not make it this time, all they need to do is to go back to the drawing board to re-strategiae for another time, as INEC will continue to create the needed level playing field for all those that aspire to take part in any election in Nigeria.”
Responding, Sanwo-Olu said that the certificate affirmed him as the duly elected Governor of Lagos State for a second and final term of four years, promising to remain governor of all residents.
“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 State.
“You have been with me every step of this journey, providing feedback, sharing your opinions, holding us accountable.
“As we commence the next phase of this journey, that will take us until 2027, I want you to continue to hold us accountable, as your elected servants.
“We have made promises, indeed, and we have also delivered on so many of them,” he said.
The governor said that residents had seen his accomplishments over the last four years, in line with the THEMES Agenda.
“Now, we must take the work to a new level of performance and delivery.
“We will complete all the projects we have started, and ensure that all new ones are funded, prioritised and delivered. This is our solemn promise to you,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He called for unity among residents regardless of where in Lagos they live, what mother tongue they claim, or the faith embrace.
“Those ideals and aspirations are the things that truly matter; over and above any of the differences that may exist amongst us.
“I want to remain the Governor of all Lagos residents, irrespective of faith, creed or tongue.
“Just as diversity propels progress in all global cities that we know of around the world, we must purpose to make diversity birth prosperity for our dear state,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu extended a hand of fellowship to all those who contested against him for the office of Governor of Lagos State, urging them to join hands with him “to build the Greater Lagos of our dreams.”
He added: “For those dissatisfied by the outcome of the Governorship Election, there is the legitimate mechanism of redress offered by the judicial system.
“To all the good people of Lagos State, let us leave no room for hatred, incitement, or violence in our midst.
“The true spirit of Lagos is law-abiding and welcoming of the diversity that defines us — the diversity of ethnicity, of religion, of social class, of political affiliation.”
He said that his re-election would unlock four more years of peace, progress and prosperity for Lagos State as well as another four years of massive infrastructure renewal and development, among others.
Sanwo-Olu urged residents to make it four more years of responsible and law-abiding citizenship, and of fulfilling all their civic obligations to Lagos State.
He said that this included obeying the laws of the land, paying taxes as and when due, and being their brothers’ and sisters’ keepers.
NAN reports that INEC Supervising National Commissioner in charge of Ekiti, Oyo and Lagos State, Mr Sam Olumekun handed over the Certificates of Return to the Governor-elect and the Deputy Governor-elect while Agbaje presented the Certificates of Return to lawmakers-elect. (NAN)