A former deputy national chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party, Chief Olabode George and other members of a socio-political group, Omo Eko Pataki, consisting of a former deputy governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofoworola Akerele-Buknor and Mrs Onikepo Oshodi, have endorsed the candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, as the state governor in the Saturday election scheduled to hold March 11.
The group, while endorsing the LP candidate, alleged threats to voters who refused to support a particular political party describing the action as divisive politics of annihilation of Nigerians.
Speaking at a news conference in Lagos on Monday, the leader of the group, Chief George, expressed worry over threats being issued against voters suspected to be willing to vote against incumbency.
He urged Lagos residents to be wary of voting for the All Progressives Congress, during the election.
George said, “We have called you here today, on the auspices of the Omo Eko Pataki, a concerned vanguard of true born and bonafide Lagosians, to brief you on issues of salient national importance, as we head towards the final lap of the 2023 general elections.
“It is expedient for us as major stakeholders to let Lagosians, Nigerians, and the international community be aware of developments both in the aftermath of the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections, as well as raise some pertinent concerns about the governorship, and the state Assembly elections scheduled for this Saturday, March 11, 2023.
The PDP party chieftain added that the ruling party was planning to provoke the peace-loving Lagosians by snatching ballot boxes on Election Day.
“For the avoidance of doubt, a particular video has gone viral, on social media, which showed a weird character, suspected to be one of the agents of the state, threatening fire and brimstone against anybody, particularly of the South-East extraction (Igbo), to dare come out on Election Day to vote for the Labour Party.
In the words of the agent in the video clip, “It’s either Sanwo-Olu or nothing in Lagos.”
“To this disposition, we, the Omo Eko Pataki, say it is the most heinous crime against humanity in this 21st century, and condemn such in all its entirety.
“We reject this divisive politics of annihilation of innocent Nigerians, which seek to create anarchy and provoke the anger of the citizenry. We wish to remind all the non-Lagosian agents of the Lagos State Government, that Nigerians had always lived together in peace, irrespective of any political party in power.”
Speaking further, George narrated how non-Lagosians contested and won elections in Lagos, adding, “A good example was the formation of the National Council of Nigeria and the Cameroons in 1944 by Herbert Macaulay, its first National President, with Dr Nnamdi Azikiwe as its first secretary.
“Elected candidates in Lagos constituencies, on the platform of the NCNC, were Papa J.M. Johnson and Papa T.O.S. Benson who represented Lagos Island and Mainland respectively at the parliament. They defeated Papa L.B.J. Dosunmu (who later became Justice Dosunmu) and Papa Onitiri, candidates of the Action Group.
“The NCNC was made up of a long list of nationalist parties, cultural associations, and labour movements that formed it. The party, at the time, was the second to take a concerted effort to create a true nationalist party.
“It embraced different sets of groups from the religious, to tribal and trade groups such as the Egbe Omo Oduduwa and the Nigerian Union of Teachers. Azikiwe became its second president and Dr M.I. Okpara, its president when Azikiwe went on to become the first indigenous President of Nigeria.
He, however, added that Lagos has remained the best example of a conquered territory where an Iragbiji native dwells like an obscene Persian monarch determining who becomes a councillor, who becomes a local government chairman, who becomes a House of Assembly member, who becomes a Representative, a Senator and a Governor.
“We wish to inform Nigerians about the heinous plan, to secretly eliminate the Labour Party Governorship Candidate, Mr Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, the latest move by the take Lagos occupiers, to take him out of circulation before the election on Saturday.
“We, hereby, warn that, should anything happen to this vibrant bonafide Lagosian, who fate has thrown up to free our dear state from the stranglehold of marauders, Nigerians should know who to hold.
“All these he does by compromising all agencies and organs of state, including the electoral commission itself. We also call on INEC, to ensure the use of transformational BVAS regime, for the transparency of the exercise, a departure from the February 25 archaic system, where result sheets were moved manually from polling units,” he maintained.