- Governor extends hand of fellowship to opponents, says ‘no victor, no vanquished’
Palpable excitement enveloped Alausa — the seat of power of the Lagos State Government on Monday, following the judgement of Lagos Election Petition Tribunal, which came in favour of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
The tribunal, which sat for about 10 hours, dismissed two petitions filed against Sanwo-Olu’s victory in the March 18, 2023 election conducted by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
The Governor ran on the platform of All Progressives Congress (APC).
The petitions were filed by the Governor’s main challengers – Dr. Olajide Adediran of People’s Democratic Party (PDP) and Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour of Labour Party (LP).
Reacting to the unanimous tribunal judgement, which was read by the lead Judge, Justice Arum Ashom, Sanwo-Olu, joined by his Deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, described the verdict as “well thought-out and detailed”, noting that the court decision further affirmed judiciary’s commitment to principle of fairness and justice.
The Governor, who said there was no victor or vanquished, dedicated the judgement to all residents of the State, whom, he said, had stood by his administration through the electoral journey.
Sanwo-Olu noted that his re-election was tough, but said the voices of Lagosians were heard loud and clear at the polls, resulting in his landslide victory.
The Governor said the tribunal judgement affirmed the people’s will and choice.
He said: “I am glad to announce the information I have just received that Lagos Election Petition Tribunal judgements have been given in our favour. I commend the judiciary and the judges that delivered the well thought-out and detailed judgments. They took their time to explain to everyone the reasons that led them to the views and conclusion they gave today. We thank the judges for their firm commitment to principle of fairness and justice.
“As it is, Mr Deputy and I feel very privileged to have been elected to serve at this important moment in the history of our State. We thank all Lagosians for standing by us all through this journey. For us, this judgement is a victory for all. We are not coming out here to say somebody won or lost. For all of us on this political trajectory, there are no winners or losers.
“For us, our aim in governance is about service and ensuring that we are not distracted from all the promises we made to Lagosians. This judgement has given us the opportunity to double up our interventions to ensure that we continue to deliver quality dividends of democracy to our citizens.”
Sanwo-Olu extended his hands of fellowship to his opponents, urging them to display spirit of sportsmanship and accept the verdict of the tribunal in good faith.
The Governor invited candidates of the PDP and LP to come join hand with his Government and channel their passion to causes that would take the State to the next phase of development.
“I still want to give an opportunity to opposition parties’ candidates that contested against us to join hand with us if they share the same passion and commitment that we have to serve. We are ready to sit with them and have conversation around what ways they can channel their ideas in the development of the State. Lagos is big and its challenges are real, while its opportunities are boundless. There is always a room for everybody to contribute,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The Governor said the State Government would not be marking the tribunal judgement with any form of celebration. Instead, he stressed that he would rather divert his energy towards the responsibility of governance.
The party, Sanwo-Olu said, is free to organise events for Lagosians in marking the victory at the court.