Facts are beginning to emerge on some of the reasons for the poor showing of the god-father of Lagos politics, Bola Tinubu in the just concluded presidential and National Assembly elections.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on Wednesday said his political mentor, Tinubu, lost the February 25 presidential election in the state, because of the Muslim-Muslim ticket, Igbo presidency sentiment, and internal crisis within the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC) in the state.
Speaking in an interview on Arise TV, monitored by MetroBusinessNews (MBN) on Wednesday, Sanwo-olu said: “We have been able to identify and look critically about what went wrong. The Muslim-Muslim ticket played a role because Lagos is also centre of a lot of Christian population and we had the information. So it’s there.
“The other reason is that, some people said that from their own ethnic nationality, this is the first time that they are having their son on the ballot, so ‘na my pikin’, so we cannot force anybody. That’s the beauty of democracy.
“The third reason is that we ourselves have our own internal wrangling that we were not able to resolve fully before we went into the election.”
In what appeared as questions and answer session between the governor and the Arise Television crew, he condemned thuggery and intimidation of voters in the state.
Arise TV: Somebody sent a message, said Labour tsunami has forced Sanwo Olu out, to start talking to the media. And I guess the person was referring to the fact that the presidential candidate of your party lost to Labour in Lagos State. The question, what is the lesson that you’ve learnt from that, and you’ve taken away from that, particularly with regard to how young people of Lagos State voted on February 25.Governor: It’s an interesting discussion, and we need to look at it globally because a candidate who is the president-elect now will have looked at the map of Nigeria. Clearly, Lagos is one of his bases but for him to have won that election he probably would have looked at Lagos and looked at the Big K’s, which is kano, kaduna and katsina. interestingly, all of those 4 states didn’t go favourably for him.
So, it is beyond even Lagos, it’s to look at the election and how it has turned out, and that’s what even historians and political discussants need to also further dimension.
But, for us we’ve been able to identify and look critically into what went wrong… The muslim-muslim ticket played a role because we knew that Lagos is also the center of a lot of Christian population… and we have the information, so it’s there.
The other reasons are, some people said that from their own ethnic nationality this is the first time they are having their son on the ballot so he’s good, he’s not good, na our pikin. I’m going to go ahead and [vote for him]. So we cannot fault anybody, that’s the beauty of democracy.
The third reason is that we ourselves have our own internal wrangling and we have our own internal issues that we were not able to resolve or we hadn’t resolved fully before we went into the election. So, in my view these are some of the things that have indeed affected [the election]
You’ve also mentioned the issue about the youths. It’s also not something that we should play down on. But for me the real conversation is if we claim that Lagos has 6.7 million voters that have collected PVCs, why do we have only less than 20% voter turnout? So those are the main things that we need to also critique and find out what do we need to do additionally for people to want to come out and exercise their civil duty. It’s a national call, not an APC or labour or PDP thing, a national assignment that we believe our citizens must be able to…
You know how well you were talking about PVC collection, extensions, … and so, at the end of the day, why didn’t they show up? So maybe these are some of the things. It’s not a true reflection, Less than 20% is not a true reflective of a total Lagosian. And that’s why I’m out to ensure than a 3 million, a 2.5 million becomes a decent percentage of Lagosians that must come out to vote.
Arise Television: The people came out, the problem is that they were disenfranchised by the incompetence of INEC, because we were all part of that and we all witnessed …. What plan do you have for the young people of Lagos State? Because they are very critical of you.
Governor: Oh yes, they are my children, they are my bosses in some space because I identify with all of them at various levels. You know, it’s a large number and there’s no way you can satisfy every single person. I’m not the greatest person that engages social media because there’s a lot of roll up sleeves that you need to get to work, but in terms of specifics, everything that we are doing is very intentional to look at: how do we get people out of the poverty market? How do we get people out of the unemployment market?
So if I do a road construction, the road construction is not for me. It’s about the number of youths that are working as supervisors, as labourers, as engineers on that site. So it has a trickle [down] effect. That’s how they actually work right? For every infrastructure intervention, it’s meant to be money for some youths who are also energetic, who can also provide for his family.
And other areas which they want, in technology for example, we are the only state in the country that has provided that enabling environment. In less than 2 years we’ve seen international labels, communities, organisations coming into lagos to make foreign direct investments running into billions. In fact, Lagos consistently has become the tech startup [hub] in Africa, and it’s because of the enabling environment, it’s because of the economy that we have provided for them. What do I mean? We’ve just done 3,000 km of fibre … connectivity. That will reduce the cost of internet penetration, reduce the cost for them to have data.
There are so many of them that are living in Lagos and working for companies in the US and Canada. It’s because of the speed at which their computers can work. That’s what has given them that. Look at entertainment, they have so much that’s going on in music. It’s also because of Internet penetration. So the telcos know that we’ve provided the infrastructure backbone. We’ve provided them enabling environment. So you might not see it as a direct correlation from me, but as a direct correlation from[b] my decision[/b], my investment, and my policy has allowed for them to be here.