Mr. Jimi Agbaje, the Lagos Governorship Candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has charged the Independent National Electoral Commission with conducting polls that will make 2019 the year that Nigeria delivered polls that would win worldwide commendation as the freest and fairest ever.
In his New Year message, Agbaje wished that Nigerians would be proud to own the 2019 polls as the truest reflection of their will.
“We pray for peaceful polls in 2019, but peaceful elections can only happen when the majority believes that the conduct and results of the electoral process accurately reflect its collective will as expressed through the ballots,” he said, in the message signed and circulated by his Director of Media and Publicity, Felix Oboagwina.
According to him, the whole world had its focus on Nigeria’s 2019 elections as they would determine whether 2015’s smooth and seamless transition was a fluke or the confirmation of the country’s truly democratic credentials.
“INEC must deliver credible and commendable elections and this means that the commission must assert its independence and resist all attempts by unscrupulous individuals and interests to falsify results and rig elections,” Agbaje said.
He asked Lagosians to keep hope alive that their bondage to 19 years of misgovernment would be terminated with the coming year.
“My message to Lagosians is that their freedom lies in their own hands,” he said. “We must celebrate 2019 as the year that Lagos broke loose from impunity, misgovernment and underdevelopment. And Lagosians must themselves make this happen, not only by voting, through protecting their votes from the cabal that believes that it has the electoral formula.”
He said that Lagos must from next year take its place among the cities of the world’s megacities with drastic and visible improvements in its livability, security and business indices.
According to him, only a change in the current leadership structure would produce the desired transformation.
“You cannot continue to behave the same way and expect a different result,” Agbaje said. “This current leadership that has chalked up 19 years in office will not produce the improvements we need. It must be changed for a new set of visionary and altruistic leadership. That positive change is what my deputy Haleemat Busari and I represent. That is what we offer.”
He urged Nigerians to see the New Year as a brand new opportunity to usher into the polity a set of leaders that would bring about conditions, policies and programmes capable of ushering in the good life they had always yearned for from every sector of the society.
Congratulating Lagos residents for witnessing a New Year, Agbaje urged the people to brace up for a new lease of life under his regime.
According to him, while conceding that some strides had been made since 1999, “No one will argue that much has been left undone towards achieving our developmental aspirations as a citizenry and as a state.”
He promised that his government would bring a positive turnaround in the corporate and individual fortunes of citizens, with the eschewing of vested interests and the enthronement of a caring, selfless, visionary and truly democratic leadership.