Local Council Election, Governor Sanwo-Olu canvasses robust participatory democracy
Uploaded by Yemisi Dada on July 24, 2021
Voting and sorting of votes have ended in local council.electiom in Lagos State.
Attention is now on local government Secretariats and the office of the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, LASIEC, where counting and announcement of winners are expected to take place.
Earlier in the morning after casting his ballot at Polling Unit 019, Femi Okunnu/Lateef Jakande, Ward 09 Ikoyi II, Eti-Osa Local Government Area of the State, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu commended Lagosians for participating in the council polls and promised that the State would increase voters’ education and enlightenment to ensure robust participatory democracy.
While aknowledging low voters turn out in many areas, Governor Sanwo-Olu who arrived the polling unit alongside his wife, Dr. Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu at 11:03am and voted at 11:08am, noted that though people were on the queue, the turn out for the local government election could have been better as the local government level remains the closest to the people.
He pointed out that the beauty of democracy is for people to elect their representatives through free and fair elections.
“I observed about four polling booths on my way to my polling unit. I would not say they are crowded polling booths but it seems to me that things are going on peacefully. The reports I have gotten so far in the last two hours is that things are going as expected. We are expecting that everything will go on smoothly, free and fair to all eligible voters.
“This is about the only time when we can express ourselves freely and openly. Talking about low percentage of voters, it is a reflection of the society. We need to encourage more participation and increase advocacy for the citizens. All the infrastructure and logistics have been provided by the Government. It is really for our citizens to come up and express themselves. So, it is work in progress; that is the beauty of democracy.
“For some other countries that we follow, they have been on it for over 200 years and you will see that there is never an election where you have 100 per cent but you continue to improve on the advocacy and everybody has a role to play. This is another clarion call for our people to come out and express themselves willingly,” the Governor said.
Speaking in a similar vein, the member representing Eti-Osa Constituency 2 at the State House of Assembly, Mr Gbolahan Yishawu also emphasised the need to increase voter education and advocacy so hat people would come out in future to select their representatives at the grassroots.
Mr Yishawu who described local government election as the most important in a democratic dispensation said when citizens participate actively in electing their representatives, they would be able to demand good governance from such representatives.
“The local government is the grassroots where the impact of democracy can be felt, globally the percentage of people who participate in voting is usually low compared to the voter register, but by and large, we can do better”