Members of Omo Eko Pataki consisting of Chief Olabode George, former Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Senator Kofoworaola Akerele-Bucknor and Mrs Onikepo Oshodi, on Monday, frowned against threats to voters who refuse to support a particular political party describing it as divisive politics of annihilation of innocent Nigerians.
They also endorsed Labour Party, LP, Governorship Candidate in Lagos State, Mr. Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, saying it is time for renewal and rebirth in Lagos State.
The group also alleged that there plans to ensure the LP candidate is taken out of circulation before Saturday’s polls warning that it does not want a repeat of what happened to late Funsho Williams in Lagos State.
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Speaking at a press conference in Lagos, leader of the group, Chief George expressed worry over threats being issued against voters suspected to be willing to vote against incumbency.
The group which subtly endorsed the LP governorship candidate, urged Lagos residents to be wary of voting for the All Progressives Congress, APC during the March 11 governorship 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.
Of paramount interest and concern is the issue of threat to lives by cronies and criminal elements, who we presume are being unleashed on innocent citizens who are willing to exercise their civic rights, to effect a positive change to their lives, the lives of their unborn children, using the civilised option of the ballot box, universally approved as opposed to the option of anarchy.
“As we speak, there are grand designs, to provoke the peace loving Nigerians, whose resolve is to effect change through the ballot box on Saturday, as threats are being issued against voters suspected to be willing to vote against incumbency.
“For the avoidance of doubt, a particular video has gone virile, on the social media, which showed a weird character, suspected to be one of the agents of the state, threatening brimstone and fire against anybody, particularly of South East extraction (Igbo), to dare come out on election day to vote for the Labour Party.
In the words of the state 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 ask, who gave these characters the institutional authority and powers, to query the right of Nigerians to exercise their civic responsibility?
“We reject this divisive politics of annihilation of innocent Nigerians, which seek to create anarchy and provoke anger of the citizenry. We wish to remind all the non-Lagosians agents of the Lagos State Government, that Nigerians have lived together in peace, irrespective of any political party in power,”
Going down memory lane of how non Lagosians contested and won elections in Lagos, he said: “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 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 (AG).
“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 to 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.
“The party was considered the third prominent political party formed in Nigeria after a Lagos-based party, the Nigerian National Democratic Party and the Nigerian Youth Movement formed by Professor Eyo Ita who became the Deputy National President of NCNC before he left the party to form his own political party called the National Independence Party.
“The NCNC was primarily associated with the Igbo, yet it was originally formed by a Yoruba in a territory or sphere of operation controlled by a particular person or group.”
“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.
“We call on Nigerians to be wary of taking yet another wrong step to vote for the ruling All Progressives Congress, APC, government in the impending governorship election on March 11, 2023.
“Without any equivocation, we say under the watch of the APC government, our country has been bestride in widening uncertainties. There are no certitudes anywhere as lawlessness defines the national landscape.
“We cannot continue with the old ways. The system is now devoid of stabilizing balance. We must rework it. We must push towards a renewal and a rebirth. This is the time for us to have a change of vision through an electoral overhaul.
“We equally urge the electorate in Lagos to go out in their numbers on Saturday, to vote against the plundering that has bedeviled our prosperous state for over two decades as adequate security is assured to everyone out to exercise their civic responsibility.
“Lagos has remained a best example of a conquered territory where an Iragbiji native dwells like an obscene Persian monarch determining who becomes a councilor, who becomes a local government chairman, who becomes a House of Assembly member, who becomes a Representative, a Senator and a Governor.
“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 said.