Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN) on Sunday decried the apprehension caused by threats of violence by the political class during elections in the country, saying, “We must work to change the type of election that we have, to the type of election that we want”.
Fashola added that elections should ordinarily be devoid of violence or fear, stressing that it should rather be a carnival full of fun; a kind of family fiesta where everyone will have the opportunity to participate.
“Parties and candidates will have to work hard to seek for new public post or to retain their post”, he said.
Gov. Fashola, who was speaking at the 2014 Annual Thanksgiving service, at the Government House, Alausa, Ikeja yesterday, said that the appreciation about the general elections will do the country more good if they are devoid of violence and fear.
“I have chosen to speak about elections because they have become a major prayer point in the last few days heralding a new year. Many are afraid, and perhaps, understandably so.
“While elections are moments to savour, and make informed decisions and choices about the way forward in most parts of the world; we seem to have contrived to deny ourselves of the pleasure and fun that elections should bring.
“I remember in my re-election in 2011, it was a carnival and fun, a confident confrontation with the electorate and a family fiesta where even our children participated, because we worked hard and kept our promises.
“The question then to ask is why can this not be the case every time and everywhere? Why should we be moving soldiers and policemen in large numbers just because we are going to vote? Why should we be scared and very prayerful every election year?
“I have nothing against those who pray. What I quarrel with is prayer without effort. So let me say categorically that while we should pray, we must also do a lot of work to change the type of elections that we have into the type of elections that we want.
“That work is not government work. It is work that you and I will do”, he added.