Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has decried the introduction of ethnicity and religious issues into the nation’s politics.
He frowned at the trend while addressing teeming members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, who embarked on solidarity walk for the All Progressives Congress governorship candidate, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode in the Lagos metropolis before converging on the state government, Alausa Secretariat, Ikeja on Tuesday.
He said, “Those who introduce it didn’t mean well for this country”, lamenting that the intention of the proponent of the idea was to disrupt the country’s democracy rather than improve it.
Fashola added, “You see the people who introduce ethnicity and religion into the country’s politics didn’t mean well for us. And that was why I have continued to challenge them that what have they done for the country.
“As long as there is an APC government in Lagos, we will ensure that everyone has equal rights in the state. We will ensure that no one, irrespective of his tribe and religious is discriminated in the state. Those things aren’t important. What is important is our common development”.
The governor, who likened election season as examination period in schools, added that “If one doesn’t study, he can’t pass. And it is those who can’t pass that will prefer to destabilize any process.
“After every election, electorate must embrace one another irrespective of the party that one show allegiance to. We must not see ourselves as enemy rather explain issues to one another. Politics is contact sports. After the game, we hug one another and play another time.
“Our engagement in politics is a continuous engagement. We must continue to persuade one another and not do otherwise. When there is trust between us, all those things that appear to be divisive will become unimportant.
“We all have the right to vote for anyone. Though some people didn’t vote for us at the last election but it doesn’t translate to hatred. All we need to do is to appeal to them to vote for our candidate. We are all Nigerians and the dividend of democracy is for all”.
Appealing to residents of the state to come out in their numbers and vote for the APC flag bearer, Gov. Fashola said “The most important thing I need from the residents of Lagos in Saturday’s election is three million votes and I want everything to be for Ambode. Half of this was what you gave me in 2011.
“At this moment, we cannot align with another party except the party at the centre. We have spent 16 years as opposition and we didn’t join the party at the centre”.