Saturday, November 14, 2020 11:43 pm
The Lagos chapter of All Progressives Congress, APC and the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, have revealed plans to resume campaign for the vacant Lagos East Senatorial and Kosofe Constituency II bye-elections following announcement of a new date for the bye election on Friday by the Independent National Electoral Commission, INEC.
INEC had on Friday said the election which was initially scheduled for 31, October, 2020 will now be held on 5 December.
The election was postponed as a result of the violence which followed the EndSARS protest.
In all, INEC will conduct of 15 pending bye-elections in 11 states.
But the race for the Lagos East Senatorial bye election will certainly be one of the most keenly watched. Tokunbo Abiru, a banker and an ex-commissioner is the candidate of the APC while Babatunde Gbadamosi is the candidate of PDP.
Both candidates said they are returning to the field for campaign with the announcement of new date for the election.
Lagos APC Publicity Secretary Seye Oladejo told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that with the new date the party would energise its campaign machinery to ensure victory for APC candidates.
“We are happy as a party, if not for the set back of the #EndSARS protests that necessitated the postponement; we would have put the bye-elections behind us.
“So, we are happy now that we have a new date.
“We are going to re-energise our campaign machinery to sensitise the people, the party members and the electorate to come out en masse and vote for our respective candidates.
“So, we are quite happy about it and we are very much confident that we will win the elections,” the APC spokesman said.
According to him, the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) needs to work harder on voter education and creating the atmosphere for peaceful and credible elections.
“The umpire should continue to stay neutral and make sure everything necessary is put in place for free, fair and credible elections with the collaboration of all stakeholders and security agencies.
“We want to encourage the people to come out en masse to exercise their franchise so that they can elect the senator of their choice for Lagos East Senatorial District and Kosofe State Constituency II Lagos House of Assembly election,” he added.
In the same vein, the Campaign Organisation of Mr Babatunde Gbadamosi, Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) Senatorial Candidate for the forthcoming Lagos East bye-election, has urged INEC and security agencies to ensure only qualified people are allowed to vote.
Dr Adetokunbo Pearse, the Media Director of the Campaign Organisation, made this appeal in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) following the rescheduling of earlier postponed bye-elections in the country for Dec. 5.
Pearse noted that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) had no choice than to postpone the Lagos East Senatorial and Kosefe Constituency II bye-elections earlier fixed for Oct. 31 due to the security situation.
He said that the party would resume its door-to-door campaign strategy.
“INEC cannot conduct elections without security.
“Now that it has fixed the date, the important thing is for INEC to do the right thing: allow the votes to count and make sure that people who do not qualify do not vote.
“We remain on the fact the Abiru, (the Lagos East APC candidate) has two PVCs (Permanent Voter Cards) and that he didn’t register in the Lagos East Senatorial District, hence he is not qualified to run for the election.
“If anyone votes illegally such has committed a crime.
“We are fully prepared, everybody knows that Gbadamosi, the PDP candidate, is the better candidate, who came in a democratic fashion, and whose commitment is to improve the quality of lives of the people,” Pearse said.
According to him, the PDP senatorial candidate, if given the mandate, will bring dividends of democracy to the people of Somolu, Kosofe, Ikorodu, Ibeju-Lekki and Epe, the five local governments that make up to the Lagos East Senatorial District.
Pearse said that the party had been going around all the five LGAs that comprised the Lagos East to campaign on door-to-door basis.
“We are focused on going in for this poll with door-to-door campaigns. The people who are going to vote are fully involved.
“Now that we know the date, we will plan the date to flag off mega campaign for the sake of awareness but we feel the most important thing is to go from door to door, visiting potential voters and doing street walk to sensitise and mobilise voters.
“The door-to-door campaign is the modern way of reaching the people and we are confident of victory for PDP,” he said.
In the same vein, Mr Tokunbo Abiru, the APC candidate has promised to empower the youth and women in the senatorial district if elected.
Abiru said in a statement on Saturday that empowerment of youths and women would be one of his priorities.
He said he would leverage on his experience of over three decades as an economist, banker and accountant to improve the lots of youths and women.
“If am elected your Senator for Lagos East, I will leverage my experience of over three decades as an economist, chartered accountant and banking executive, who has worked in exemplary institutions.’’
The APC candidate said he would provide quality representation, if elected, promising to lead with character and values, and act with integrity and commitment in all his actions.
He commended the “patriotic youths for demonstrating exceptional commitment during the peaceful EndSARs protests across the country’’.
Abiru said that peaceful assembly is a constitutional right and lauded the youth for remaining peaceful and responsible throughout their protests.