The Lagos State Alliance for Democracy (AD) governorship candidate, High Chief Owolabi Salis, have listed vote-buying, rigging violence, intimidation and insecurity as some of the factors capable of disrupting the 2019 general election especially in Lagos.
The United State of America-based Attorney made the assertion at a press briefing held, on Sunday, in Lagos, against the backdrop of attack against his party member and AD candidate for the state’s House of Assembly Shomolu Constituency 2, Hon. Giwa Adigun.
Salis said polls should be contested and campaigns based on issues rather than the use of violence and threat to take over the political environment.
He added that if politicians continue to anchor their campaigns with threat and violence it will dampen the citizens participation during election.
He pointed out that vote buying was an electoral offence which undermined the legitimacy of elections and weakened representative democracy.
He said that the lack of enforcement or punishments for this electoral offence had allowed the practice to persist and grow` “Vote buying is a frightening development in elections.’’
He stated that development of the grassroots would be his priority if elected into office in 2019, saying that those at the grassroots were pained by the challenges of poverty, infrastructural development and so much hardship while few individuals controls the resource of the state.
The AD gubernatorial candidate also explained the major objectives of his party was to rescue Lagos State from the ‘claws of hawks and make the state more beneficial for those at the grassroots.
He also vowed to do all that is possible, within the law, to advance the welfare of the people at the grassroots especially the less priviledged.
He continued, “In today’s Lagos, there are so many imposed stooges in government and the stooges do not only sing the praises of their benefactor, but equally make returns by sharing the commonwealth allocations were individuals have over N10 trillion to their name.
“The danger of this systemic slavery is evident in the grassroots. Check the neighbourhoods they are in deplorable state because the common wealth is not being used for the people.
“Believe me we have enough wealth in Lagos State to improve on development, the living standard of its citizenry but they are in the hands of private individuals”, he noted.
“The development of Lagos would bring prosperity to other African nations, stating that it is repeated frustrations that have made money play important role in our politics, beginning from how candidates are selected to how parties seek to influence voters.
Salis re-affirmed that he was in the race in order to rescue the state from its present predicament by advancing the interest of the people.
“If we win, our focus will be moving forward to advance the interest of the people and never to be vindictive. Participation in government for the government for the benefit of the people will involve the grassroots and credible people from other platforms.
“The destiny of the people will be determined by them and never to be derailed by anyone”
He assured that the AD would work against rigging as well as campaign on zero-money politics and a “no-noise” grassroots focus. He said: “Our main focus is on the well-being of the people of the grassroots. If you love Lagos, we ask you to join us. “Our objective is to take Lagos State’s commonwealth back.
“We will stop imposition, exploitation and stooge making in Lagos politics. We will improve on the wellbeing of the less privileged.
“We will also assist the youth, who systematically are enslaved by using them for violence and as miscreants.”
The politician also said the AD would promote independence of the judiciary in Lagos and encourage judicial decisions to advance the political and social economic interests of the residents.
Salis also assured Lagosians that AD would bring back values to culture and traditions, as well as bring back respect and professionalism to the police and other security agencies.
Earlier, Hon. Adigun had said he was concerned about the state of insecurity in parts of the country especially the presence violence characterising on-going campaigns.
Adigun alleged that he was shot by thugs of the ruling All Progressive Party(APC), stating before the incident last Tuesday, October 2, 2018, he had been warned several times to forget his political ambition in Shomolu but ignored the warning.
He urged Nigerian youths not to engaged in violence, saying that politicians would mislead them to commit violent crime while their children are abroad enjoying the basic necessity.
“The struggle is for a better Lagos and the result should be accepted in good faith rather than the threats that is going on all over Lagos.”