All Progressives Congress (APC) stalwart Asiwaju Bola Tinubu said at the weekend that the new local government chairmen and councillors, who were elected by Lagosians, will complement the efforts of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode at the grassroots.
He said democracy would continue to thrive at the local government level through periodic election of leaders to serve the people.
Tinubu, who voted at Polling Unit 447, Ward F, Sunday Adigun Street, Alausa, Ikeja around 12.15 pm on Saturday, noted that the exercise was peaceful, judging by reports that reached him.
He lauded the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) officials and security agents for the peaceful exercise.
The former Lagos State governor told reporters that the election was a significant leap in the APC’s quest to sustain the tempo of growth across the 57 councils.
The former governor acknowledged the crisis that engulfed the party ahead of the primary, saying that it was normal in politics and democracy.
He said the high number of chairmanship and councillorship aspirants generated conflicts, which were later resolved by the party’s leadership.
Tinubu said: “When we have 57 local governments and there is an average of 13 people who want to be chairman in each council, that is the popularity of your party. They are entitled to their aspirations and intentions. But, you can only have one chairman; you can only have one vice chairman, you can only have one councillor in a ward. You have to reconcile and resolve all the conflicts. And we have done so. When you are in politics, you should expect that level of anxiety.”
The party leader defended the automatic tickets to former 18 local government chairmen, saying that they had lived up to expectation in their first term.
He said no aspirant was disqualified or edged out of the primary, stressing that the APC cannot abrogate the political rights of its members.
He added: “There is no state that is more secure than Lagos. Take that one. You should score Lagos excellent. Score Southwest excellent. And for development, you can see it yourself. Otherwise, I will loan you my glasses. You can see that development going on at the grassroots level. That is why the apex leadership rewarded the exceptional 18 local government chairmen that concentrated well on scholarship, school rehabilitation and problem of sanitation. That is why the leadership endorsed them for the second term.
“And we were very transparent about it. We said it openly. That is leadership; the apex leadership of the party. We didn’t say don’t contest. We didn’t say don’t run. We didn’t say don’t vote. We didn’t say that you are either disqualified or you have no right. No. Nobody abrogated anybody’s right to vote.
“Where you have complaints, you watch out for personal interest or complaint. You find individual who had been indulged in personalising their local government. When you take that opportunity from them, you see the combustion. That is the problem. You have to live with it in any democratic exercise. You have to be patient, be tolerant and leadership blame must occur. That’s leadership in earnest. But, this is Lagos too.”