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The All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos State has dismissed rivals’ claims that its members perpetrated violence during the just-concluded elections.
“It is sheer falsehood that cannot be substantiated,” State Publicity Secretary Seye Oladejo declared at a news conference in Ikeja on Thursday.
Oladejo urged the opposition to stop playing the victim.
He said that the conference was to review the election and comment on some of the false allegations the opposition parties had been spinning in the media space.
He said: “Many false narratives have been put in the public space by the aggressors in the last election, who have turned round to shed crocodile tears in their bid to play the victim.
“The elections have been won and lost. It is time for all patriotic citizens to concentrate on building our dear state and, by extension, the nation.
“But, this is not the thinking of the opposition, who have shown that they lack the true spirit of sportsmanship.”
The APC spokesman, who noted that ethnicity and religion remained anathema to democracy, said that such had never been a factor in the voting pattern in the state.
He alleged that the Labour Party introduced and orchestrated ethnicity and religion into the electioneering, saying that the intention was to pit a section of the populace against another.
Oladejo added that the allegations of threat and intimidation of voters during the polls was a weapon deployed by the opposition currently playing the victim.
“It is on record that there are 13,325 polling units in Lagos State and there were reports of disturbances in about 130 or one per cent of all the polling units.
“I think that is too infinitesimal for anyone to rely upon to say that the election was not free and fair.
“In other words, under no circumstance can we say the incidents invalidated the credibility of the elections.
“We also need to state that the false alarm that members of the APC perpetrated violence during the election cannot be substantiated.
“The party has loyalists, members and sympathisers in all nooks and crannies of the state. It has no reason to embrace violence.
“On the contrary, our members were mostly the victims of intimidation and violence. Many are still in hospitals where doctors are battling to save their lives,” Oladejo said.
The spokesman, who opined that Feb. 25 and March 18 elections were free and fair, regretted that there had been futile efforts to discredit the elections with some of the losers and their sympathisers alleging that it was the worst election in the history of the nation.
Oladejo said that INEC’s introduction of Bimodal Voter Accreditation System (BVAS) had helped tremendously in ensuring that only registered voters accredited and captured by the machine could vote.
He said that the BVAS machines recorded 88 per cent success rate in the 176,606 polling units across the nation and malfunctioned in nine per cent of polling units.
“Even those that malfunctioned were fixed.
“BVAS machines were replaced in two per cent of polling units where they malfunctioned. In our view, INEC deserves some applause for this feat. The reforms also ensured that violence was reduced to the barest minimum.
“It is very sad and unfortunate that 13 deaths were recorded in electoral violence in the 2023 elections. No life should be lost at all.
“Every death mocks our humanity, but compared to 150 in 2019, 100 in 2015, 800 in 2011, 300 in 2007, 100 in 2003 and 80 in 1999, we have made some progress.
“The security agencies should be commended for a job well done.”
Commending security agents for their conduct during the elections, Oladejo said that they were professional, especially in Lagos State, “despite attempts by some people to create an atmosphere of fear and violence”.
He, however, said that the security agents needed to go a step further by curbing the excesses of warmongers and scaremongers desperate to foment trouble in the state.
“We condemn the post-election hate speeches and fake news still being promoted in various media spaces.
“It should be noted that the general election was held throughout the nation and the law provides for those not satisfied with the conduct of the exercise to approach the court of law as it is done in civilised climes.
“Anything contrary to this under any guise should be viewed seriously,” he added.
Congratulating Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, on their victory, Oladejo said that the feat was a recognition of their giant strides in the last four years.
Also speaking, the Commissioner of Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotosho, said that allegations of violence by the opposition parties was to fan up sentiments and cause anarchy.
Source – NAN
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