My fellow Lagosians.
A few minutes ago, the Independent National Electoral Commission formally announced the final results of the 2023 Lagos State Governorship election. . I have nothing but deep gratitude to you, the people of Lagos State, for overwhelmingly returning us for a second term. The outcome of this election affirms that once again Lagos has chosen competence and experience, on this march to true greatness.
Four years ago, you gave me cause to deliver a similar victory speech, and in the time since then I have been conscious of the great responsibility upon me and the administration. I have worked very hard to live up to this responsibility of governing the most important subnational economy in all of Africa. We certainly could not have done this by ourselves. What we have achieved, both in the last four years, and in the just-concluded election, could not have happened without a long list of supporters and partners.
First and foremost, let me thank the Almighty God, to whom we owe our very breath, and who has spared our lives to see this day. I am also very grateful to all of you the good people of Lagos. Everyone, not just the people who voted for us, or those registered to vote. Lagos is what it is today because of each and every one of you, regardless of ethnicity, religion, political affiliation, gender or age. We are a vibrant and thriving hub of commerce, finance, entrepreneurship, innovation and culture because of the diversity that has come to define us, over the decades and the centuries. Thank you.
I want to thank all our supporters, who worked day and night to take our message of competence and accomplishment far and wide. Many of you did this not because you knew me personally, but because you identified with the progressive vision that we represent and believe in the message of continuity that we advocated. Immense gratitude also goes to the leadership and members, at national, state and local levels, of our great party, the All Progressives’ Congress (APC), a true force for progressive politics not just in Nigeria but across Africa.
To our National Leader and now President-Elect, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the man who kicked off this journey to a Greater Lagos, and now, most importantly, the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, I say a very big thank you. You have a lot to be proud of, and I am very pleased that Lagos State will continue to be aligned with the Center, under your watch as President.
To our Leader, the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, thank you for your commitment to leaving a legacy of fairness and of electoral outcomes that reflect the will of the people. Thank you also for the unprecedented support to Lagos State in the last eight years.
My dear wife, Ibijoke, thank you for being my loyal partner on this journey, and for holding the fort excellently on the home front.
My Partner and Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat, thank you. We have worked as a team for the last four years, fulfilling our promises to the people of Lagos State, and I am delighted that we are able to continue this journey as partners for another four years. To all my fellow contestants, I salute your participation in this democratic process, and your contribution to creating a truly competitive political space in our dear State. Please remember that there is no victor, no vanquished, in the true spirit of sportsmanship.
During the course of the campaign, we sadly saw a lot of divisive rhetoric used. There were those who tried to make these elections about ethnicity and religion, when in fact they should only have been about capacity, competence and experience. We saw hateful and hurtful ethnic profiling by fellow citizens — which is totally out of place for us as Lagosians, the proud residents of West Africa’s pre-eminent melting pot. I want to recognize and salute all of the multitudes of Lagosians who refused to succumb to those who sought and still seek to divide us with their unguarded and inciting comments. Unfortunately, there are reports of skirmishes in some local government areas wherein some citizens were reported to have been injured. We strongly condemn these reprehensible incidents — that is definitely not who we are as a people. The relevant law enforcement and security agencies have been directed to investigate these breaches of the law, and to ensure that those found culpable face the full wrath of the law.
Now that the elections are over, we must reaffirm the spirit of solidarity and togetherness that binds us as Lagosians. As I said in my final pre-election address, we have a lot of work to do in healing and moving past the divisive rhetoric that has shaped the course of this election cycle. Very importantly, and this cannot be overemphasized: What unites us as Lagosians is far more important and substantial than whatever differences exist among us. As your Governor, I will do everything in my power to ensure that genuine healing takes place. We will continue to run an inclusive government, that delivers for all the people of Lagos, wherever in the State they may be living. The true Lagos spirit is a welcoming, embracing, liberal one, not a divisive, exclusionary one. In the days and weeks and months ahead, we will continue to do everything to demonstrate and amplify this.
Elections are over now, and governance must continue. The dividends of democracy must continue to be delivered. There must be no break, there will be no time-off.
Work on the landmark projects will continue: Lekki-Epe Expressway, Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Fourth Mainland Bridge, Red and Blue Rail Lines, the largest Children’s Hospital in Africa, the largest Food Logistics Hub in Africa, and many more. We will continue to improve the commuting experience for Lagosians, easing the flow of traffic, reducing travel time, opening up new routes, and integrating road, rail and ferry services. We will also continue investing in waste management, while also expanding the economic opportunities available in it; the digitalization of teaching and learning in our public schools will continue; and we will ensure that we maintain the status of Lagos as one of the safest places in Nigeria. For our young people, we will expand the opportunities already available through the Lagos State Employment Trust Fund (LSETF), Lagos State Research and Innovation Council (LASRIC), Lateef Jakande Leadership Academy 11 (LJLA), and our many other cultural, creative, entertainment and sporting initiatives. For the private sector, this is your home, your hub, as it has always been. It is your investments that make Lagos stand out as an economic hub. We will continue to find ways to improve the business environment and remove any burdens and obstacles that you face. Our doors will always be open to you. For the public servants of Lagos, your welfare will continue to be a priority, so that you can continue to smoothly run the machinery of the State. To all of the people of Lagos, we will keep all the promises we have made to you.
I will close with the same words with which I ended my Victory Speech four years ago: “Lagosians, you did not just vote for Babajide Sanwo-Olu. You voted for a greater Lagos. I promise that together we shall achieve this. This is a promise that shall not be broken. A greater Lagos shall be ours.”. Let me boldly and proudly say that are already well on the way to that Greater Lagos, and we now have four more years to join hands to advance in ways that will pleasantly surprise even the most skeptical amongst us.
God bless our dear Lagos State, and God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Igbega Ipinle Eko, Ajumose Ni O!
Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu
Governor of Lagos State March 19, 2023
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