Hours after the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) declared winner in the Saturday Senatorial bye-election held in Lagos East district, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu hosted the Senator-elect, Mr. Tokunbo Abiru, at the State House, Marina, to celebrate the victory of All Progressives Congress (APC) at the poll.
The State House erupted in jubilation, as State party chairman, Hon. Tunde Balogun, formally presented the Senator-elect, and the APC candidate who won Kosofe Constituency II bye-election, Hon. Femi Saheed, to the Governor.
Abiru polled 89,204 votes in all the 16 local councils in Lagos East district to defeat his major challenger, Mr. Babatunde Gbadamosi of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), who got 11,257 votes.
Also, Saheed received 12,494 of the 15,124 total votes cast to win the Kosofe Constituency II seat.
The candidates were accompanied on the meeting with the Governor by chairman of Tokunbo Abiru Campaign Council, Ashipa Kaoli Olusanya, party leader, Chief Bode Oyedele, women leader, Hon. Jumoke Okoya-Thomas, and other party stalwarts from the district. Also, there were members of the House of Representatives from Lagos East district, including Hon. Jimi Benson, and Hon. Rotimi Agunsoye.
Sanwo-Olu described the APC’s triumph in the bye-elections as “two-fold success”, saying the results indicated the party remained the first choice for Lagosians. He said Lagos residents would always reckon with APC, given the party’s progressive credential and responsible leadership.
Sanwo-Olu said the outcome of the elections, should be seen as a result of the huge popularity, which the APC National Leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu enjoys in Lagos, as well as a demonstration of faith and loyalty to Tinubu’s progressive ideas, which had transformed Lagos in physical development and economy.
He said: “For us a party, we always see our success at the polls as acceptance of our progressive governance. With almost 90 per cent margin in the Senatorial bye-election, it goes to show that APC remains the party of first choice in Lagos State. I thank our leaders and party members for supporting Abiru on this journey and delivering the victory. I particularly congratulate Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his vision, his ability to diagnose challenges and pick talented individuals that will efficiently tackle the challenges.
“The victory of our party in both elections is for the people. This is a big deal for all Lagosians because Abiru won’t be a senator for the APC members alone; he is going to do the representational duty for all his Lagos East constituents and by extension, all Lagosians. The same goes for Hon. Femi Saheed. This success goes to show there’s something our party is doing well and for which it is being rewarded by the people. We won’t take this for granted; we will buckle up and show more commitment to programmes that will make Lagos greater.”
Sanwo-Olu praised Tinubu and party elders for the choice of Abiru for the senate seat, pointing out that the lawmaker-elect possessed requisite experience and career profile, which stood him out as a best candidate for the assignment.
The Governor urged the elected lawmakers to see their victory as a call to serve the people and be good ambassadors of the party in the legislative chambers.
Sanwo-Olu hailed all APC members for working together to deliver the victory for the party.
Abiru, the immediate past Managing Director of Polaris Bank, described his victory as an attestation of APC’s acceptance at the grassroots despite the recent occurrence, appreciating Sanwo-Olu for mentoring throughout the electioneering.
He said: “I have accepted this assignment with modest accomplishments both in the public and private sectors. The assurance I want to give the people is that, I will bring my experience to bear performing my roles and giving quality representation. I will always be faithful to the party and make myself accountable to the people.”
Abiru restated his commitment to his campaign promises, pledging to galvanise support for a special status for Lagos and restructuring.
The lawmaker-elect disclosed he would be setting up a personal endowment platform for the empowerment of unemployed youths and aged people in his constituency.
Balogun said APC’s victory demonstrated members’ dedication and loyalty to the party vision. He said Lagos voters used the bye-elections to show their confidence in APC, stressing that the party defeated PDP at every polling unit across areas where the protesters elections were held.
“Gbadamosi’s loss is a rejection of the PDP for supporting hoodlums in the violence at the end of EndSARS protests. Our victory in these bye-elections showed the support people have for our Government in Lagos. We thank you, Governor Sanwo-Olu, for your leadership, support and dedication to cause of the party,” Balogun said.