Ahead Saturday’s governorship poll in Lagos, Governor Babatunde Fashola is mobilising over 100,000 civil servants for the All Progressives Congress, APC, Governorship candidate, Akinwunmi Ambode.
The atmosphere in the Lagos State Government Secretariat is charged ahead the election as government officials are mobilising public servants to vote for Ambode to sustain continuity in office.
Fashola has mobilised top officials in the civil service to convince their subordinate to vote for Ambode on Saturday as the APC government is not ready to lose Lagos to the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, after it has captured the central government.
On Tuesday, Head of Service, HOS, Folashade Jaji summoned all civil servants to a crucial meeting at the State Auditorium to galvanise support for Ambode.
Thousands of civil servants throng the auditorium for the meeting. Former Head of Service, Yakub Balogun made a surprise appearance at the meeting which threw the civil servants into a state of excitement.
Balogun had been one of the most influential HOS during his time and is greatly loved by the workers. His presence at the event was to galvanise the public servants to vote for Ambode.
Speaking at the meeting which lasted for hours, Jaji charged the civil servants to turn out massively on Saturday and vote for Ambode for continuity, saying that since the APC had taken the centre, there was need to consolidate the victory by retaining Lagos.
Jaji pleaded with the civil servants not to let their grievances stop them from voting for APC on Saturday as the other party would not do them any good.
At the meeting, many workers expressed their grievances, especially in the area of non-payment of leave allowances, overseas training and many others.
Jaji told them that their grievances would be addressed if they vote for Ambode on Saturday and even stood as a surety for the state government by putting his integrity at stake, saying that she should be held responsible if their demands were not met.
Also, Balogun told the civil servants that there is a compelling need for them to vote for Ambode so that the good work in Lagos could continue and sustained, as the PDP had nothing to offer.
He appealed to the civil servants not to make the mistake of voting for the PDP as they would stand to lose from the APC government at the centre if the state is not in the hands of the party.
In the end, a consensus was reached that the civil servants would vote for Ambode on Saturday and give the APC another four years to consolidate its achievements in Lagos State.
Some of the civil servants who came out to speak urged their colleagues to vote for Ambode as Lagos would be better under APC government as well as benefit from the central government.
Meanwhile, Governor Fashola is having a crucial meeting with all civil servants on Wednesday to further galvanise their support for Ambode.
The governor also held a meeting with members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, where the governor appealed to them to support Ambode.
“We all have the right to vote for anyone. Though, some people didn’t vote for us at the last election, it doesn’t translate to hatred. All we need to do is to appeal to them to vote for our candidate. We are all Nigerians and the dividend of democracy is for all.
“The most important thing I need from the residents of Lagos in Saturday’s election is three million votes and I want everything to be for Ambode. Half of this was what you gave me in 2011. At this moment, we cannot align with another party except the party at the centre.
“We have spent 16 years as opposition and we didn’t join the party at the centre. After every election, electorate must embrace one another irrespective of the party that they showed allegiance to. We must not see ourselves as enemy rather explain issues to one another. Politics is contact sports. After the game, we hug one another and play another time.
“Our engagement in politics is a continuous engagement. We must continue to persuade one another and not threaten,” he told the union members.
According to Fashola “when there is trust between us, all those things that appear to be divisive will become unimportant. I assure you that as long as there is an APC government in Lagos, we will ensure that everyone has equal rights in the state. We will ensure that no one, irrespective of his tribe and religion is discriminated against in the state.
“Those things aren’t important. What is important is our common development. At the end of the day, you see the people who introduce ethnicity and religion into the country’s politics didn’t mean well for us. And that was why I have continued to challenge them that what did they do? Election time is like examination period in schools. If one doesn’t study, he can’t pass. It is those who can’t pass that will prefer to destabilise any process,” he said.
Speaking, the NURTW Chairman, Lagos State, Tajudeen Agbede, said the union would mobilise members massively to vote for Ambode on Saturday as the Lagos State Government had done much for the union.
He charged members to go out to vote for the APC governorship candidate as they stood to benefit more under the party.
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