While some people are against the use of soldiers for the forthcoming general elections, the governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) in Lagos State, Mr. Jimi Agbaje has said that soldiers are needed to ensure security of lives during the polls.
He insisted that this is not the first time that soldiers would be deployed for elections and that what matters is that they are needed to ensure security during the elections.
Speaking to journalists after worshipping at God First Ministry, Illumination Assembly, Lekki, Lagos recently under the leadership of Bishop Isaac Idahosa, Agbaje said that the soldiers would give confidence to the voters that they would not be intimidated.
“The soldiers have shown that they have not been partial. During the elections in Osun State, the military were there, although there were a lot of noise, they did not do anything untoward and the ruling party in the state, the APC won.
“I remember that during the elections in Edo State, the military was deployed and Governor Adams Oshiomole of the state was shouting, but when he won, he commended the military for a job well done,” he said.
On the issue involving the military in the Ekiti Governorship elections of 2014, the pharmacist-turned politician said that it was clear that the people of Ekiti State voted for Governor Ayodele Fayose, adding that “the position is very clear. So the military has not shown itself to play a partisan role. They are there to provide security. I would want the military to come out on the election day. It would give me a lot of confidence and it would give a lot of the electorates confidence.”
On the use of card readers for the elections, Agbaje said that the Independent National Electoral Commission has not shown enough evidence that it was fully prepared for the elections.
He added that though INEC is independent, the people would blame the PDP-led Federal Government if its fails.
“So, you can understand the caution from the Federal Government that is INEC ready with this thing they want to use. The question is; can INEC say that if the card readers fail, it would not lead to something else? INEC has shown that there are lapses in the distribution of PVCs, now we are saying that we want to use card readers that we have not used before, we have not even tested them.
“You can imagine a situation on the election day, where the card readers do not work, there would be commotion. So, they should convince the people that they are ready with the cards,” he stated.
Addressing the congregation earlier, the PDP Governorship candidate said that it was important to realise that Lagos State belongs to all the residents no matter where they originated from.
He said that the state is growing fast and that the government cannot cope with the work load.
According to him, the present government cannot help it even when they try, and that more students are now failing WASSCE in the state.
“The little money that parents have is being spent on private schools, when they are not sure of the standard of the public schools. As far as academics is concerned, public schools must be as good as private schools so that parents would not go looking for money to send their children to private schools.
“As long as we fall ill and go to public hospitals and they would not treat you, then there is problem. On transportation, we cannot build roads fast enough the way we are expanding in Lagos State. Lagos is a megacity so we need alternative means of transportation like rail system. Any city, whose population is up to 10 million is a megacity. These are the basic things the government must provide,” he said.
The politician explained that anybody, who wants to rule Lagos State must show human kindness, feel for the people and that such a person should not look for the things that would benefit him, but look for the things that would benefit the people.
He therefore enjoined the congregation not to keep their PVCs at home on the elections days, adding that voting is their right and that this was the time to show that they have the power to determine, who governs them.
Bishop Idahosa, who later led prayers for the success of Jimi Agbaje at the polls, urged the people to go and get their PVCs, while telling them that King David in the Bible did not need to campaign before he got to the throne, and that it was God that campaigned for him.
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