By Ezra Odogu
Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has endorsed a grassroots movement targeting two million votes in the State for the victory of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the forthcoming 2023 general elections.
Sanwo-Olu personally led members of his cabinet, including the Deputy Governor, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, to a conference organised by Asiwaju Grassroots Talk (AGT), where the Governor drummed support for group’s political advocacy and its voter mobilisation strategy across local communities in Lagos.
The event with the theme: “Political Evangelism: Raising Active Voters Above 50 Percent”, was held at 10 Degrees Event Centre in Oregun, Ikeja, and had 5,000 mobilisers working with the group in attendance.
The group is mobilising for the electoral victory of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu at the presidential polls, while also working with APC for the continuity of progressive government in Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said his endorsement of the AGT advocacy project stemmed from the proven ability of the group to influence and mobilise real voters, noting that AGT had a strong presence across communities in Lagos.
The Governor said Tinubu remained the most qualified and marketable candidate for the top job, pointing out that the APC’s presidential standard bearer possessed verifiable records in good governance and service delivery, which canvassers could use to sell him to voters.
He said: “We are ready to take the gospel out to the electorate and canvass for their support for the Tinubu presidency. Asiwaju has verifiable track records in good governance and service delivery, which canvassers can use to engage and win the support of potential voters. We must talk about the transformative leadership, progressive ideals and vision possessed by Asiwaju to take this country to another level of meaningful development.
“Tinubu is coming to bring hope, bring about change that will translate to real prosperity. He is coming to address the challenges facing the youth, women and the vulnerable in our country. His programmes will touch the lives of traders, artisans and those in search of legitimate means of livelihood. It is because of our strong belief in Asiwaju’s leadership that we are all coming together to endorse this grassroots movement to ensure Lagos is delivered for APC.
“With Tinubu in charge of the country, not only would Lagos get due attention, the Southwest and the entire nation would feel the impact of his progressive vision. The result of his leadership in Lagos is for everyone to see. There is no better candidate to lead the country from next year than Tinubu. All hands must be on deck to work and achieve this objective; we must show the opposition parties how we are better than them on election day.”
Sanwo-Olu dismissed the notion that Tinubu’s candidacy was to advance ethnic agenda, stressing that the APC presidential candidate belonged to the rank of the most detribalised Nigerians.
The Governor said the fulfillment of his promises to the electorate in Lagos would make the residents vote for continuity in the State, noting that his government touched all parts of the State in projects and service delivery.
He urged AGT members not to be intimidated by the propaganda of the opposition in the course of engaging voters at the community level. He charged them to show commitment to deliver their pledge to the party.
“This movement should not be limited to the 5,000 mobilisers who are gathered for this event. You must show the commitment to deliver the highest votes which you have pledged. I believe you have the spread and ability to achieve it,” Sanwo-Olu said.
AGT Director-General, Dr. AbdulHakeem Tugbobo, said the group was formed in 2018 to drive community advocacy and educate voters at the grassroots level about Tinubu’s vision and political philosophy.
He said the group aligned itself with the progressive ideals of APC, given various development goals achieved by the party, especially in Lagos.
He said: “We are ready to complement the party’s campaign council and get many people to join the Tinubu-Shettima ticket and make it realisable. We have our tentacles spread across the State and we are targeting the 4,156 CDAs in Lagos to realise 2,000,000 votes from farmers, artisans and others for Tinubu to become the president.”
Lagos APC chairman, Hon. Cornelius Ojelabi, hailed members of the group for the initiative, saying the party faced an “important election” that would further strengthen it to deliver more dividends of good governance to Lagosians and Nigerians.