The Nigerian Human Rights Community (NIHRCO), a coalition of over 100 civil society and community-based groups, says Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s election victory reflects the will of the people.
Sanwo-Olu polled 762,134 votes to defeat Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, his closet rival, who had 312,329, during the governorship election held on March 18.
At a briefing in Lagos on Thursday, the coalition presented its preliminary report on the Lagos guber election.
NIHRCO said it deployed 680 observers across the 20 LGAs and local council development areas (LCDAs) in the state on election day.
The coalition said its observations took a “dialectical overview of the strength, weakness, opportunities, and threats before, during and after the election”.
Speaking on its preliminary findings, the coalition said the shortcomings recorded during the election were not enough to undermine its outcome.
NIHRCO argued that no election is 100 percent perfect globally, adding that total condemnation of the March 18 election process and the outcome is “absolutely wrong and unprofessional”.
“We recognise the fact that the election was conducted in a democratic manner that largely meets local and international expectations. The outcome of the election truly represents the wishes and aspirations of the people of Lagos,” the coalition said.
“The candidate announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu represents the will of the people while the results declared by the electoral umpire are a true reflection of the aspirations of the people of Lagos.”
The coalition said the election was the “most peaceful election in Lagos since 1999 in the post-military era”.
NIHRCO called on aggrieved parties to shun violence and ethnic profiling and explore all legal means instead.
The coalition also recommended that the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) should improve the number of polling units in Lagos and make more provisions for vulnerable communities, pregnant women, and people living with disabilities (PLWD) in future elections.
NIHRCO said its full report on the election would be released in due course.