The Lagos State Government has allegedly directed civil servants in the state to campaign for the re-election of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, inverse24 can authoritatively report.
The All Progressives Congress (APC) governorship candidate is walking on a thin rope ahead of the March 11 contest owing to an evident reason.
On February 25, the party’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu lost Lagos, to Peter Obi, standard bearer of the Labour Party (LP), but won national votes.
Remarkably, the yet-to-be concluded 2023 elections is the second time in Nigeria’s history where a flagbearer suffered home defeat, a sign that the APC co-founder is losing his agelong grip.
Since 1979, all elected presidents won their native states except Olusegun Obasanjo who lost Ogun State to Olu Falae in 1999 after the return to democratic rule.
Shehu Shagari (Sokoto, 1979, 1983), M.K.O. Abiola (Ogun, 1993), Olusegun Obasanjo (Ogun, 2003), Umaru Yar’Adua (Katsina, 2007), Goodluck Jonathan (Bayelsa, 2011) and Muhammadu Buhari (Katsina, 2015, 2019)
On Thursday, impeccable sources informed inverse24 that Lagos workers were being asked to post campaign messages in support of the ruling party.
The bizarre part of the matter is the use of tribe/ethnicity to cajole citizens on the government payroll to back Sanwo-Olu to return to office on May 29.
This newspaper not only received, but also saw messages being circulated by some workers in ministries, departments and agencies (MDAs).
One of the screenshots bears the name of a female staff (name withheld) of the Lagos State House of Assembly.
“These people are desperate. They asked staff to use their social media accounts and WhatsApp in particular to solicit votes. This is what elections have become,” one said.
Another revealed how superiors have been holding parleys with subordinates since Monday to stress the need for them to support the ruling party to remain in power.
There are also allegations of inducement in the form of “lunch money, allowances, and unusual kind gestures” by heads and officials of MDAs.
“From the way some ogas (bosses) are talking, it’s like workers will be sacked if LP or PDP wins. They are whipping up sentiments with comments like “Don’t allow Igbos takeover.”
“In one of the meetings, they asked if the members of staff of a parastatal got a “lunch money” approved before last Saturday’s election.
“Those ones were surprised and answered “no”. Their oga then promised they would get the money before the coming governorship poll,” the source narrated.
It was gathered that many workers voted for Obi against Tinubu and could have been “punished” if it was possible for the government to detect them.
Lagos Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso did not take calls to seek reaction and was yet to reply to a text enquiry as at press time.
Sanwo-Olu is in the gubernatorial race with LP’s Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour (a.k.a. GRV), and Abdulazeez Adeniran (a.k.a. Jandor) of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP.