Governor Babatunde Fashola of Lagos State has described Ayodele Fayose’s victory at the last weekend governorship election in Ekiti State as frightening to democracy in view of the fact that people were induced with money to vote.
Fashola, who spoke with newsmen after a closed door meeting with Vice Chairmen of the 57 councils in Lagos, held at the State House, Marina, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria said the election was not foreclosed.
The governor lamented that the Ekiti people voted for Fayose as a result of money, while ignoring the achievement of Governor Kayode Fayemi in the state.
“Even if Governor Fayemi is speaking too much English they don’t understand, would they say his deputy and the Speaker of the State House of Assembly are speaking too much English too? It is a worrisome lesson to learn. However, the governor- elect still has criminal case to answer.
“They have not told us what will happen to that case. Is that consistent with the behaviour of the people? There are issues that cropped up to ponder on and questions to ask. No incumbent governor has lost election like this in this country to my understanding. Is this the way to reward a governor that embarked on massive infrastructural development in Ekiti State,” he asked.
“So, the lessons that are supposedly coming out of Ekiti are frightening lessons for me. Lesson about whether the people of Ekiti are really saying that this was all about money and rice. This is because that is very easy to do. Developmental work is difficult to initiate and to execute. And developmental work that brings on change which is what every election asks for, will also from time to time occasion debates and policy thrust. And which legitimately must be criticized.
“But it must be a very dangerous message to simply suggest that once you give people money, then this is the way it will happen. It is frightening for me in a democracy. But it raises the question of what we have been doing for seven years. Should we just be giving money and when people ask about security, we say that we have given you money, go and rent your own security?
“When people ask for healthcare, we say that you have collected money. Is that the model for development? These are lessons and I am not suggesting that we monopolise the debate about what the best policy is. But I am saying that there must be another side. There must be a debate. The debate that recognizes that development comes at a cost. And that even those that are privileged to serve, don’t claim to have a monopoly of ideas,” Fashola added.