By Ebun Sessou
He is speaker of the Lagos State House of Assembly, and also the chairman of the Conference of Speakers, the body of speakers of all state legislative houses in the country.
Perhaps it was in that light that Mr. Mudashiru Obasa took it upon himself to push forward the caution against election violence that is presently an issue for many political stakeholders and non-governmental organisations.
The forum for Obasa’s pitch was his Agege State Constituency. Speaker Obasa started his message from home, perhaps in line with the saying that charity starts from home.
As the speaker of the House, it was, however, not surprising that Obasa had the grace of several of his colleagues on that occasion last Thursday.
While urging religious leaders, supporters of political parties and groups to promote peace and unity during and after the forthcoming elections, he encouraged members to collect their Permanent Voters Cards (PVCs) and spread the violence-free message.
“Places of worship, schools, homes, and parks, civil society organisations, community organisations as well as traditional institutions should be centres for disseminating messages on violence-free election,” he said. Also, the lawmaker representing the Apapa Constituency 1, Mr. Olumuyiwa Jimoh urged the leaders at various levels to conduct themselves and their followers in a peaceful way.
He advised the present Independent National Electoral Commission INEC to ensure that there is an unbiased election next year. He added that it would enable peaceful democracy and that such gestures would make Nigeria to be the reference point to other African countries.
According to him, “We know everywhere in the world, during the electioneering process, there had always been some contentions. This is our chance to right the wrong and set the pace for the country”, he maintained.
In his contribution, member representing Epe constituency 1, Mr. Abiodun Tobun, charged voters to shun election violence and ensure that their votes count. Tobun who is gunning for a third term in the House promised that the Assembly would work assiduously on the requests of the people and ensure dividends of democracy. The lawmaker revealed that he has personally moved over 200 motions including the motion for the dualization of Lekki Epe express-way.
Tobun who noted that the country is moving towards a general election encouraged Nigerians to be open-minded and be sincere in the electoral process. “We must have a free, fair and credible election so that we can further entrench democracy in Nigeria,” he said.
On his part, the lawmaker representing Epe Constituency II, Mr. Segun Olulade while canvassing for violence-free elections, used the opportunity to advance his political ambition to the House of Representatives. Olulade noted that the positive narrative of change is borne out of his wish to represent the people of Epe at the federal level. “What we are emphasising is peaceful election in the next election. It is our right to get our PVC and also have equal access to the government, and to ensure the government brings back the dividends of democracy.
“Everyone has the right to take part in the enthronement of the government of the state both the executive and legislature. Also, every citizen of the state has equal access to public service in his or her constituency, local government council, and wards.