Ahead of the forthcoming Governorship and Houses of Assembly elections, the Lagos State branch of the Action Alliance (AA) on Sunday urged politicians and their followers to avoid ethnic rivalry.
The AA Lagos State Chairman, Alhaji Nureni Ayinla-Oniru, made the appeal following some reported ethnic campaigns and tension, particularly between the Yoruba and the Igbo, in the state ahead of the March 18, 2023, polls.
Ayinla-Oniru, who noted in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday that nothing could be achieved in an atmosphere of hatred and bitterness among various ethnic nationalities resident in the state, stressed the need for all political gladiators not to ignite violence but to tread with caution.
Hate, fake news and profiling of some candidates by some politicians will not help anyone, according to him.
Ayinla-Oniru said: “Politicians should not heat up polity with ethnic bigotry. We should avoid anything that can result in ethnic crisis.
“If we don’t manage this trend ahead of the elections, it can cause mayhem that will affect the masses beyond imagination.
“When trouble comes, the children of those fanning hate and instigating violence will not be there.”
He said that Igbos and Hausas had been part of government in Lagos State and had their rights in the state.
Ayinla-Oniru said that the co-existence of indigenes and non-indigenes in the state had been symbiotic.
He described as political propaganda, the narrative that a particular ethnic nationality wanted to take over the state.
“It is a lie that some people will take over Lagos. We should not be deceived,” he added.
He said that the AA had enticing welfare packages for the masses, urging the electorate to vote the party as against other major political parties.
He said that the party would tackle challenges in transportation, health, education, unemployment and transparency in governance, saying only the AA had the interest of the masses at heart.
He posited that, being a young man, Lagos residents need to consider the AA Gubernatorial Candidate, Mr. Tope Balogun, as best option for the state’s next helmsman.
He said that the candidate was ready to use his information technology expertise to make the state compete favourably in the comity of nations.
Noting that only one party has been ruling the state since 1999, Ayinla-Oniru said that there would not be any difference in the condition of the masses if given another term.
The AA Lagos Chairman said that dominant political parties could not deliver the yearnings of the people because of godfatherism, except the AA whose slogan is “Let the masses live”.
He added: “We appeal to Lagos residents to be deep in their thinking before making choices in the forthcoming elections. Let the masses support us.”
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