The Labour Party Governorship candidate in Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour, popularly known as GRV, said what happened in Lagos on March 18, 2023, was far from democracy but an Agberocracy. He said this while rejecting the declaration of Babajide Sanwo-Olu as the winner of the election.
He said the violence was witnessed across Lagos State and the people were not allowed to exercise the right to choose who governs them.
“I want to say a big thanks to the people that had the courage to come out and ensure they participated and expressed their civic rights. I also want to pay condolences to several families that lost their loved ones to needless killing in an attempt to practice their civic right which is to vote for their preferred candidate.
“There are also several others that were hurt in the process. We have been supporting them medically in terms of taking up the bills and giving them support, and we will continue doing that for the rest of this week.
“What we witnessed in Lagos was state-backed terrorism, there is no other way to say it. And I call on all the good people of Lagos from the captain of industries to religious leaders, our traditional rulers to speak up against what the APC government has turned our elections into.
"Elections are meant to be a democracy for the people, by the people and of the people. What we saw yesterday (March 18) was Agberocracy, thuggery, hooliganism at its finest, a government by the thugs, for thugs and by the thugs, and this cannot be acceptable. It is a wrong precedent to set because the next time people want to participate in elections, they will believe it must be violent, it must be war. And Lagos deserves so much more than that. There is no government that should be maiming its citizens in an aspiration to lead the same people.
“This ethnic division that APC brought into our politics will have a long-term effect on the state and it is not just politics. As of today, people were at Alaba market trying to set it up on fire. These are the real-life consequences of the political thuggery that the APC turned this election into, and we need to rise against it.
“We have been saving results, every 30 minutes it has been downloaded and uploaded on irev, and we noticed that they have already started manipulating and changing these results. The results they uploaded are very different from the results we have at our collation centres and we are tabulating, and it shows us clearly we are in the lead.
“An example is the result at Ota Primary School, where 20 votes for the APC have been turned to 120, 67 for LP turned to 7, and 43 for the PDP turned to another figure. This is what INEC is doing, and they are supposed to be an umpire, fortunately, we have all our results and will challenge this evil that INEC in collaboration with the ruling party has done to disenfranchise so many voters in Lagos State.
“Entire agents of ours, even in Ikeja were chased away from their polling units, In Surulere, Oshodi-Isolo, Amuwo Odofin, Ojo, people were forced to vote and declare at gunpoint. Elections are supposed to be periods where people are meant to exercise their rights as against the frustrations they have experienced in the country. It is not supposed to be war, and we don’t want that precedent because nobody has a monopoly of violence, and we cannot afford for our Lagos to be exposed to this.
“I urge all our supporters, I understand how frustrated they are, but I want them to be rest assured that we are going to challenge this evil by INEC in partnership with every agency involved in the manipulation including the police that was watching ballot boxes being snatched. We are going to challenge it in the court of law and we are going to fight for every vote that was cast for us.