Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State on Saturday cast his vote in the state local council polls with an appeal that voters should elect credible leaders.
Ambode voted at Ward A6, Polling Unit 033, located within the Ogunmodede College, Papa, in Epe.
He said that electing credible leaders would enable the residents to reap the dividends of democracy.
The governor called the electorate to come out en masse to perform their civic rights.
“We have tried at the state level, but we also need to put credible people at the local government level because that is the nearest government to our people.
“All that we have been advocating is participatory governance; if you do not take part, you will not be part of what is coming out; the whole essence is to elect people who will touch your needs,” he said.
The governor commended Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission (LASIEC) on the conduct of the election.
Ambode described the security arrangement for the exercise as impressive, expressing the optimism that it would be free and fair.
“From the reports I have received from all the other parts of Lagos State, we are pleased with what is going on; voting has commenced and the whole process has been very peaceful so far.
“You know council election has not taken place in the state in the last five years; we are happy that we are able to do this and enhance democratic values that we are trying to build in the country.
“Lagos is too cosmopolitan for us not to have credible elections; we need to enhance democracy in the country, and that is what we are trying to do today,” Ambode said.
Ambode’s deputy, Dr Idiat Adebule, voted at 10.00am, at Ward A, Polling Unit 013 at Devince Bus stop, Iba Local Council Development Area (LCDA).
Adebule attributed the low turnout of voters to early morning downpour which confined many residents to their apartments until 9.00 a.m. in some areas.
”The rain is one of the reasons we are witnessing low turnout in Iba LCDA, but I am very optimistic that people will soon start coming out to cast their votes.
”I call on residents yet to come out to be a part of this exercise,’’ she said.
Adebule urged voters to maintain good and orderly conduct.
Accreditation and voting were also smooth in Polling Units 002 and 003 in the ward. The units are located at the Lagos Authority Primary School.
The exercise is also orderly in Polling Units 011, 012.
Lagos State Government is conducting chairmanship and councillorship elections in its 20 local government areas and 37 local council development areas.
Twelve political parties are participating the election.
They are: Accord Party (AP), Action Alliance (AA), Alliance for Democracy ( AD ), All Progressives Congress (APC), Peoples Democratic Party ( PDP), Labour Party (LP) and All Progressives Grand Alliance (APGA).
The others are United Democratic Party (UDP), United Progressive Party (UPP), Kowa Party (KP), National Action Council (NAC) and Peoples Democratic Movement (PDM).