Acceptance Speech By Akinwunmi Ambode, Governor-Elect of Lagos State


FELLOW LAGOSIANS, yesterday, election day, History beckoned. Courage stood tall. Fairness and Justice raised their heads. Democracy blew its trumpet. You, the people, the electorate, answered its call by marching to a victory only you could achieve.

You contested against an old and ancient device, the use of money and power to manipulate the result and thwart democracy. In the end, the sovereign will of the people proved worthier than money and mightier than brute force. Your collective voice remained the voice of Lagos.

Now, the official announcement from INEC has come. Democracy has triumphed once again. INEC has declared me the 14th governor-elect of our beloved Lagos. I know that it is only God that crowns KINGS. To Him be all the Glory.

I may have won your vote but it is you, the people, who won the election. The true winners are the people of Lagos state. I accept this victory on your behalf.
Let me congratulate INEC for a Job well done and keeping alive Nigeria’s hope for a brighter democracy. To my main opponent, Mr. Jimi Agbaje of the PDP, I thank you for a keen contest and invite you, alongside other gubernatorial candidates, to join hands with me in moving Lagos forward.

The people of Lagos have spoken. With one voice they have chosen continuity over an uncertain future. You came out peacefully to cast your vote. Not even the threats of our opponents to unleash mayhem could have kept you from having a date with destiny. And because you have answered our call to come out and vote and handed your party, APC victory at the polls you have sealed a pact with democracy and good governance.

imageI am humbled that you have placed your trust and faith in me. The love of this state and our common belief in what we can accomplish, our belief in what this state already is, and in what it is destined to become binds us together in a social and moral contract of high purpose.

I shall honor that contract with every fiber of my being. This day I pledge to you that I shall devote myself to bringing even greater prosperity, growth and development to every inch of this state, that I shall build on the legacy and progress of the Bola Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola administrations, I shall bring the best of Lagos into my government and I shall make you proud and glad that you chose me as your next governor.

I thank all those who voted for me. And even those who did not vote for me or never voted at all. To the electorate, I salute and applaud all of you for making this a fine day in the march towards Nigeria’s democracy.

The people of Lagos have demonstrated that Lagos is not about ethnicity or religion but about a common desire to enthrone good governance. Lagos under my watch will not discriminate. It has not in the past. And will not in the present. Not even in the future. There will be no political victimization. Like in the words of the former American President, Abraham Lincoln during his second Inaugural address, “With Malice toward none, with Charity for all …”

In your collective wisdom, you refused to reward a party that failed at the national level by giving that party the stewardship of our beloved Lagos.

Continuity of progress shall govern this state in the next four years under the banner of the APC.

History has been made this day because you have achieved an outstanding feat. By affirming your faith in the APC and in me, you have, for the first time in 60years, married progressive governance at the national level with progressive government at the state level.

Finally, our state government and the federal government will be of one vision, one mind and one accord and that is to govern you wisely not rule over you rudely.

imageThe ramifications of this harmonious unity are completely positive. This is a chance that we have worked toward for many years. The joint infrastructural and employment projects and collaboration between the state and the federal will quicken the improvement of our roads, schools, power generation and the entire array of social services. This new era of cooperation between the state and federal government promises to be a golden period for Lagos and for all Lagosians to share equally therein.

Lagos will enjoy optimal development and growth through APC governance working in tandem at the state and federal levels. This cooperation and enhanced policy harmony will surely pay handsome dividends.

Let me again place on record my thanks, particularly to the Lagos state chapter of the APC, everyone from the State chairman to the volunteers have been wonderful and committed. My campaign team, who worked tirelessly with me to actualize this dream, I thank you all.

I thank President-elect, General Muhammadu Buhari for lending his stature and charisma to our effort. I look forward to working with his incoming government to effectuate the APC vision and bring greater progress to the entire nation.

There are two men I must single out. Governor Babatunde Fashola; you have been excellent at the job. You have taught me a lot. Moreover, you have been a tireless, selfless and inspiring campaigner for this cause.

Asiwaju Bola Tinubu; you are the greatest political mind of our generation. Without your vision, and dedication to a higher political purpose none of this would have been possible. This day vindicates all that you have done. You are a foremost hero of Nigerian democracy and you still have more to do.

I thank my running mate, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, for her steadfast and strong support. She will surely be an excellent Deputy Governor.

I thank my wife and children for the sacrifices they have made over the past two years to support me on this journey. I look forward to the same support.

There is no way I can name everyone at this time that should be named. So please forgive me, knowing that I appreciate your contribution and sacrifice made to turn a distant dream into this imminent reality.

We ran a campaign devoid of hatred and concentrated on key issues affecting our people. We are proud of this achievement and encourage other politicians to embrace this paradigm shift.

I have been declared the victor in this election but this is no time for gloating or boasting. I am now to be the servant of this state in its entirety, not just for APC members but for all Lagosians no matter their political stripes, ethnicity or religious affiliations.

Today, we celebrate democracy and its triumph. Tomorrow, we get to work to fashion an incoming administration that, with the best management team Lagos has to offer, will carry forward the legacy of the progressive administrations that preceded it.

You have voted for me. Now, I shall work for you and your cause. That cause is to extend and expand the process of development and growth in this state.

The task ahead is not an easy one. Nor is it impossible. With wisdom, creativity and strength of purpose we can accomplish great things for this great state. By God’s grace, we shall make this our way. The only sure way to achieve change.


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