Governorship candidate of the Labour Party (LP) in Lagos, Gbadebo Rhodes-Vivour says Nigerians can’t heal from the violence and bigotry until justice is served to victims of electoral violence in the country.
Gbadebo lost the March 18 gubernatorial election to Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC).
There were widespread reports of incidents of electoral violence and voter suppression across the state before and during the elections, while social media was also awash with ethnic slurs and profiling.
On Tuesday, Bola Tinubu, Nigeria’s president-elect, described the electoral violence that occurred during the elections as “unacceptable and antithetical to democratic ethos”.
Tinubu said his government would start the healing process by embracing the opponents .
But Rhodes-Vivour speaking during a press conference in Lagos on Wednesday, March 22, said the electoral violence must be treated before the healing process could start.
He called on residents of Lagos to be vocal against a “new type of democracy” that is being imposed on them.
“Yesterday, Bola Tinubu called for healing but healing cannot happen without justice. There was an attempt to make this seems like the violence was a Yoruba versus Igbo. But it was widespread across the state. Everybody was affected and disenfranchised,” the LP candidate said.
“And we also saw a lot of violence and intimidation but it was nothing compared to the militia attack unleashed on Lagos on Saturday.
“What we are complaining about is not numbers, it is the new type of democracy these people are trying to impose. The topic of conversation is that well-meaning Lagosians should stand up and show that they are disdained.”
Rhodes-Vivour also announced the launch of a website where victims of electoral violence can upload their evidence and get their medical bills handled by his team.
“Today, we launched a platform called GRVCares2023.com. Please, anyone that is a victim of electoral violence can log onto this website and upload the evidence of this violence, hospital bill, and police report if you have it,” he said.
“We will offset your bills. Because empathy and love are not just lip service but actions. And for people that came out, we are going to show that we stand by you.”