The gubernatorial election in Lagos State was free and credible.
A coalition of human rights and civil society groups said this on Thursday during the presentation of its preliminary report.
The group said no election in the world is perfect, adding that the outcome of the election in Lagos substantially meets public expectations.
At the presentation of its preliminary reports in Lagos, the Nigerian Human Rights Community, a coalition of 130 civil society and Community Based Organizations, said the election was not devoid of hitches but that overall, the result represented the free, prior and informed consent of the people of Lagos.
The event was attended by 80 leaders of civil rights and community based groups.
What is left now is to heal wounds and fix broken hearts fuelled by ethnic baiting and hate speeches promoted by non state actors, the rights group said.
The coalition commended the political leadership of the State Government, saying that its commitment to a free and fair election eliminated acts of violence compared with previous elections in the state when lives were lost often due to the might of the federal powers forceful attempt at influencing the outcome of the elections.
The group had deployed observers in many of the 13,390 polling units and 245 wards in Lagos.
The presentation was supported by members of the Nigerians in Diaspora and South West Professional Forum, who spoke through zoom from abroad, describing the election in Lagos State as one of the best in the country and a model for future elections in Nigeria.
Nosa Osaikhuiwu, a Project Management Expert from the Colorado State University, said he followed the elections in Lagos, adding that it was one of the best in the country.
Osaikhuiwu said: “I’m glad to speak to the audience.
“We Nigerians abroad are glad with the peaceful conduct of the election in Lagos.
“This offers tremendous opportunity for Lagos to continue her leadership role as the most significant city state in Africa.”
The coalition in its address read by its Senior Programme Officer, Taiwo Adeleye, said the Independent National Electoral Commission should be commended in many areas, including early arrival of officials and materials, provision of BVAS and the prompt transmission of election results across the various polling units in Lagos.
The group said it chose Lagos as one of the focal points in the last gubernatorial election, with 680 observers deployed across the 20 local governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas.
It said observations of the election took a dialectical overview of the Strength, Weakness, Opportunities and Threats before, during and after the election.
It said: “There is no election all over the world that is 100 per cent perfect.
“Yet, there is no election all over the world that is 100 per cent bad.
“We shall avoid sweeping statements condemning the election.
“Total condemnation of the election process and outcome is absolutely wrong and unprofessional.”
The group condemned conscious attempts to demonise the outcome of the election, saying that of all the 36 states in the Federation, Lagos recorded one of the most credible election in terms of the process and the outcome.
It argued that Nigeria is a developing country with historical challenges in a plural and dynamic country that had passed through the pain of civil war which led to the death of several people.