The Lagos State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) on Tuesday urged Headteachers of public primary schools in the state to vote for the candidates of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the March 9 Governorship and State House of Assembly elections.
Dr Ganiyu Sopeyin, the Executive Chairman, Lagos SUBEB, made the plea at a stakeholders meeting with the Board, Headteachers, Nigeria Union of Teachers, Non-Academic Staff Union (NASU) and Association of Public Schools Headteachers of Nigeria (AOPSHON).
The meeting was also attended by Mr Tokunbo Wahab, Director of Education, Independent Campaign Group Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu (ICGBOS), at the SUBEB Complex, Maryland, Lagos.
Sopeyin said the essence of the meeting was to sensitise teachers to the use of index fingers to vote on the ballot paper during the elections.
“We called this meeting to identify ourselves with our dear party, APC in Lagos and Nigeria in general.
“This meeting is to officially identify ourself with the candidate of the party for gubernitorial election on March 9, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“We want to urge you to make yourself part of the instrument that will make this happen.
“This meeting is also to thank all of you for your support during the presidential election.
“You are the leader of your various schools, meet with all parents, teachers, food vendors and non-teaching staff on the need to vote with their index finger and not the thumb.
“By the grace of God, Lagos State has always been adjudged the best SUBEB in Nigeria with the help of all of you,” he said.
The SUBEB Chairman said Sanwo-Olu was formerly the Commissioner for Establishment and Commissioner for Commerce and Industry, and was part of so many developmental projects of the state.
“I want to assure all of you that all that we have been praising Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode for, the incoming governor will improve on it.
“Sanwo-Olu has said it that minimum wage is the in-thing in Lagos. He is likely to look beyond the N30,000 we are asking for in Lagos,” he said.
He urged the headteachers to go back to their various schools to canvas and sensitise other members to the need to vote for APC.
He urged them to put aside any form of rancour or misunderstanding now and support the party and the state government.
“What we need to do now, it is very important to know that we use our index finger to vote.
“In the past, it was thumb printing but we discovered that the thumb usually spread beyond and makes the ballot paper invalid.
“We want you to go back to your schools and encourage others to vote, your neighbours, family, friends and teaching staff. Only talk cannot do it, you must sensitise them.
“We have just 48 hours to do that, you have the responsibllity to ensure that everybody around you is encouraged to vote.
“We have this two days to do that, go out and encourage people to vote,” he said.
Mr Tokunbo Wahab, Director of Education, Independent Campaign Group Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, expressed displeasure over the low turnout of voters during the presidential election on Feb. 23 in the state.
Wahab said the figure from Lagos State indicated that there were problems in the state which should be addressed.
“This meeting will go a long way to send the right message to the public.
“We have about 6.4 million registered voters in Lagos State and about 5.5 million Permanent Voter Cards (PVCs) collected.
“Last week during the presidential election, our votes in Lagos State was just over 500,000. Last week was a poor outing for us.
“Let us call our teachers, neighbours, family, food vendors and non-teaching staff to go out and vote.
“We have just 48 hours to call them, meet with them, canvas with our own.
“We cannot afford to put this state in reverse mode. We have issues in the state but we cannot address them now.
“If we have 5.5 million collected PVCs and we have just over 500,000 votes, it shows that there is a problem.
“I am making a plea to you all, on Saturday, March 9, let us go out and vote and support our party.
“If there is rancour, let us put it aside and go out and vote,” he pleaded.
Mr Wail Akewusola, a Board member of SUBEB, urged the headteachers to go back to their localities and work assiduously for the party.
“We are going to be monitoring you, if you are not doing the right thing we will know.
“Go back home and talk to your people so that we can see the difference .
“We want over one million votes in Lagos State,” he said.