The Lagos State governorship candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Jimi Agbaje, believes he lost the March 9 election because his supporters were intimidated from going out to vote.
Even though the election had been expected to be a close contest, Agbaje lost to Babajide Sanwo-Olu of the All Progressives Congress (APC) with a margin of 533,304 votes, according to the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) on Sunday, March 10.
The pharmacist failed to win in any of the state's 20 local government areas and finished with 206,141 votes while Sanwo-Olu, a former commissioner, polled 739,445 votes.
Even though Agbaje has called the winner of the election to congratulate him, he believes the outcome would have been different if his supporters had not been intimidated from going to polls to vote for him.
He told The Punch that his defeat was down to voter suppression strategies that kept his supporters from participating in the election for fear of violence or other related consequences.
"From the outset it was clear that the numbers were on our side and naturally, that was our comparable strength but the moment you had the numbers slashed, then we were at a disadvantage.
"The strategy of the other side was to make sure that those numbers did not come out to vote and to that extent it has worked in their favour," he said.
The candidate, who's now lost in three governorship elections, said the low turnout of voters for the election is bad for democracy, especially in a state with the highest number of registered voters.
"It is not good for our democracy when only about 20 per cent come out to vote," he said.