The Peoples Democratic Party candidate for the Lagos’ Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat in the 2023 general election, Bankole Wellington, popularly known as Banky W, has conceded defeat and congratulated the winner, Attah Thaddeus of the Labour Party.
In a statement released on his social media platforms on Wednesday, Banky W thanked his supporters, donors and voters for their belief, prayers and contributions to his campaign. He also expressed his disappointment over the outcome of the election and the Appeals Court decision that upheld the result announced by the Independent National Electoral Commission.
He said he was proud of the race that he ran and the battle that he fought in his pursuit of a shared vision for a better Eti-Osa and a better Nigeria. He also assured his followers that his political story was far from over, and that he would continue to play his part in building a brighter future for his community and his country.
He urged those that succeeded in the election to act in the best interest of the people and to be accountable for the offices that they occupy. He also said he would continue in his personal quest for self development and growth in competence and capacity as a leader to prepare for the next chapter of his journey.
He reaffirmed his commitment to God, his family, his community and his country, and asked for the continued support and partnership of his fans and friends. He also prayed for a 2024 filled with love, joy, peace and prosperity for everyone, and for a Nigeria that everyone can be proud of.
He ended his statement with a blessing: “God bless you. God bless Nigeria. You will hear from me soon.”
The singer, actor, entrepreneur and politician, had decamped from the Modern Democratic Party, which he co-founded in 2018, to the PDP in 2022, seeking the party’s ticket to run for the Eti-Osa Federal Constituency seat for the second time. He had lost the 2019 election to Babajide Obanikoro of the All Progressives Congress.
He had hoped to make a comeback in 2023, but he faced another defeat, this time to the LP candidate, who scored 18,764 votes, while Banky W came third with 9,423 votes, behind the APC candidate, who got 12,345 votes.
The election was marred by allegations of irregularities, violence and intimidation, which Banky W and other candidates protested against. He also rejected the result announced by INEC, and said he would challenge it in court.
However, the Appeals Court dismissed his petition and upheld the result declared by INEC, saying there was no evidence of substantial non-compliance with the Electoral Act. This effectively ended Banky W’s legal challenge and dashed his hopes of representing his constituency in the House of Representatives.
Since then, Banky W has returned to his music and pastoring, releasing new songs and sharing excerpt of sermons from his preaching in his church. He has also remained vocal on social and political issues, using his platform to advocate for good governance, youth empowerment and social justice. He has not ruled out the possibility of running for office again in the future, saying he is still committed to serving his people and his country.
He said, “Ladies and gentlemen, happy new year! It is with mixed reactions that I bring you this message.
“2023 certainly did not end the way we had envisioned but my heart is filled with sincere gratitude for your unwaivering support throughout this journey.
“To every voter who believed in us, and every donor who invested in this dream, I say a profound thank you. Your belief, prayers and contributions were the driving force behind our movement. Even though the Appeals Court decision did not go in our favor, it was essential to see this process through to its conclusion.
“I hope you are proud of the race that we ran and the battle that we fought in our pursuit of a shared vision for a better Eti-Osa and a better Nigeria.
“This chapter may be closed but I assure you that our story is far from over. I vow to continue to play my part in building a brighter future for our community and our country.
“Now, to those that succeeded in our elections, we will hope for your success when acting in the best interest of our people and we will continuously hold you accountable for the offices that you occupy.
“Looking forward to 2024, I will continue in my personal quest for self development and growth in competence and capacity as a leader to prepare for the next chapter of our journey together.
“My commitment to God, my family, my community and country remains unwaivering. I intend to live a life of service and impact, and I humbly ask for your continued support and partnership.
“And finally, I pray that you and your families will have a 2024 filled with love, joy, peace and prosperity, and may we all continue to strive for a Nigeria that we can be proud of.
“God bless you. God bless Nigeria. You will hear from me soon.”