KEYNOTE REMARKS BY HIS EXCELLENCY, THE GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE, MR. AKINWUNMI AMBODE, AT THE INTER-FAITH PARLEY, IN THE STATE HOUSE, ALAUSA, IKEJA, ON TUESDAY, DECEMBER 12, 2017.
It is with great pleasure and much happiness that I stand with you today in a continuous dialogue to fine-tune existing strategies and fashion out creative ways that will deepen the atmosphere of peaceful coexistence and harmonious relationship prevailing among Lagosians.
I am particularly grateful to Almighty God, for His divine blessings and transcendent favours that have seen Lagos in the fore-front of development, not only in Nigeria and Sub-Saharan Africa, but also in the global space. The Almighty Allah out of His infinite mercies and uncommon benevolence has enabled our dear State to witness unsurpassed growth, excelling far beyond expectations, and flourishing in a sustained and unparalleled progression.
I wish to express my profound gratitude to all of you for your untiring spiritual efforts and your ceaseless prayers. I also register my appreciation for your support and identification with State policies and programmes, especially using the pulpit in the churches and the minbar in the mosques for mobilizing and sensitizing majority of our people to become law abiding and discharge their civic responsibilities to the state and other citizens.
During the last inter-faith parley, I made some commitments and I am happy to report today that we have fulfilled all our promises to enthrone a crisis-free economy. The clear evidence of this is that in the last two and a half years, Lagos has not witnessed any religious crisis.
First was to ensure that l strengthened the government agencies responsible for spiritual development in keeping with the all-inclusive policy of our government. This we have done and we thank God that the National Hajj Commission awarded Lagos State as the most outstanding state in Hajj operations just as the Christian Conscience Group has also awarded our state as the best in Christian pilgrimages. We will continue to support both the Muslim and the Christian pilgrims’ boards in ensuring the safety and wellbeing of our pilgrims, both within and outside the country.
Secondly, we have since decentralized the celebration of Eid ul Fitri parties which was held for the first time in all the local governments across the state after I had hosted Ramadan lectures throughout the month of Ramadan. The same feat was recorded during the Eid ul Kabir festival. I am pleased therefore to announce that this year’s Christmas party will be held in all local governments across the state. I urge you to mobilize our members to attend the yuletide celebration at their respective local governments.
Moreover, we have just achieved another first in the country by being the first and only state to have decentralized the operations of the Nigeria Inter-Religious Council NIREC. I have since inaugurated 798 Christian and Muslim leaders to join hands with the local government officials in fostering religious harmony and peaceful coexistence throughout the 20 Local Governments and 37 Local Council Development Areas in the state. This is to enhance spirituality through participatory democracy.
As we begin to implement NIREC activities at the Local Government and Local Council Development Areas, I enjoin you all to rub minds and come up with robust, innovative and highly collaborative strategies and activities that will be able to add more values to our current efforts.
In the same vein, I wish to urge you all to continue to pray for the prosperity of our state and our people. We shall continue to collaborate with you in ensuring effective communication of our policies and programmes for you are our greatest partners in the development of our state. Let us continue to re-orientate our people to remain law abiding because development can only thrive in an atmosphere of peace and orderliness. Let us continue to work together in promoting peace and unity of our dear State; let us persist in our good efforts in sustaining conditions that will increase our progress and bring greater prosperity; let us pray more for Lagos and do more to preserve and grow our gains. As we continue to win together and break new frontier together, Let us continue to live in peace and harmony for more of God’s mercies, favours and blessings.
Once again, I thank you all and wish you the blessings of Allah.
Itesiwaju Ilu Eko Lojewa Logun.
Governor of Lagos State
12th December 2017.