The new governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu says the state must rise again to help Nigeria realise that greatness exists within its citizens.
Delivering his inaugural address after taking the oath of office on Wednesday, he said as long as Lagos flourishes, Nigeria has more than a fair chance to enjoy the development and growth.
He promised to put in his best in taking the state to greater heights.
“Today, I ask you to join me on this journey to awaken a greater Lagos. When we speak of a greater Lagos, we speak not of empty words. It is a deep and profound assertion. We intend to make history by making for ourselves and our children a better future,” he said.
“Yes, hard times confront us. But that means we also confront them. Any problem we choose to face together is more susceptible to our resolving it than we are vulnerable to it defeating us.
“No one should ever underestimate the power of Lagos or the resilience of its people… Lagos must again rise and help lead this nation to fuller progress and to a closer realization of the greatness that exists within all Nigerians.
“Not only is Lagos home to so many people and their aspirations, it is also the catalyst of economic growth for much of Nigeria.
“The world outside sees Lagos as Nigeria. We are Nigeria’s door to the global economy and the global economy’s door to Nigeria.
“As long as Lagos flourishes, Nigeria has more than a fair chance to enjoy the development and growth needed for its deserving population. If Lagos falters, Nigeria also stumbles.”
He said since the return of democracy in 1999, Lagos has been on a path of progress, commending his predecessors.
“In Lagos state our story has been successes and achievements, since 1999 when our tradition of progressive governance set Lagos apart. Democracy and progressive governance holds only to the extent that we nurture them,” he said.
“Today, I stand before you as your governor, but also as your friend, your brother, your neighbor and your servant. I stand here to ask that you join me to fashion this great Lagos with creativity of our minds. Let the ingenuity of our hands, the sweat of our labour and the compassion that resides in our heart be committed to this common goal.
“In this, we simply adhere to the tradition of enlightened governance set by those who had come before us. We owe a large debt of gratitude to those before us from General Mobolaji Johnson to Alhaji Lateef Jakande to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu to Babatunde Raji Fashola.
“Asiwaju led the team that created the blueprint for the progressives’ development. Both himself and Babatunde Raji Fashola’s administration faithfully executed that economic blueprint and established the structures and institutions of progressive governance in that process.
“My predecessor, the former governor of Lagos state, governor Akinwunmi Ambode, put forward in a special manner, his efforts and his action shall be duly remembered.”
Sanwo-Olu urged residents of the state to look beyond any difference that may exist and called for unity among them.
“As your governor, I know fully well who I am because I know where I am from, more importantly, I know where I am headed,” he said.
“I have been of this progressive journey since the inception. I know first hand, the concerted effort that went into planning so many of the innovation that we see and enjoy today.It is also my job to continue that process by redefining and perfecting the foundation laid by the preceding administration.
“In this regard, I shall forever remain loyal to the aspiration of our people and to the developmental blueprint that has brought so many successes to our dear state.
“The Babajide Sanwo you see today shall not change or try to become something I am not. My prayer is that I grow and I improve as your governor to implement good policies and bring about prosperity you all deserve.
Sanwo-Olu promised to work with Obafemi Hamzat, his deputy, to fulfill his campaign promises encapsulated in the acronym “THEMES”.
THEMES, according to him, means Traffic management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Making Lagos a 21st-century economy, Education, Tourism and Security.
Sanwo-Olu is the 15th governor of the state.
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