…As Governor underscores need for participation in residents registration, increased personal hygiene
Lagos State Governor, Mr Bababtunde Fashola (SAN) on Thursday attended the grand finale of the 2013 Community Day Celebration in the state, urging residents to continue to do everything to preserve the harmonious and peaceful co-existence that stands out Lagos as a land of opportunity where many dreams have turned reality.
The Governor who spoke at the Police College Ground, Ikeja added that while the strength of the society depends on the strength of the community, such communities themselves thrive on the peaceful co-existence and on the interrelationships that goes on there.
According to the Governor, the harmonious relationship explains why Lagos State has no issue of religion because in almost every home, one would find a Muslim or a Christian just as in almost every family, you will find a husband and a wife who are either of Christian and Muslim background, stressing that it is because of the tolerance and understanding that Lagos is the Centre of Excellence and a home of first choice for every Nigerian in the Federal Republic.
“Many people who came to our state came with only their dream, a dream to achieve all that they can be and this land of immense opportunities has helped them, many have become champions and leaders of industries, many have found expression on the political platform successfully, many have found expression in banking and in education and so many other fields”, he said.
Continuing, the Governor said Lagos has over time become the land of opportunities where dreams are realized. “That is why I tell people that if you want to define the Nigerian dream, the expression of the Nigerian dream is living here on the streets of Lagos. It is a land where you can be everything from nothing”.
While commending the harmonious and peaceful co-existence in the State, the Governor added that every resident owes it a duty to preserve and to protect the place that provides the beneficial opportunities for all. He saluted all the communities who have taken the initiatives on their own like Ilututun in Olorunda Local Council Development Area, Tiwadire community in Igando/Ikotun LCDA and UNILAG in Ikosi/ Isheri LCDA who instead of waiting for government has shown their commitment by taking initiatives of their own.
He stressed that the state’s appreciation of the initiative of the communities explains government’s decision to monetize the token of appreciation by providing some cash support to help the communities in completing community projects that that have been started with self help.
Governor Fashola thanked security agencies for continuing to stay ahead of criminals in the state and also gave kudos to the Neighbourhood Watch for their vigilance and for sharing information on their environment noting that such vigilance has become more imperative at this period.
“Let me say this is the period when some people who have not engaged in any forms of work since January but want to look good in December and also ride good cars have no other means but to turn to crime”, he said.
He stressed that it is only by vigilance and security awareness that people can protect themselves from being victims noting that it is clear that when everyone is vigilant and safety conscious, the state will be very safe.
The Governor who also spoke on healthcare issues and the fact that citizens are the first bastion for protecting the state against ill health thanked the Chairmen of Local Governments and Local Council Development Areas for signing in on to the 24 hour Primary Health Care Centres that would be the first level of healthcare close to the neighbourhoods where issues like vaccination of the children for polio, measles, diphtheria, whopping cough and all of those infant afflicting diseases are dealt with.
He explained that the comprehensive Primary Health Care Centres will also be the first place of call for pregnant women for their ante natal care which is provided free just as the state has provided a handbook on health which it has distributed free to all women.
“At the primary health care level while the hospitals are there, the real health care lies in our hands, to wash our hands regularly and to improve on our level of personal hygiene, to stop defecation in open places and to stand up against those who want to defecate in open places because this is where disease is first spread”.
Governor Fashola who also dwelt on the challenges of moving around the city said as he walked around the community, the various areas he passed through brought to him the fact that there is work that still remains to be done.
“Passing through Eti Osa, I remember the pain and tragedy of Monday when we lost some of our children in an avoidable accident. My condolences to the families and let me assure you here that the process of building pedestrian bridge in that community is already underway and we will deliver on them”, the Governor said.
According to him, “Part of the reason why we have had this issue outstanding is the plurality of our community, its diversity. We can no longer afford to build pedestrian bridges with steps alone, we must remember as we build that some members of our society cannot climb stairs anymore, they are either old or physically challenged, so we must evolve a design that responds to everybody’s need and that is what we will do”.
He said walking past Ejigbo, he was reminded of the conditions of the road in the area and he gets all the messages of the residents and feels their pains, adding that, as it is presently, there are more road works in addition to the over 225 roads that are in various stages of construction.
The Lagos State helmsman also said for all those who go through Mile 12 on Ikorodu Road, they are facing some forms of inconveniences which is traceable just as those who drive through Awolowo Way towards Ikeja Local Government can see the work that is going on there around Kodesho and Medical Road and can see why they are been inconvenienced.
“If you are driving through Lewis Street and Bamgbose in Lagos Island, you would see the inconvenience, some roads have been blocked up, it is because our contractors are busy and they are working. If you are driving through Ozumba Mbadiwe, you will also see the reason for the inconvenience. I sat in that traffic for two hours this afternoon, but I know that very soon the pain would be gone and we would have much more efficient travel time across our State”, he stressed.
The Governor also spoke on the various activities that have taken place in different parts of the State saying today many new marriages have been consummated at registries across the state just as a funeral mass was also being held for a former Military Administrator of Lagos, late Vice Admiral Mike Akhigbe and all the participants have to make use of the same road.
He noted that as this period represents the end of the year, market women are expecting their consignment of vegetable oil, tin tomatoes, rice, sugar which will be distributed at the Christmas period adding that the items would be moved around with trailers, lorries and containers.
“So it is going to be a busy time economically, we will feel the impact on our roads. So I call on you to bear with us, bear with the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority that has only one mandate to keep Lagos traffic moving. With your cooperation, they are succeeding and they will get better”, he said.
The Governor also urged all residents of the State to take advantage of the opportunity of the ongoing registration of residents under the Lagos State Residents Registration programme to register during the exercise.
He also charged all those who have registered to champion the process by telling their neighbours who have not registered to do so, adding that from the 1st of December this year, there are certain forms in service delivery in Lagos State that would require a resident to fill in his registration number.
The best three community Development Associations for the year that emerged at the event are UNILAG Estate CDA in Ikosi/Isheri LCDA which placed first and won a cash prize of N2Million, Tiwadire CDA in Igando/Ikotun LCDA which placed second with a prize of N1.5Million and third placed Ilututun CDA in Olorunda LCDA with a cash prize of N1Million.
Seven brand new Toyota Hilux vans in addition to some that have been refurbished were also presented to some selected Neighbourhood Watch posts in addition to office equipments like refrigerators, computers and office tables by the Governor.
The event which also featured a march past and parade by the members of the Neighbourhood Watch and Community Development Associations from all the Local Governments and Council Development Areas in the state was attended by the Deputy Governor, Hon (Mrs) Adejoke Orelope-Adefulire, members of the State Executive Council including the Commissioner for Rural Development, Honourable Cornelius Ojelabi and Special Adviser, Hon Babatunde Hunpe and several members of the CDAs.