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For The Records: Sanwo-Olu’s Inaugural Speech as Lagos Governor

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“AWAKENING A GREATER LAGOS”

PROTOCOL
By the grace of Almighty God and Your votes, I stand before you today as your Governor. (Pause)

This day marks the beginning of a new chapter in our journey to greatness. 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 empty words. It is a deep and profound assertion we mean.

2. We intend to make history by making for ourselves and our children a better future.

Therefore, on this day, on this precious land we call our home, let us stand together in the very face of history.

Let us vow to ourselves, and to posterity that we shall not just dream of a Greater Lagos. Let us agree this day that we shall collectively rise up to build the Lagos of our dreams.

We need not be discouraged by the challenges that may be apparent. Today is an opportunity for us to forge ahead in our quest for a Greater Lagos.

It is possible!

No one should ever underestimate the spirit of Lagos and the resilience of its people. Yes, hard problems may confront us, but we will also confront them. Every problem will lose its potency to our unity.

Therefore, Lagosians, in this new chapter of our lives, we need not cry or fret. We are united by our common purpose of a Greater Lagos and fulfilling future.

Posterity has given us this day to commence our journey to greatness. We need to envision the glorious end of working together, tirelessly and committedly, towards achieving a Lagos of our dreams. By our individual and collective efforts and the Grace of God, these dreams will become a reality.

In Lagos State, our story has been of successes and achievements. Since 1999, our tradition of progressive governance has set Lagos apart and strengthened people’s belief in our ideology.

And that is the very reason I stand before you on this historic day as your Governor. While we celebrate the victory of progressive governance and democracy, tomorrow we must be ready to stand on guard and be fully vigilant.

Democracy and progressive governance hold only to the extent that we protect and nurture them. While Lagos glimmers as a beacon of progressive and quality governance, our nation now undergoes a historic battle to establish progressive and just governance.

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.

This inauguration symbolizes such an awakening.

Today, I stand before you as your governor, but also as your friend, brother; neighbor and your servant. I stand here to ask that you join me to script and fashion this greater Lagos with the creativity of our minds.

Let the ingenuity of our hands, the sweat of our labor and the compassion that resides in our hearts be committed to this common goal.

We are but human beings. Our time on this earth is finite, and shall one day pass. At some point, we shall all enter the book of history. This is inevitable.

But we can choose how we walk into history. Shall we do so as masters of our fate, or as slaves to things that seek to suppress us?

When the history of our moment is written, let it not be told in tears of defeat, rather let it resound with the anthem of collective victory.

Let our time be proclaimed in golden celebration of a state, and of a people who stood in unity of purpose to make their home a Greater one.

In this, we simply adhere to the tradition of enlightened government set by those who came before us. We owe a large debt of gratitude to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and to Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN.

Asiwaju led the team that created the blueprint for development; both administrations faithfully executed that economic blueprint and established the structures and institutions of progressive governance in the process.

Governor Akinwunmi Ambode pushed forward in a special manner. His efforts and actions shall be duly remembered.

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.

I have been a part of this progressive journey since its very inception. I know first-hand the concerted efforts that went into planning so many of the innovations we now see and enjoy.

It will be my job to continue that process by refining and perfecting the foundation laid by the preceding administrations.

In this regard, I shall forever remain loyal to the aspirations of the people and to the developmental blueprint that has brought so much success to our dear state.

The Babajide Sanwo-Olu you see today shall not change and try to become something I am not. My prayer is only that I grow and improve as your Governor to implement good policies and bring the prosperity you deserve.

On this day, I speak to the young and old, Christian and Muslim, those who trace their earliest ancestry back to this land, and to those who came last week.

I speak to the poor and to the rich. I speak to the Danfo driver as much as to the millionaire, to the fruit vendor and much as to the real estate titan.

I speak to employer and employee, I speak to teacher and student, I speak to mother and father. The civil service as well as the private sector – We are all Lagosians.
I say to you all let us explore how we can best establish a harmony of interests and avoid the growing tendency to focus on those things that differentiate and divide one Lagosian from another.

By the dint of Providence, this small tract of land intersected and surrounded by waterways and lagoons has become home to roughly 22 million people, with their various dreams and aspirations.

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.

The reality of the integral role we play in Nigeria’s ascent to national greatness coupled with the untapped potentials we hold to produce even greater wealth to improve the living conditions of our people are the things that make Lagos a magnificent place.

These strategic aspects of our current reality, and of our immediate future, bestow on me and my administration a profound responsibility.

My goal is to advance the social and economic progress of this state and its people; regardless of your faith, social class, or your origin of birth.

As long as you adopt the spirit of Lagos, Lagos in turn shall adopt you.

As I said in my acceptance speech, I am too focused on moving Lagos forward to give a second thought to where a person may have come from. As long as you are animated by the spirit of achievement, cooperation and tolerance, then you are Lagosian. This is my motto.

This is how I see our home and this is how I shall run my government. I shall select the best and most qualified people to hold positions in our government.

My door shall remain open to all. I shall seek the advice of the learned, the wise and the ordinary Lagosian, for in the common man resides much wisdom and fairness of thought.
While one cannot help but hear the kind words of friends, I must pay even closer attention to the voice of my critics.

In constructive criticism lies the seeds of improvement. With these things in mind, let me quickly outline my goals for a Greater Lagos.

The Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat and I are single-minded in our desire to bequeath to our successors a far Greater Lagos than the one we inherited today

And to do so, we have formulated a concise framework that encapsulates our collective vision for the state and ensures that our undertaking remains focused and our communication remains clear as we endeavour to build a Greater Lagos we can all be proud to call home.

The framework, as our six (6) Pillars of Development Agenda, is captured by the acronym, “T.H.E.M.E.S, which I will briefly talk about:

T – Traffic Management and Transportation
Here, we must act with urgency to execute a transport masterplan that will fully integrate road, rail and water transportation into a multi-modal transport system that makes commuting easy for Lagosians. We must also ensure compliance with all traffic rules and regulations on our roads.

H – Health and Environment
Because we know the significance of a clean environment in preventive healthcare, we have a moral duty to provide basic health care for our people, especially those who cannot afford it. Under our comprehensive health program, we will place special emphasis on maternal healthcare, malaria and water borne diseases.

We will also focus on sanitation and waste management, by ensuring that our drainage systems are functional and kept clean.

E – Education and Technology
We will invest in the education of our children and young adults. By increasing the budgetary allocation to education, this government will empower teachers in every local government and strengthen their capacity to deliver quality education to our children.
New educational infrastructure will cultivate a learning environment that prepares our children for a new world that demands creativity, intuition and critical thinking.
We will ensure technology is integrated into our school curriculum and empower our youths with the much-needed skills for the jobs of tomorrow.

M – Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy
By investing in critical infrastructure, we will accelerate the growth of our economy and empower the private sector who are the real engines of growth.
We must break the deadlock that shackles our power distribution, provide sustainable urban settlements that addresses the current deficit; while at the same time building a smart city that achieves urban harmony and sets a new bar in our nation.

E – Entertainment and Tourism
We will nurture and showcase our cultural heritage and unique hospitality, support our entertainment, visual arts and sports sectors, and inspire the kind of creativity from our most talented individuals that will enhance our reputation at home – and abroad.

S – Security and Governance
The last of these pillars of development is Security and Governance.

It is important to ensure that we set the right tone for good governance and accountability at the top.

To this end, my administration will ensure that we walk the talk as far as transparency, the rule of law and fiscal discipline are concerned.

We will make sure that we create the right environment in which security and safety of lives and property are guaranteed.

Our ultimate goal would be to ensure that Lagos state
remains one of the top destinations on the African continent to live, work and invest in.

These six (6) Pillars of Development represent our response to the yearnings of the people. They constitute the foundations that must be restored for future generations.

And should we fulfil our promise and deliver on these pillars, we are most confident that we will have succeeded in setting Lagos on a new trajectory of economic growth and development that would be unprecedented in our entire history.

Let me also add that in doing all of these, the welfare and socio-economic well-being of our hardworking civil servants would equally be given the priority that it truly deserves.

Similarly, our youths and women would be well integrated into our governance structure to equally contribute their utmost to our developmental strides.

The mission upon which we embark today, shall happen. As we gather force and momentum, there will be no mortal power that can stop our movement towards greater prosperity, justice and hope.

I urge you all therefore to lend yourself to this excellent cause and join our march to victory over our social and economic challenges. Do not stand aside and let this good development pass you by.

The hearts and hands of the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat and myself are extended to each and every Lagosian.
Join us on this noble journey as we strive together to birth and nurture a Greater Lagos.

However, make no mistake, the success of our development agenda must be a shared and collective responsibility.

I implore us all as Lagosians to rededicate ourselves to contribute our individual quotas positively and responsibly in this new drive to reform our society and take it to a higher pedestal.

We must imbibe the spirit of being our brothers’ keeper in our daily lives at home, work, recreational places and worship centers, and most especially on our roads.

With these goals, we embark on a new social contract that will ultimately be beneficial to all; irrespective of age, religion, socio-economic status or ethnicity.

Every Lagosian has a role in this government and we will on our part, certainly walk the talk in all that we would do as your elected officials.

As I conclude, I agree that Lagos has many challenges before it, challenges that have the power to consume us.

We must therefore be prudent, yet not afraid to act, to ensure that this large population enjoys the economic prosperity and social security that our developmental agenda has to offer.

We have, without doubt, been placed here at a momentous time. Let us make the most of what God has given us. We cannot afford to do less than that.

On this day, I vow as your Governor that I will serve the public cause with my utmost ability and commitment. With your help, I know we can make Lagos Greater still.

Indeed, our best days lie ahead of us.

Thank you

God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria,
God bless Lagos State
God bless you all.

H.E. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu 
Governor, Lagos State.

GidiNews is exclusively designed to cover and report Lagos, Nigeria's commercial capital city. We bring you news updates, reports, opinions and analyses in Politics, Business, Sports, Entertainment, Crime, Health and Education among others. GOT NEWS FOR US? Reach us: +2349090870065, +2348055441309

POLITICS

“Our target is 3.5m votes for Sanwo-olu” -Sunday Ajayi

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By BOLA AKINMODIRO

It was an impressive outing, as Party faithful and Supporters trooped out in their hundreds to support the official kickoff of campaigns for a second term in office of Babajide Sanwo-olu, the incumbent governor of Lagos state.

Foremost grassroots mobilizer/ Chairman for Greater Tomorrow Lagos State, Hon. Prince Sunday Ajayi, urged all ethnic nationalities resident in Lagos State to come out en mass during the 2023 general elections to give their votes to Governor Babajide Sonwo Olu in terms of what he has done in Lagos State and in terms of what he would do if given the opportunity.

Hon. Ajayi who was impressed for the large turn out of youth during the flag off campaign seized the occasion to call on every youth in the 3, 000 Units / 245 Wards in the State to come out during the elections and cast their votes for Governor Sonwo Olu based on his outstanding track record in Lagos State.

In his word: ” Our target is to have 3 Million votes in Lagos State. Today, we mobilised majority of the youth and they wear our T. Shirt and Face Cap. We urge every Lagosian to come out and vote Governor Sonwo Olu for a second term”

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POLITICS

Mammoth crowd as Sanwo-olu kicks off campaign for 2nd term in office

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By BOLA AKINMODIRO

The Mobolaji Johnson Arena (Old Onikan Stadium), Onikan, Lagos, in the early hours on Saturday, was beseiged by residents and supporters of All Progressives Congress, APC, for the official campaign kick off for the re-election bid of Governor Bababjide Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat in 2023 guber polls.

As of 9am , the stadium was filled to capacity as more crowd from the 20 Local Government Areas and 37 Local Council Development Areas, LCDAs, gathered inside and outside of the Arena.

Armed security personnel, private security outfits as well as emergency responders were seen stationed at strategic areas to ensure protection of lives and properties of residents.

Vehicular movement has been restricted around the area as residents continued to throng the arena.

Prominent personalities at the event included: wife of the state Governor, Dr. Ibjioke Sanwo-Olu, wife of the deputy Governor, Remi Hamzat, former Deputy Governor, and Lagos West Senatorial candidate, Dr. Idiat Adebule, Deputy Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, and Lagos Central Senatorial candidate, Wasiu Eshilokun, members of the Governor’s Advisory Council, GAC, of the APC Lagos, State Executive Council members, members of the state House of Assembly, APC chieftains, market women and men, different solidarity groups, party supporters among others.

The supporters were seen chanting solidarity songs in praise of Sanwo-Olu and APC Presidential Candidate, Bola Tinubu and his Vice, Kashim Shettima.

Various musicians are on ground entertaining guests and participants at the event.

Earlier, Lagos State Government has released traffic advisory, through, a statement by the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde, announcing restriction of motorists between Police Zonal Headquarters, Zone 2 and Onikan Roundabout.

Oladeinde, advised motorists who intend to make use of Island Club road by Police Headquarters Zone 2, Onikan to make use of the following alternative routes;

Motorists from Victoria Island are urged to make use of Ozumba Mbadiwe road to Five Cowries Bridge (Falomo Bridge) to Alfred Rewane road to Osborne road to connect their desired destinations.

He also urged motoring public moving from Bonny Camp to access CMS/ Marina Bridge after Independence Bridge (Mekunwen Bridge) and loop it down towards Cathedral Church to link Lagos Island through Odunlami Street and connect their desired destinations, or use Force road beside Muson Centre to J.K Randle road Avenue (Race Course) to Water Board to old Broad Street to continue their journeys.

Alternatively, Oladeinde also said Motorists moving from King George V road to Awolowo road/JK Randle Avenue through Onikan Roundabout should make use of Turton Street to Lewis Street to Sandgrouse and proceed on their journeys, or use Moloney Street to Obalende and proceed to their desired destinations.

The Commissioner further advise motoring public moving from Awolowo road, Ikoyi to Onikan to make use of Falomo Roundabout to access Alfred Rewane road to Osborne road through Simpson to Sandgrouse and connect their desired destinations, or from Simpson interchange to Obalende to Moloney Street and proceed on their journeys.

He added that Motorists moving from JK Randle Avenue (Race Course) to Water Board can make use of either Old Defence road or Ganiyu Smith road to link Igbosere, Sandgrouse to connect Simpson Street and Third Mainland Bridge through Simpson Interchange for their desired destinations.

The commissioner further enjoined party members and others attending the gubernatorial campaign to make use of the Third Mainland Bridge and descend at Onikan exit to access designated car park or Alfred Rewane road through Falomo to Awolowo road to access the car park, or make use of Outer Marina through Force road to access the parking space.

He mentioned that the designated Free Car Park include; Multi-Layer Car Park on King George V road, TBS Oval Car Park, Old Defense Headquarters Parking Lot and other Parking Lots as directed by Officials.

Oladeinde said that in order to cushion the inconvenience and reduce travel time, Security and Traffic Management Personnel will be deployed to all the strategic junctions and intersections to ensure safety and security of all road users as well as free flow of traffic within the perimeter of the campaign venue and alternative routes.

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Lagosians host Tinubu as he promises massive youth development

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by Bola Akinmodiro

The Lagos city that hosted the first All Progressives Congress (APC) convention after the party was formed in 2014 – became a beehive of political carnival on Saturday. 

A mammoth crowd thronged the main bowl of the Teslim Balogun Stadium in Surulere, as the ruling party returned to the city for its inaugural 2023 presidential rally in the Southwest region.

Clad in various shades of APC-branded vests, caps and Ankara brocade, a mass of the party’s supporters, who filled the 24,000-capacity stadium to the brim, defied the searing heat from the sun to receive the APC presidential candidate, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, his running mate, Sen. Kashim Shettima, members of the party’s National Working Committee (NWC) and the Presidential Campaign Council (PCC) team. 

At 12:45, Tinubu’s motorcade made a grand entry into the venue, moving the crowd into a spontaneous excitement. The APC presidential candidate arrived in company of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Minister for Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, and members of Progressive Governors’ Forum led by their chairman, Gov. Abubakar Atiku Bagudu of Kebbi State.

The huge turnout at the rally again confirmed Tinubu’s popularity at his political base. The APC presidential candidate hails from Lagos and was a two-term Governor of the State.

Sanwo-Olu opened the floor with his short remarks, thanking Tinubu for laying the foundation for the physical and socio-economic growth being witnessed in Lagos since 1999.

The Governor, who described the APC presidential standard bearer as “architect of modern Lagos”, said Tinubu’s vision, character and tenacity stood him out among presidential contenders, urging Lagosians to elect the candidate with unprecedented number of votes at the polls.

Sanwo-Olu said: “Tinubu is the builder of the modern Lagos we are all enjoying today. For implementing his vision through character and tenacity, and pushing his ideas to what we can physically see, our candidate is the best choice for the president.

“Aside being a visionary leader, Tinubu has also been an advocate of unity and a figure who has stood firm in support of national cohesion. We are all witnesses to all outstanding achievements to his name. His reputation stands tall among his peers And he is the right man for the job.”

Tinubu took to the podium to share message of “Renewed Hope” with the mass of young people at the rally. He said his administration’s priorities would focus on improving human capital development and harnessing energy of the youth through job creation to accelerate economic growth. 

His capacity to lead the country, the APC presidential candidate said is not in doubt, noting that Lagos’ growth trajectory from a State in deficit to one of the six largest economies in Africa best demonstrated his ability to drive the needed change to put the country on the path of prosperity. 

When elected, Tinubu said he would do his best to change the country’s fortunes, but noted the task would not be easy at the start. 

He said: “I stand before you all with a solemn promise that when we are elected next year, we will continue and build on the progressive path laid forth by our party since 2015. We have clear agenda for the future of the country and with your support, we will work to achieve a better future for you and your family.

“Nobody will be forgotten when we roll out our development plans. We have great plans for our youths in education and employment. You will not be forgotten. Economic growth is one of our biggest priorities. We will do our best to solve the contemporary challenges facing us, but it will not be easy at the start.”

Tinubu, again, took a swipe at Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) and its candidate, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar, calling on the electorate to use their votes to retire him finally. The APC presidential candidate said PDP spent 15 years of excuses and forgot the mandate given them to better the lives of Nigerian in the era of boom. 

Under the PDP, Tinubu said major infrastructure projects were left to rot with no plan for their rehabilitation, including Lagos-Badagry Highway.

“Rejecting Atiku with your votes and retiring him will be the final step to take in burying PDP for life,” Tinubu said.

The APC National Leader passed a vote of confidence on Sanwo-Olu and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, saying the Governor had become symbol of good governance.

Tinubu said PDP would repeat another outing of failure in Lagos gubernatorial election, stressing that the opposition party did not have enough strength to stop Sanwo-Olu’s re-election 

PCC Director-General and Governor of Plateau State, Simon Lalong, described Tinubu as a “consummate manager of people and resources” with capacity to change difficult situation. 

Lalong said Tinubu’s greatest success as former Lagos governor was his ability to groom brilliant successors that expanded his ideas to the next level. 

Speaker, House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, said Tinubu’s winning the party presidential ticket took him out as the most investigated politician the Fourth Republic.

Despite series of wild allegations being bandied against Tinubu, the Speaker said none had been proven to be true. The APC presidential candidate, Gbajabiamila said, would win the election with convincing margins.

He said: “This is not the main rally for Lagos. We are energising the base with this large turnout witnessed here today. When the main campaign is held, it will be the double of the crowd we see here today.”

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