Lagos Goes Tough On Drug Abuse, Plans 1000-Man Walk Against Scourge

Lagos Goes Tough On Drug Abuse, Plans 1000-Man Walk Against Scourge

…Women Strategically Positioned To Stop Teenage Rape, Pregnancy

In a bid to step up its campaign against all forms of drug abuse, the Lagos State Government on Tuesday said it has concluded plans to stage a 1000-man walk against the scourge and raise awareness on its inherent danger especially among youths.

Commissioner for Youth and Social Development, Mr. Agboola Dabiri who disclosed this while addressing journalists at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, Ikeja, ahead of the launch of a rigorous and renewed campaign under the acronym, Lagos State Kicks against Drug Abuse (LASKADA), said the Government was leaving no stone unturned in its effort to dissuade youths who are prime victims of the practice.

According to the Commissioner, the campaign will adopt a tripod approach including events, engagements with stakeholders and awareness campaign, adding that it would be flagged off by a 1000 man symbolic walk against drug abuse in the State.

He said the walk, which will hold on Thursday, June 21, would commence from Ikeja Bus Stop- under the bridge and would terminate at the Blue Roof, LTV, Agidingbi, where the official launch of LASKADA would take place.

He said participants at the walk will include students, members of voluntary organizations, sports men and women, members of Nongovernmental organisations, local government and youth representatives, local youth council representatives, faith based organisations, government functionaries, among others.

“What we want to do on Thursday is to launch this campaign and show that we are ready for war against all forms of drug abuse. Once we launch out, we are going to have series of activities on various platforms and we will employ every avenue to ensure that the campaign gets to the nook and cranny in the State,” he said.

Dabiri added that the campaign will also involve a stakeholders’ sensitization session to deliberate on the menace and proffer likely intervention to tackle the issue holistically.

“The stakeholders will include parents, youths, professional bodies include Pharmacists, NDLEA, psychiatrists, traditional medicine board, patent medicine sellers, NURTW, Tricycle and okada riders unions and a communiqué will be issued at the end of the session.

He said the campaign train will also move to primary, secondary and higher institutions as well as to the communities adding that it would be implemented in collaboration with the Lagos State Youth Ambassadors, Lagos State Youth Parliament and NGOs in their immediate community.

Besides, the Commissioner said that mosque, churches and faith based organization will be implored to dedicate a day to enlighten worshippers on drug abuse and canvass support for the fight against the menace.

“The youth group is the largest population in Nigeria, particularly in Lagos State and this segment is considered the most vulnerable group as far as drug and alcohol issues are concerned. Thus, their health and optimal development is critical to national development agenda and deserves significant attention. Drug abuse is real and we should not fold our arms and watch the scourge continue, partner with us and lets all say “No to Drug Abuse”, Dabiri said.

In a related development, Wife of Lagos State Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode said women must use their strategic position as builders of the home-front to adequately fortify their children and wards with right virtuous to stem the tide of rape and teenage pregnancy in the society.

Speaking at a special Lagos Women Forum put together by her office held at Police College in Ikeja, the wife of the Governor said as coordinators of the family unit, women have the responsibility to bring up their children in most decent ways and be good examples to them.

According to her, “We as women have a great role to play in combating the social evils of rape and teenage pregnancy. Our natural role as mothers and coordinators of the family unit, imposes responsibilities on us, to bring up the boy and the girl child in the most decent way, to stem the tide of rape and teenage pregnancy in our society.”

She said young girls who suffer abuse and become pregnant stand the risk of medical complications, stressing however that conscious effort must be made in their upbringing to achieve the desired results including early enrolment in school, sound moral lessons and exposure to the ways and things of God.

Besides, Mrs Ambode expressed concern over the disturbing trend of domestic violence against women which sometimes result in deaths, saying it was time for women to come together and jointly speak out against the menace.

“By publicly speaking out against domestic violence, together we can challenge attitudes that breed violence in the homes and everywhere. We must insist that domestic violence is a social crimes and not acceptable in our society. That is why we have brought seasoned speakers, to talk to us on issues of social menace, and our expected roles as mothers and home builders.

In her keynote address, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Idiat Adebule commended the wife of the Governor for the initiative to gather women together for the purpose of enhancing their welfare and health, saying the strategic importance of women in the society could not be overemphasized.

She said women should no longer be stereotyped into silence but rather become vocal advocates for improved health delivery system and social justice, adding that the womenfolk also have the responsibility of investing and increasing access of more girls and women to good health, quality education, and as well ensuring that laws respect and ensure the rights of women are enforced.

The Deputy Governor, who is also overseeing the Ministry of Education, said as part of efforts to protect the future of girls who are abused, the State Government recently established a special school for people in such category to have another opportunity to be educated.

“We have equally established the alternative school for the girls who, in the course of their lifetime, get pregnant and could not continue their education. Our government has provided that particular school for them to have a second chance in life,” Adebule said.

Lagos Bus Reform; New Buses Arrive In Batches 

Lagos Bus Reform; New Buses Arrive In Batches 

It was an iconic sight to behold as new buses adorned some of the recently constructed Bus Terminals in Lagos for the take-off of the Bus Reform Initiative of the State Government designed to bequeath a world class transportation system and enhance connectivity across the State.

Apart from adding to the aesthetics of the State with the impressive blue and white colour, the new environmentally-friendly high capacity buses, which are now arriving the State in batches, were also equipped with modern facilities to bring about comfort and seamless travelling experience along the dedicated routes.

Under the Bus Reform Initiative, 5,000 new buses are expected to be added to the public transport system, while other components of the scheme such as modern bus terminals, bus depots, bus stops and segregated laybys are already springing up in strategic locations across the State. This is aside the Intelligent Transport System mechanism of the initiative which will aid Lagosians to plan their journeys.

Also, arrangement is also being firmed up as part of the short-term plan for the buses to be assembled in Lagos, which would in turn create jobs for the people, and as well serve to properly maintain the buses.

Giving rationale behind the initiative, the State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode said the new buses and terminals were conceived to redefine public transportation in the State with the view to make the State globally competitive.

“Like we have said, we are doing bus terminals to actually improve on the management of transportation in the city. Some people would have noticed that we are beginning to receive some of our new buses. We have actually ordered 820 buses and we believe that by end of September, the 820 buses should be in Lagos.

“The intention is not to drive away Danfo buses (Commercial Buses). Buses in Lagos right now are never enough. Government is intending to inject 5,000 but we do not intend to operate them and so whoever is going to operate the buses would recruit drivers and personnel to work on those buses.

“So, if somebody upgrades from Danfo to bus, that is more job for our people. We, as government, are not the ones to drive the buses but what we are doing is to create avenue for people to get employed and to also create greater aesthetics for the city,” Governor Ambode explained.

Some of the newly acquired buses at the Ikeja Bus Terminal as part of the Bus Reform Initiative of the Lagos State Government
Some of the newly acquired buses at the Ikeja Bus Terminal as part of the Bus Reform Initiative of the Lagos State Government

According to him, if Lagos must attract investors and tourists, there has to be globally compliant mode of transportation which he said necessitated the need for reforms in the sector.

“Another point is that if we say we want to be globally competitive and we want to attract investors and tourists to Lagos, we have to be globally compliant with the way we move people around.

“So, we believe strongly that as we proceed, we will be introducing more facilities on our waterways, roads and our walkways to make life more comfortable for our people,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode Unveils 46-Feet Statue of M.K.O Abiola In Lagos

Governor Ambode Unveils 46-Feet Statue of M.K.O Abiola In Lagos

…Says Monument’ll Forever Preserve Legacy, Greatness of Late Symbol of Democracy

…We’re Eternally Grateful To You, Family Tells Gov

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday unveiled a 46-feet statue of Nigeria’s symbol of democracy and adjudged winner of the June 12, 1993 Presidential Election, Bashorun Moshood Kasimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO), expressing optimism that the monument will forever crystallize what he stood for in his lifetime.

Governor Ambode, who spoke at the unveiling of the statue at the MKO Abiola Garden in Alapere, Ketu said it was in the tradition of the State Government to recognise and remember heroes and heroines who contributed to the greatness of the nation and the State in particular, adding that MKO Abiola deserves the best from the State as Lagos was his success story.

Alluding to the fact that a statue was previously sited at the location, the Governor said that his administration decided to erect bigger statues for MKO Abiola and late Rights Activist, Chief Gani Fawehinmi to properly situate their immense contribution to nation building.

“There was a statue done by my predecessor, Babatunde Raji Fashola but in the divine world, some things are more glorious than what you think and so we decided at the end of 2016 that we should do bigger statues for Chief Gani Fawehinmi and MKO Abiola since almost everybody passing and entering Lagos go through this particular Ojota axis and so we started late in 2016 that we should build something bigger and so it took us about a year to do this. By the time we did the one for Gani to celebrate his posthumous birthday on April 22, we also agreed that we should unveil that of MKO Abiola today, June 12.

WhatsApp Image 2018-06-12 at 2.27.20 PM

“But just as if God has a way of crowning all efforts to mark the 25th Anniversary of June 12, our President, President Muhammadu Buhari has deemed it fit to give our own MKO Abiola the highest honour in the land, GCFR and that is why we believe strongly that your presence here is not just for this statue but it is also historic which we would always remember in the annals of the history and politics of this country that sooner than later, there would be one day we would mark as MKO Abiola Day.

“We are very happy to gather here today at the MKO Abiola garden to unveil this statue, a monument that will forever crystallize his legacy, serves as a reminder to the greatness that Chief Abiola represents in our socio-political landscape,” the Governor said.

He described MKO Abiola as a man who transcended race, tribe and religion, adding that the late philanthropist appealed to all Nigerians who voted massively for him during the 1993 Presidential election.

“Sadly, he lost his life trying to secure his mandate. Even though he was from another State, Lagos was his home. And we recognize his contribution to our State and our democracy,” Governor Ambode said.

Responding on behalf of the family, MKO Abiola’s son, Abdul Mumuni Abiola thanked Governor Ambode and the Lagos State Government for the honour done the Abiola family, saying the statue was indeed befitting to honour his late father.

“God is great. I heard about this statue six months ago and I was called to come and see it and when I got here, I saw a statue of three-storey building. This is indeed massive. The family of late MKO Abiola really appreciates this and we want to thank the Governor,” Abdul Mumuni said.

He also appreciated President Muhammadu Buhari for posthumous award conferred on his father and declaring June 12 as the Democracy Day, as well as the National Leader of All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for standing solidly behind the struggle.

“We thank the President for doing what he did. This statue was planned before the President did what he did and so we want to thank Governor Ambode for this,” he said.

Governor Ambode, who earlier spoke at a symposium held at the Blue Roof, Lagos Television in Ikeja to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the June 12, 1993 election, paid glowing tributes to other comrades who led the struggle from the front including Gen. Alani Akinrinade, Prof. Wole Soyinka, Ambassador Walter Carrington, Justice Dolapo Akinsanya, Chief Frank Kokori, Rear Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu, Mr. Wale Oshun, Alhaji Balarabe Musa and other Nigerians and Civil Society Organisations, Trade and Labour unions.

“We also pay glowing tribute to the beautiful memories of patriots such as Alhaja Kudirat Abiola, Pa Michael Adekunle Ajasin, Pa Abraham Adesanya, Chief Michael Enahoro, Chief Alfred Rewane, Dr Beko Ransome Kuti, General Adeyinka Adebayo and several others including innocent ordinary Nigerians, young and old who were murdered in cold blood on the streets of Lagos and in other major cities of Nigeria. Today, we declare that their sacrifice has not been in vain,” he said.

The Governor commended Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for being the pioneer Governor to declare public holiday on June 12 throughout his tenure in office as well as Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his steadfastness in upholding the tradition, saying that the occasion attests to their visionary leadership.

Speaking on the theme: “Restructuring: Antidote For Efficient And Effective Polity,” guest lecturer, Dr. Dele Ashiru of the Department of Political Science, University of Lagos (UNILAG), called for the amendment of the Constitution to ensure removal of provisions which inhibit successful running of functional system, especially revenue sharing formula which he said must be by derivation, among others.

He also said considering the strategic importance of Lagos to the country, special attention must be given to the State, adding: “The Federal Government must wake up and pay Lagos adequately from the national resource so that the State can continue to play the role it had been playing in the country.”

He described Lagos as a model and mega city not only in Africa but the world, and as such all hands must be on deck to work for its sustenance.

Also, Chairman of June 12 Coalition, Comrade Linus Okoroji commended the Lagos State Government for sustained commitment to the June 12 struggle which had yielded fruits with the recent declaration of the day as Democracy Day in Nigeria and recognition of MKO Abiola as GCFR.

Remarks Delivered By Governor Ambode At The Unveiling Of The Unveiling Of The New Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) Statue

Remarks Delivered By Governor Ambode At The Unveiling Of The Unveiling Of The New Chief Moshood Kashimawo Olawale Abiola (MKO) Statue

Every society that seeks to progress and develop never forgets its history. The heroes and heroines of the past who contributed to the present day success deserve recognition and honour.

In our State, we have made it a tradition, to recognize and remember heroes and heroines who have contributed to the greatness of our nation and our state in particular. Moshood Kahimawo Olawale Abiola deserves the best from our state because Lagos was his success story.

On this special day that our country remembers and celebrates Chief MKO Abiola, we are particularly happy that Lagos State has a good reason to honour this symbol of our democracy.

Exactly 25 years since he won a presidential election but was refused to serve the people who gave him their mandate, the country finally and deservedly recognises him today with the highest honour in the land – the Grand Commander of the Federal Republic.

We are very happy to gather here today at the MKO Abiola garden to unveil this statue, a monument that will forever crystallize his legacy, serves as a reminder to the greatness that Chief Abiola represents in our socio-political landscape

As an individual, he transcended race, tribe and religion.  He appealed to all Nigerians and we voted for him. Sadly, he lost his life trying to secure his mandate.

Even though he was from another State, Lagos was his home. And we recognize his contribution to our State and our democracy.

It is now my honour to unveil this statue as a monument to symbolize democracy and the supremacy of the voice of the people.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!