Psalm 34: 3 “O magnify the Lord with me and let us praise His name forever”.
Today is a day of praise and Thanksgiving to God for His faithfulness to our State which clocked fifty years yesterday and our administration which will be two years tomorrow. We are gathered in His presence with thanksgiving because we know that He and only He is the source of our strength and achievements. Our faith in His unchanging promise is also the reason for our hope and belief that our expectation and dream of a greater and more prosperous Lagos would become a reality in the precious name of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Over the years, the State has grown in leaps and bounds. It has become home to all citizens of the world, and most importantly, a place where hope comes alive and dreams are actualized.
Lagos has enjoyed peace and stability as a result of the harmonious relationship and peaceful co-existence of diverse ethnic and religious groups across the State. Most importantly, it has been blessed with great visionary leaders, who worked so hard to chart the path for the growth and development of our State from its creation till date.
This was the Lagos we all were privileged to grow up in; the Lagos that has given us the opportunity to be what we are today and the Lagos I am honoured to lead at this auspicious moment.
I want to appreciate God for His mercies, compassion, grace and blessings on the State thus far. I thank God for the citizens of the State, who through their selfless services have all contributed in no small measure to the enviable status the State has attained.
As we continue the journey of another fifty years which commences today, I pray that the almighty God will not forsake us. He will continue to raise leaders with vision, character and ability to take Lagos State to a position of eminence in the comity of modern City States.
I wish to use this opportunity to thank all Lagosians, especially the Lagos at fifty Committee and everyone, individuals, groups and organizations for their contributions to the success of this celebration.
Psalm 103: 1-2 “Bless the Lord O my soul: and all that is within me bless His holy name. Bless the Lord O my soul, and forget not all His benefits”.
To Him alone be all glory, honour and adoration.
Thank you and God bless you all.
“Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo Je wa Logun”
It is with the greatest pride that I stand here before you on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of our dear State. I was only 4 years old when the State was created and little did I know that I would be standing, fifty years later, as Governor of God’s greatest gift to Nigeria and Africa.
Some years back, I wrote a newspaper article exalting the qualities of our State and its rich history on its 47th anniversary without knowing what laid ahead. It is therefore with the greatest sense of gratitude that I thank God for making it possible for me to partake significantly in this historic celebration of Lagos at 50.
Your Excellencies, distinguished ladies and gentlemen, when you read through the first speech of the first governor of this State, Brigadier General Mobolaji Johnson, you will understand where Lagosians are coming from.
I quote “The Lagos State for which many of you have yearned over the years has arrived. The 27th of May 1967 is a day of which our fathers and mothers in their several ways worked and prayed, not perhaps in so many words, but certainly in their unshakeable belief that the people who live in these areas are entitled to devote their undoubted talents and rich cultural heritage to the development and upliftment of their land and all its peoples, and in their own way.”
That entitlement and devotion to use our God-given talents and heritage to develop Lagos is the main reason for our success story. Fifty years after, we look back with gratitude to all our founding fathers and mothers; both living and past heroes and we all say a big thank you to all of you. God bless you always.
Most importantly, we thank General Yakubu Gowon, the then Head of State, who signed the decree that established Lagos State as part of the Twelve States created from the regions and Lagos Colony.
Ladies and Gentlemen, I have attempted to put down a praise poetry for Lagos. What you can refer to as “Oriki” in cultural parlance.
Lagos, the smallest, the richest, the oldest,
Untouched or divided since creation,
Most populous, most prosperous, most cosmopolitan,
A State with vibrant energy and its unique soul;
Highly receptive to both hardworking and lazy people,
Land of Opportunities,
In Lagos, fortune favours the brave;
There are many cities across the world with Lagos as their name;
But our own Lagos is the most promising, centre of Excellence;
Welcome to the capital of prosperity…
Today, as we celebrate 50 years of greatness in Lagos, we are conscious of the fact that we also stand on the cusp of history, and it is our responsibility to make the next 50 years even more productive and memorable, worthy of bigger celebrations by those who will come after us.
Ladies and Gentlemen, fellow Lagosians, the vision for the future is clear. We foresee a smart city much more in line with the other great cities of the world, where clean and decent living, seamless and efficient transportation as well as sustainable environmental practices are the norm rather than the exception.
Your Excellencies, I join millions of Lagosians to appreciate and commend our past governors, thirteen of them, for their selfless service to the State and the Nation.
I want to sincerely wish Mr. President Muhammadu Buhari, a quick recovery. We all know about his love for Lagos and undoubtedly would have been here if he was around.
To the Acting President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, your contributions to the growth and development of Lagos State are legendary. To demonstrate this, you flew in from Italy to be with us tonight. Thank you so much, your Excellency.
To all our fathers and mothers, we cannot be more grateful for bequeathing to us a great State that is destined for global attention.
Your Excellencies, ladies and gentlemen, we are prepared and we are able. We are confident that with today’s efforts, we stand on the right side of history – the history of a greater Lagos, as we begin the journey of the next 50 years.
I thank you all.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko lojewalogun.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Saturday reassured Lagosians that the State Government would do everything possible to ensure that six pupils of the Government Model College, Igbonla in Epe who were kidnapped in the early hours of Thursday are rescued unhurt and reunited with their parents.
Governor Ambode, who gave the assurance at this year’s Children Day celebration held at the Agege Stadium, said the celebration would not be complete without rescuing those innocent pupils safely and bring them back to school to continue their education.
He said top security arrangement was on course to guarantee their safety, pledging that his government would stop at nothing to ensure that kidnapping and other criminal activities are put to an end in schools.
Represented by his deputy, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule, Governor Ambode said that his administration was committed to protecting children in the state from any form of abuse, child labour or molestation by religiously implementing the Child Right Law and the Executive Order on Safeguarding and Child Protection Policy, adding that “it was important to protect our children today, so that they can protect us tomorrow.”
The Governor, who said that this year’s Children’s Day celebration was a unique one as the state is equally celebrating the 50thyear anniversary of its creation, called on the children to remain focused, believe in themselves and set target that would make them attain greatness in life, promising that his government will continue to create opportunities and implement policies that would help them to become the best of what they can without any barriers.
“As we celebrate this year’s children’s Day and the 50th anniversary of our state, I want you to believe that you too can achieve greatness. You must believe in yourself and in your dreams. Very soon, it will be your responsibility to take Lagos state to the level that we all desired in the next 50 years. You are agents of change and I urge you, do not just go through life, make a difference, impact life and affect your community , What we are doing today is to lay a solid foundation for you to build on,” he said.
The Governor while reaffirming his administration’s commitment to repositioning public schools to meet world class standard, said that his administration in the last two years had invested heavily in infrastructural and manpower development in public schools, the effort which according to him, is yielding positive results as it has restored confidence in public schools.
“As a government, we recognize our responsibility to create opportunities for you to become the best you can be without any barrier, this is why in the last two years, we have invested massively in the infrastructural and manpower development in our public schools. Our plan which is being realized is to restore public confidence in our public schools,’’ he said.
Earlier in his welcome address, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Education, Mr. Adeshina Odeyemi, noted that the education sector has undergone tremendous transformations since the creation of the state, adding that the number of secondary schools had increased from 55 at the creation of the state in 1967 with a total students population of 19,538 to 679 public secondary schools at present with over 564,758 students population.
Odeyemi noted that in spite of the current global melt down and general economic recession in the country, Lagos State government has continued to run free education policy from primary to secondary schools level and pay for the WAEC fees of its graduating students till date
The Permanent Secretary who noted that the allocation of a huge sum of N205.8 billion to the education sector in the year 2016 and 2017 budget was a confirmation of government‘s genuine commitment to the development of education in the state.
The highlight of the occasion was the cutting of the Children’s day cake by the Deputy Governor with other members of the State Executive Council.
KSA, Obey, Olamide, Davido, Pasuma, Others To Perform
The Lagos State Government on Friday said it has concluded plans to climax the Lagos@50 celebrations with a spectacular display of fireworks.
The Government, in a statement signed by the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, said the fireworks would be on display at midnight of Sunday, May 28 on the water of Eko Atlantic.
”This is inform the public that there will be a display of fireworks as part of the music and fashion show to round off the 50th Anniversary Celebrations of the State. The fireworks will be on display at exactly 12 midnight at the Eko Atlantic City during the Golden Concert. Residents do not need to panic or nurse any fear whatsoever when they hear the sound of the fireworks as it is only just a symbolic way to draw the curtains of what has been a very splendid and successful celebration of our golden State.”
“Residents who cannot attend the concert can also catch it live on Television as it promises to be a historic and exciting night of fun and maximum entertainment”, Ayorinde said.
The Commissioner also expressed the gratitude of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to the sponsors of the fireworks, Eko Atlantic Nigeria Limited.
The Lagos@50 Celebration, which began on May 27, 2016, has featured series of events and activities to showcase the cultural essence of the State, including Jazz Meets Runway, International Conferences, Arts Exhibition, Film Shows, among others.
50 top artistes who have ruled the Lagos music scene over the years are expected to perform at the concert.
Some of the artistes billed to perform include juju music maestros – King Sunny Ade and Evangelist Ebenezer Obey as well as the legendary Highlife Patriarch, Sir Victor Olaiya.
Other superstars on board are Davido, Phyno, Olamide, Humble Smith, Adekunle Gold, Lil Kesh, Partoranking, ‘Mr Capable’ Banky W, Runtown, Vanessa, MI, Eedris Abdulkareem, Mr. Eazi, DJ Spinall and Waka Music star, Queen Salawa Abeni.
Also expected are star Fuji artistes like Adewale Ayuba, Abass Akande Obesere and Wasiu Alabi (Pasuma Wonder). The Concert would also feature a fashion show to depict the evolution of fashion in Lagos state.