Speech Delivered At The 25th Anniversary Of June 12 Presidential Election

Speech Delivered At The 25th Anniversary Of June 12 Presidential Election

Today is a special celebration of the anniversary of June 12. For us in Lagos State, where the struggle started, this year’s anniversary is a victory for democracy.

We all recall that a historic event happened on this very day in 1993 when Chief Moshood Kasimawo Abiola stood as a candidate in a presidential election adjudged to be the freest, fairest and most credible in the history of our nation. It was a day Nigerians demonstrated unity and put aside ethnic and religious biases to speak overwhelmingly with one voice.

Sadly, the aspiration of Nigerians expressed through the ballot was truncated by the military.

Since then, the struggle for democracy has been relentless, championed by progressive Nigerians, men of character and courage who challenged the military junta.

With the return of democracy in 1999, Lagos State, driven by our irrepressible and indefatigable leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, continued to celebrate June 12 and always recognize its importance in our democracy.

Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen, you can imagine our delight when the President Muhammadu Buhari, GCFR, announced the recognition of June 12 as the authentic Democracy Day in Nigeria. This formal recognition is a crown of victory to the struggle that had taken the lives of so many nationalists and patriots.

Not only was June 12 recognised, the symbol of the struggle, Chief Moshood Kashimawo  Olawale Abiola is to be conferred posthumously with the highest national honour of Grand Commander of the Federal Republic [GCFR], his running mate, Ambassador Babagana Kingibe, Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger (GCON).

By this singular act, including the award of the Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger on the fearless human Rights activists, Chief Gani Fawehinmi, President Muhammadu Buhari has written his name in Gold in the political history of Nigeria.

We salute President Muhammadu Buhari for demonstrating exceptional courage to stand by justice and the truth.

Today, we salute leaders of the struggle 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.

I reserve special recognition for my predecessors, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu for his pioneering influence in declaring a public holiday on June 12 throughout his tenure in office, and Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) for his steadfastness in upholding this tradition. Today’s celebration lays credence to the fact that our leaders were visionary.

Distinguished ladies and gentlemen, the theme of this historic edition of June 12 celebration, “Restructuring: Antidote for Ineffective & Ineffective Politics”, speaks for itself. As a State and people, our stand on a restructuring process that will lead to fiscal federalism, devolution of power is very clear.

Our present democratic experience may still be far from ideal but we must all make concerted efforts to entrench fiscal federalism which is the only way to achieve true nationhood. We are absolutely convinced that it is the right way to go for us to realise the optimum potential and prosperity of the federating States and the nation.

On this historic day, I am convinced more than ever before that this ideal will be realized sooner than we can imagine.

I thank you all and wish all Lagosians happy June 12 victory celebrations.

Thank you and God bless you all.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa logun!

 

Lagos Extends Agric-Ishawo Road Project To Arepo

Lagos Extends Agric-Ishawo Road Project To Arepo

…To Commence Okokomaiko-Seme Border Road, Link Epe-Mojoda Project To Ijebu Ode-Ore Expressway

…Inspects Major Projects In Ikorodu Division

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday approved the extension of ongoing Agric-Ishawo dual carriageway road project to Arepo in Ogun State, saying the development became imperative in view of the determination to rev up the economic integration of South Western States.

Speaking while embarking on an extensive inspection of major ongoing projects in the Ikorodu division of the State which lasted till late in the evening, Governor Ambode said the projects would be delivered as part of efforts to make the sub-urban areas in the State economically viable and livable, thereby making life comfortable for residents and boosting the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of the State.

Addressing scores of residents of Owutu and Ishawo who had trooped out to receive him, the Governor urged them to exercise patience and understanding with the projects, assuring that more dividends of democracy would be spread to the axis.

He said: “From Owutu Junction to the boundary of Lagos State in Ishawo is 7.5km and we will finish this project between March and April next year. Even before we finish this project the businesses here have started improving and the value of landed properties have gone up.

“Now, the Chairman of this Local Government has just spoken to us and we have also agreed that in order for us to improve on the economic integration of South Western States, we will extend from Lagos State boundary to Arepo in Ogun State and we will do 5.5km to join the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.”

The Governor, who embarked on the tour with top government functionaries, said as government was doing road projects to open up the axis, other areas of the State would also benefit, thereby improving commerce and reducing travel time.

“The same thing as we are doing it in Ikorodu, the Lagos-Epe road also will be joined to the Lagos State boundary in Mojoda with the Ijebu Ode axis to link the Ijebu Ode-Ore Road.

“We are going to do the same thing and make sure that the road we are doing in the Mile 2-Okokomaiko Expressway, we commence the next phase that goes from Okokomaiko to Seme Border. So in that wise, we would have connected Badagry, Ikorodu and Epe with all the neighbouring States and we will improve the economy of Lagos and make sure that all our people that are living in the sub-urban areas are able to live comfortably well in those places and the economy in those areas also improve.

“I just want to appeal to our people to exercise patience as we do this. We are doing it for you. We know that you want more than roads, we are bringing shopping mall to Ikorodu; we are bringing cinema; we are bringing arts theatre and we are also bringing recreational park,” Governor Ambode said.

While inspecting progress of work on the 32 Metric Tonnes Rice Mill and Light Industrial Park in Imota which would accommodate those to be relocated from Sabo Industrial Park, the Governor expressed satisfaction with level of work, saying the Rice Mill was another fulfillment of promise to produce rice locally on a large scale.

“We think that we are on the right course. People would recall that we used to have a 2.5 Metric Tonnes per hour rice mill in this particular site. We have removed that to pave way for the new 32 Metric Tonnes per hour rice mill and as we can all see since the last time we were here that there has been a lot of progress being made by the contractor and also the consultant.

“We can see that this is a huge task for us to fulfill our promise that we would be producing our own Lake Rice by ourselves and I think I am impressed by the level of work I have seen and we should be able to start production in this rice mill in the first quarter of 2019.

“In addition to that, this Imota Light Industrial Park is to replace the Sabo Light Industrial Park that we are closing down. We have decided to move the Light Industrial Park into Imota here to give the economic hub that we want to give Imota the right picture and also turn part of the closed Sabo Industrial Park into our Tech hub for us to be able to integrate the new acquisition of land that we have in Sabo and turn that axis into the new Tech hub for our younger ones so that we can use that area as our own new Silicone Valley,” he said.

He said the Rice Mill and other projects going on in the axis such as the new Mile 12 Market in Imota and Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road which would be extended to Gberigbe and environs, would further contribute to positively change the economic landscape of the axis.

“We are on the right course and that also is ongoing. We think with the provision of this industrial park and this rice mill and then the Commodity Market that is coming to Imota in addition to the major road projects that are ongoing in Ikorodu like the one we just visited which is the Igbogbo-Bola Ahmed Tinubu-Igbe Road that will also link Owu Elepe all the way down to the junction of this Imota Road and also extend in another few months once we get our Asphalt Plant back on track to Gberigbe, the economic landscape of this axis will be changed positively.

“What we are trying to send as a message here is that every nook and cranny of Lagos should become economically viable and also economically livable because people should be able to stay where they are and actually earn their own living and income in a very comfortable way and that is the whole essence of this and overall we will be able to grow our GDP and allow more people to enjoy dividends of democracy and also pay their taxes, perform their civic obligations and in a complete circle, that same money gotten from the taxes would be used to continue to renew infrastructure and allow more people to live a comfortable life.

“That is what Lagos wants to do; that is what we are committed to and that is the direction we are going,” the Governor said.

Earlier, Chairman of Ikorodu West Local Council Development Area (LCDA), Princess Jumoke Jumbo commended Governor Ambode for his commitment to the development of the Ikorodu division, saying such was obvious with various projects simultaneously ongoing in the axis.

“On behalf of the people of Ikorodu West LCDA, we just want to appreciate our Governor for your good gesture and the love you have for us in Ikorodu as a whole. Our people really appreciate you most especially for this road because it is already boosting the economy of our area and just yesterday, the wife of the Governor, Mrs Bolanle Ambode came to give our children school sandals and socks.

“We thank God for you coming from Lagos every time to Ikorodu to do one projects and the other. All my people are interested in you coming back. Governor Ambode is already endorsed for second term and we pray you will come back to do more for us,” Jumbo said.

Security Of Lives, Property Our Biggest Achievement In Three Years

Security Of Lives, Property Our Biggest Achievement In Three Years

Buratai Lauds Lagos Gov’s Developmental Drive, Support For Security Agencies

…As Army Opens Base In Epe

Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday described the security of lives and property of residents as the biggest achievement of his administration in the last three years, saying it was gratifying to note that the State is now the safest in Africa.

Speaking at the commissioning of a Forward Operating Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Army in Epe, Governor Ambode said the combined investment of his administration in the security architecture of the State and efforts of security agencies had resulted in peaceful atmosphere for residents and visitors.

The Governor, who recalled the days of kidnapping, cultism and other security challenges in Ikorodu and Epe axis, said it was satisfying that the activities of criminal elements such as militants, among others had been confined to history in the State.

“As I mark my own three years in office tomorrow (Tuesday), I can say significantly that if there is anything that I have actually achieved in these three years is the security and safety of lives and property in Lagos State.

“There is no way that could have been possible and that is why I say it quietly and openly if not for the support and cooperation of all the security agencies and most significantly the efforts of the Nigerian Army which is actually hidden underground but visibly seen by everything that is going on here,” he said.

Recalling his early days in office, the Governor said his first major task was how to address kidnapping and other nefarious activities perpetrated by militants in Ishawo axis, adding that a Military Base was eventually set up as well as Military Operation code-named “Operation Awatse.”

“At the beginning, the issue of kidnapping and cultism was actually in this eastern axis between Epe and Ikorodu but with the efforts that we have seen and visible to all of us, it has become a thing of the past and we are very grateful to the Nigerian Army.

“I want to quickly recollect that my first task was the issue of kidnapping that was so notorious in area of Ishawo in Ikorodu and there and then, we had the support of the Nigerian Army to set up a small base and we had to also take over property of some of those militants to accommodate the Military Base,” he recalled.

He said crime rate had drastically reduced in the State, and that no efforts would be spared in sustaining the peace in the State.

“I must say the last three years have been very peaceful and everybody would agree that crime rate has reduced in Lagos. We need to sustain it because at the end of the day that is what really grows our GDP and that is what makes other people to want to come to Lagos and I can clearly and openly declare that Lagos right now is the safest city across Africa,” the Governor said.

While alluding to how former military barrack in Epe was closed, Governor Ambode described the commissioning of the FOB as historic and significant considering the fact that it was witnessed by traditional rulers and community leaders in the area, saying the development was a new dawn for community relationship with the Army in the axis.

Besides, the Governor lauded the General Officer Commanding in charge of 81 Division of the Nigerian Army, Major General Enobong Udoh for his steadfastness in promoting peace in the State, just as he reiterated commitment to continually support the Military and other security agencies in the State.

“I want to openly say I will support the second FOB that is coming up in Ikorodu and if there is any need for us to give further support for gunboat engines or infrastructure, you can count on us that we would support anything that will keep the lives and property of our people safe at all times.

“Our support for Operation Awatse is continual and we would support every other thing that is necessary and also beyond this, we would also support the welfare of all the security agencies that are operating in Lagos so that we can continue to have peace.

“What we are seeing is a new strategy to keep our outer spaces safer than ever before and we need the Military presence in Ikorodu, in Epe and all the outer spaces so that we can go away from the central protection and also make every other place in Lagos livable and also economically viable,” the Governor said.

Governor Ambode also commended the new initiative by the Nigerian Army to promote human security alongside national security, saying the State Government was solidly behind any initiative aimed at ensuring unity of the country.

Earlier in his remarks, Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai commended Governor Ambode for the support to security agencies and the massive infrastructural development across the length and breadth of the State, saying the initiatives of the Governor were laudable.

“We really want to thank you (Governor Ambode) for the transformation and development going on in Lagos State.

“We acknowledge the transformation in Lagos and we say thank you,” Buratai said.

He said the FOB was set up to enhance security in the axis, and as well help to facilitate other military formations that would soon be moved to the area.

Talented Youths Contributing To Excellence Of Lagos

Talented Youths Contributing To Excellence Of Lagos

…Marks Children’s Day With Special Evening Of Arts

 

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday evening acknowledged the efforts of exceptionally talented children and youths in contributing to the excellence which the State is known for, saying they deserved to be commended and celebrated.

 

Speaking at a Special Evening of Arts held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja to celebrate Children’s Day, Lagos at 51 and the third anniversary of his administration, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying that the frontline position of Lagos in the area of performing arts was now globally acknowledged, and attributed the recognition to the young ones who are doing the State proud with their talents.

 

Describing children in the State as the most cherished assets of his administration, the Governor said any nation desirous of realizing its full potential could not afford to toy with its youth, which according to him, was why deliberate policies were put in place to support them to use their talents for the benefit of the State.

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), interacting with Miss Sikemi Onanuga (left) as his wife, Bolanle (right), watches during a Special Evening of the Arts to commemorate Children’s Day at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Sunday, May 27, 2018.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode (middle), interacting with Miss Sikemi Onanuga (left) as his wife, Bolanle (right), watches during a Special Evening of the Arts to commemorate Children’s Day at Lagos House, Alausa, Ikeja, on Sunday, May 27, 2018.

“No nation achieves its full potential without the human capital that the children and youth represent. Our State as you know has the largest concentration of such beautiful, brilliant set of children and youths anywhere in the black world. Whether in education, in innovations, arts and literature or in sports, Lagos excels because of the exceptional talents of our young ones.

 

“This is why we have chosen to specially celebrate them this evening with one of the gifts that the world now acknowledges the frontline position of our State – performing arts. This of course is in line with our promise to make Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and the Arts together with Sports the centrepiece of our development agenda for the youths in our State,” Governor Ambode said.

 

He said it was satisfying that the critical stakeholders in the sector appreciated the efforts being made by his administration to nurture and grow the performing arts industry, just as he assured that no efforts would be spared to sustain the drive to place the State on a sound pedestal for growth and development via the sector.

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“In three years of renewed vigour and commitment to the finer things of life like the Arts and Culture, we are pleased with the fact that our critical stakeholders appreciate our modest intervention and are encouraged to do more.

 

“This evening we have chosen four of such stakeholders today not only for the beautiful performance they have treated us with; but to also specially honour them too for their contributions in uplifting the standard of performing arts in our State, especially as it concerns children and the youth,” he said.

 

The Governor specifically celebrated the parents and members of the youth groups which performed at the event – The Dream Catchers, Dance Na The Main Thing (DNMT), The Q Dance Company and Footprints of David, among others, just as he urged them to keep up the good work.

 

“These children mean so much to me and I love them all from the bottom of my heart. I am and I reiterate once again committed to the upliftment of the culture and the heritage of Lagos. I will do it with it with all my strength and I also promise that I will keep the performing arts growing by investing in the sector.

 

“Already, we are in the process of having a Lagos Museum and we will do everything to create the atmosphere that will allow these young ones to thrive and also become additional celebrities that we want them to be,” the Governor said.

 

Earlier, Governor Ambode performed the official kick-off of the finals of the Channels International Kids Cup football competition held at Campos Mini Stadium, where he rewarded the top four teams with N5million.

 

The winner, LGEA Central Primary School received N2million; Baptist Primary School which took second place was given N1.5million, while Emmanuel Anglican Primary School in third place received N1million.

 

X-planter Private School from Lagos in fourth position was also not left out as the Governor rewarded them with a sum of N500,000.

 

 

 

Remarks Delivered At An Evening Of  Arts

Remarks Delivered At An Evening Of Arts

Protocols

It is a special day for us in Lagos State today because it’s a triple celebration.

Exactly one year ago in this same space, our one-year long activities to celebrate Lagos@50 was brought to a befitting close with a special gala night. Today again, by His Grace, we are celebrating the 51st anniversary of our state. We are also giving gratitude to God for the 3rd anniversary of our administration which comes up in two days, on May 29th.

More importantly, perhaps, we are also celebrating one of our most cherished assets – our children. Today being the 27th of May is their day. And Lagos honours and celebrates them.

AX8W1604

No nation achieves its full potential without the human capital that the children and youth represent. Our State as you know has the largest concentration of such beautiful, brilliant set of children and youths anywhere in the black world.

Whether in education, in innovations, arts and literature or in sports, Lagos excels because of the exceptional talents of our young ones.

This is why we have chosen to specially celebrate them this evening with one of the gifts that the world now acknowledges the frontline position of our State – performing arts.

This of course is in line with our promise to make Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and the Arts together with Sports the centrepiece of our development agenda for the youths in our state.

In three years of renewed vigour and commitment to the finer things of life like the Arts and Culture, we are pleased with the fact that our critical stakeholders appreciate our modest intervention and are encouraged to do more.

This evening we have chosen four of such stakeholders today not only for the beautiful performance they have treated us with; but to also specially honour them too for their contributions in uplifting the standard of performing arts in our State, especially as it concerns children and the youth.

AX8W1721

It is therefore my pleasure to call out one by one for special recognition all the four groups that have performed today:

  1. The Dream Catchers
  2. Dance Na The Main Thing (DNMT)
  3. The Q Dance Company
  4. Footprints of David

You have entertained us today and demonstrated that our children and youth are not only talented but capable of great things. We urge you to keep up the good work and assure you of this government’s commitment to support you to reach greater heights.

We appreciate all lovers of the Arts in Lagos present here today. We assure you of our continued commitment to continue supporting the performing arts industry.

Thank you.

Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko Lo Jewa Logun