Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and his Ogun State counterpart, Senator Ibikunle Amosun on Thursday led other eminent Nigerians to celebrate the first African to qualify as a chartered accountant, Chief Akintola Williams who clocked 99, describing him as a true Nigerian who worked assiduously to lift up the country.
Speaking to reporters at a special birthday reception held in honour of Williams at his Lagos residence, Governor Ambode described the celebrant as the doyen of accountancy profession and elder statesman who deserved to be celebrated for his contribution to the growth and development of the country.
According to the Governor, “The main reason why we are here is to celebrate a true Nigerian and for somebody who has actually contributed to the development of Nigeria and he is still alive at 99, is worth celebrating and this is like a prelude to the centenary that we are waiting to celebrate next year, and that is why you can see that Ogun State Governor is here too.
“Apart from the fact that Chief Akintola Williams is the Doyen of the Accountancy Profession, we see him as a founding father of the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Nigeria (ICAN); he is also the founding father of the Musical Society of Nigeria. So, he has too many parts and this is one Nigerian that we are proud of and we are willing to celebrate him every day,” Governor Ambode said.
He particularly commended Williams for his role in the development of Lagos, saying the State Government would continue to celebrate true Nigerians like him.
“That I am here today is more or less to say a big thank you to him for lifting up Lagos; for lifting up Nigeria and we also wish him well on behalf of all Lagosians. We will continue to celebrate true Nigerians and he (Chief Williams) is just one true Nigerian, an elder statesman that we should all be proud of,” Governor Ambode said.
Responding, Williams appreciated all those who found time to be with him on his special day, and wished them long life as well.
Aside Governors Ambode and Amosun, other eminent Nigerians at the event include former Military Head of State, General Yakubu Gowon (rtd); first Military Governor of Lagos State, Brigadier-General Mobolaji Johnson (rtd); Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu; foremost banker and founder of First City Monument Bank (FCMB), Otunba Subomi Balogun; legal luminary and philanthropist, Chief Chris Ogunbanjo; former ICAN Presidents, among other captains of industries and members of the diplomatic corps.
…Says Nigeria Stands To Benefit From Lagos Model Of Fighting Crime
…Delivers Lecture At Institute For Security Studies In Abuja
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Tuesday said the fight against crime and all forms of criminality in Nigeria can only be better enhanced if concerted efforts are geared toward embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies.
The Governor also said in view of the critical national security issues confronting the country at the point in time, paramount importance must now be attached to strong intelligence gathering even over and above the provision of physical security apparatuses, to rescue Nigeria from the myriad of security challenges.
Governor Ambode, who said this while addressing participants of the Executive Intelligence Management Course II of the Institute for Security Studies, Abuja, noted that the security issues the country was grappling with such as international terrorism and insecure borders, local terrorism including lone wolf terrorists, proliferation of small arms into big cities, cyber warfare, drug trafficking, human trafficking and the regular misdemeanors among and other petty crimes, all pointed to the need for strong intelligence gathering framework to be put in place to nip potential crime in the bud.
According to him, if policy makers such as the participants at the course who were drawn from 21 security and government agencies could not understand such security issues from the point of first-rate intelligence, then it would difficult for effective policies to be made and implemented to combat them.
“In the pursuit of the primus inter pares of all governance challenges, we have identified that the gathering and utilisation of intelligence is of paramount importance, even ahead of the provision of physical security apparatuses.
“As is well known, I am a huge proponent of community policing. Indeed, I strongly believe that the fight against crime and all forms of criminality would be better enhanced if efforts are geared towards embracing community policing to complement the police and other law enforcement agencies,” the Governor said, adding that it was for such reason that his administration established the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corp Agency (LNSC) to enhance intelligence gathering in the communities.
The Governor, who specifically spoke on the theme: “Cultural Values, National Security and Challenges of Contemporary Governance: Perspective from Lagos State Experience,” said being the melting pot of diverse cultures, as well as major economic hub as the fifth largest economy in Africa with a Gross Domestic Product (GDP) of $131billion, Lagos had been able to appropriate its cultural values, especially the multi-ethnic and cosmopolitan nature, to confront its security and governance challenges, adding that the country stand to gain from the model which the State had adopted in fighting crime and administering governance.
Recalling security challenges faced by his administration at the initial stage especially kidnapping, the Governor said in fighting the menace, the government garnered the support of the security agencies to set up military bases and security operations that resulted in the rescue of kidnap victims and arrest of kidnap kingpins, while further steps were taken on intelligence gathering, community partnership and huge investment in security, such that today, the State was now one of the safest cities in Africa.
Besides, the Governor listed core cultural values which are essential to ensure security and development to include truth, justice, hard work and character, which according to him, have been effectively deployed in Lagos State in the creation of agencies such as LNSC, the Security Trust Fund under the Public-private partnership model to enhance transparency, among others.
“In Lagos State, we are resolved to continue to review and revise our policies with the aim of maintaining, at every point in time, a sustainable security framework that will stand the test of time and enable every stakeholder in Lagos to participate. So far, we have been encouraged by the massive contributions of many corporate organizations to the Security Trust Fund and by the participation of our communities in the work of the Lagos Neighbourhood Safety Corps,” he said.
He said though a lot had been achieved, but that the State Government was nonetheless not oblivious of the fact that more needed to be done, assuring that his administration would continue to prioritise the security of the people.
Going forward with regards to preserving the culture of the people with focus on security, the Governor said from the home front, parents should now attach importance to their culture, saying the State Government had already led the way in placing paramount importance on the continuous learning of indigenous languages.
According to him, “Many parents are not training their kids to know and understand the realities of life and cultural values. Parents should go back to the teaching and promotion of our core cultural values. The abandonment of these cultural values has led many children to take to drugs and bad vices with the attendant challenges to national security.
“Beyond the efforts to sustain and, as the case may be, to resuscitate cultural values as a veritable means for ensuring cohesiveness in the society and promoting security, I also advocate a collective vigilance mentality whereby all stakeholders in security management have properly defined roles and relationships to stay ahead of all forms of violent crimes such as terrorism, cyber and transnational organised crimes while utilizing processed intelligence made possible as a result of our cultural values,” Governor Ambode said.
In his opening remarks, Director of the Institute, Matthew Seiyfa commended Governor Ambode for the various projects and initiatives implemented to make life better for the people, saying the projects have also contributed immensely to enhance security.
He also commended the initiative of the Security Trust Fund, saying the fact that many States have now copied it from Lagos attests to its vitality and effectiveness in security management.
“Since 2015 when Governor Ambode took hold on the reigns of office as the Executive Governor, he has not only continued but revitalized this visionary path. He (The Governor) has sought to consolidate and deepen the status of Lagos as a mega city and a hub for regional transportation, tourism, entertainment, finance, industry, among others.
“The Governor’s projects have not only been world class in standard and quality but also inclusive,” Seiyfa said.
Wife of the governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has urged Lagosians and Nigerians in general, to be more concerned with preventing rather than curing malaria infection.
She gave the charge in Oregun, HOFOWEM office, when her pet project, Hope for Women in Nigeria Initiative HOFOWEM, distributed over 3000 insecticide-treated nets, at Makoko community, Yaba LCDA, as part of activities to mark 2018 World Malaria Day.
Mrs. Ambode described as unacceptable, a situation where a child dies every two minutes from malaria around the world, and an alarming global average of 400,000 deaths annually, according to WHO accounts.
She submitted that efforts should be geared towards a robust prevention of the scourge, with wide-spread use of nets, in-door spraying with insecticide and preventive treatment of expectant mothers.
According to her, ‘We cannot fold our arms and allow malaria to continue to ravage our society. This epidemic has claimed too many lives, whether in our country, Africa or the world in general. Thank God it is not a disease without prevention or cure, and since it has both, the easier way out is to prevent it’.
‘The World Health Organization tells us that more than 400,000 malaria deaths still occur annually, and at least one child dies of the infection every two minutes around the world, this is bad enough. It cannot go on this way, we need to scale down the ugly trend, by doing more to prevent rather than chase after cure.’
She noted further that the theme for this year, ‘End Malaria for Good’ was attainable, if governments, NGOs, stakeholders and individuals, worked together to combat the epidemic.
She specifically appealed for more investment in malaria prevention, as well as greater funding for malaria control in endemic countries, stressing that this would aid the attainment of WHO’s Global Technical Strategy for Malaria projection of 40 per cent reduction in cases and deaths by 2020.
Speaking further, she said, ”HOFOWEM as foundation, is concerned about the welfare and health of the family. The family cannot be productive if it is plagued with one of the fastest killers in medical history. This is why we are advocating for the use of treated insecticide nets, proper disposal of waste and a clean environment generally.”
The governor’s wife expressed happiness at the gradual improvement in public awareness on malaria issue as indicated by people’s warm acceptance of the nets, noting however, that public education and enlightenment must go on and the programme extended to other communities in the state.
Addressing the community members, the chairman of Yaba Local Council Development Area, Hon. Kayode Omiyale, thanked the founder of HOFOWEM foundation, for celebrating 2018 world malaria day with the community and counseled Makoko residents to ensure the insecticide distributed is used for the purpose for which it was given.
He appealed that their environment should be kept clean at all times to avoid breeding mosquitoes, and that personal and community hygiene should be taken as a priority.
Also speaking, the chief executive officer of HOFOWEM, Mrs. Olayinka Oyefunke, thanked the founder for approving the purchase and mass distribution of the nets, stressing that it was in line with HOFOWEM’s philosophy of touching people’s lives.
Speaking on behalf of the beneficiaries, Alhaji Ibraheem Aladetan, the bale of Ilaje-Makoko community thanked the founder of HOFOWEM for her care, promising on behalf of others, that their homes and immediate surroundings would always be kept clean, since mosquitoes breed more in a filthy environment, and that the insecticide net would be used for the purpose for which it was given.
April 25th every year is World Malaria Day, set aside since 2007 to recognize global efforts at controlling malaria, provide education on the scourge and spread information on control strategies in endemic areas across the world.