Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Bolanle Ambode, has called for love and peaceful co-existence among the citizenry, during and after the Ramadan.
She made the call during the evening prayer and fast-breaking (Iftar) by Muslim faithful, at Lagos House, Ikeja.
Mrs. Ambode said that the Ramadan period represented love, forgiveness, peaceful co-existence and the need to extend a helping hand to the less privileged in the society.
The Governor’s wife said that Nigeria needed love and peaceful co-existence to strengthen and surmount all challenges confronting her as a nation.
According to her, “For any country to thrive, she needs love and peaceful co-existence to strengthen the social bond, and overcome any challenge confronting it as a nation. It is only when we allow love to grow in our hearts irrespective of religion, language and tribe barrier that we can collectively as a nation surmount any challenge confronting us”.
Speaking further, she said that fasting during this period of Ramadan should not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing.
She said, “Fasting during this Ramadan period does not just consist of refraining from eating and drinking, but from every kind of selfish desire and wrong-doing. The fast is not merely of the body, but essentially that of the spirit as well”.
The Governor’s wife urged the gathering to develop and strengthen the powers of self control, attain nearness and closeness to God, so as to intensify the consciousness of God in our hearts, resulting in a higher spiritual experience and to continue to give to the less privileged, not at Ramadan alone but at all times.
Mrs. Ambode thanked them for the prayer offered for the state, the first family, cabinet members and the nation at large, just as she urged them to continue to intercede with their prayers and prayed that they would all live to witness many more Ramadan on earth.
Gifts were also distributed to the gathering in the spirit of the season.
…As Ashimolowo Challenges State To Break New Grounds
Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday attributed the peace and stability in the State to the harmonious relationship and peaceful co-existence among diverse ethnic and religious groups in the State.
Speaking at a special thanksgiving service held at Lagos House in Ikeja to mark the Golden Jubilee anniversary of the State as well as the second-year anniversary of his administration, Governor said the State has also been blessed with visionary leaders who he said have worked hard to chart the path for growth and development of the State from inception.
The Governor said it was on record that over the years, the State has grown in leaps and bounds and had become home to all citizens of the world, and most importantly, a place where hope comes alive and dreams are actualized, attributing the development to the tireless efforts of the people and the mercies of God.
“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,” Governor Ambode said.
The Governor added that as the State continue the journey of another fifty years, his prayer was that God would not forsake the State and would 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.
Besides, Governor Ambode thanked all Lagosians and the Lagos@50 Celebration Committee for their contributions to the success of the year-long celebration of creation of the State.
In his sermon at the service, Senior Pastor of Kingsway International Christian Centre (KICC), Matthew Ashimolowo said for the State to occupy its pride of place and accelerate development in the coming years, leadership of the State must work hard and aim high.
Speaking on the theme: “Pressing Unto Greater Heights, Ashimolowo said for the State to move forward and attain excellence in all ramifications, achievements of the past must be put behind, while greater efforts are made to focus on breaking new grounds.
He commended Governor Ambode for his giant strides in all sectors and sections especially the Light Up Lagos Initiative, construction of roads and bridges with particular reference to those of Abule Egba and Ajah, saying that the infrastructures have greatly reduced travel time.
Moving forward, the clergyman who picked his text from Philippians 3: 14, said efforts must be geared towards forging ahead especially in doing things that others thought would not be possible and finishing strong.
Among notable men of God who graced the service are the National Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Joseph Obayemi; wife of the General Overseer of the Church Worldwide, Pastor Folu Adeboye, Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Southwest, Rev. Magnus Adeyemi Atilade; Lagos State Chairman of CAN, Apostle Alex Bamgbola; Baba Aladura, Pastor Akin Adewo; the Very Rev. Ayo Olu Oyadotun, among others.
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Monday emphasized the need for Nigerians to embrace selfless service to humanity, saying that such remained the essence of existence to positively impact others.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of 33rd Synod of Diocese of Lagos, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) with the theme: “Serving”, Governor Ambode also charged political and religious leaders to continually tow the path of service to humanity, just as he said that politics in the real sense of it should only be about selfless service to the people
Governor Ambode, in his keynote address, described the Synod and the theme as apt and historic having coincided with the celebration of 50 years of existence of the State, which according to him, was all about celebrating those that have served and still serving the State.
According to him, “Serving be it in government, churches, mosques or wherever, is like a clarion call from God and for me, I believe that there is no way I can just give back to humanity for the greater blessings that God has endowed me than just serving and serving selflessly without any inkling of wanting to get a return back from anybody and that is what has actually propelled us to serve the people.
“We believe strongly that our calling on earth is to continually serve which is the whole essence of why we have also decided to dedicate ourselves to say that the only way we can give back to God is to serve humanity and that is what we have always been doing.
“For us that are government officials or politicians, what is it that really makes a difference? The difference is that when you are getting a feedback from people that you have made their lives easier. That is it. People don’t want any other thing from us but to make their lives easier; to make them for instance move from one point to the other easily; allow them to send their children to school and then generally make them comfortable.
“Those little things are the things that really matter to our people, and that is why we are more committed to say that on a godly template, this is a calling that we need to serve not necessarily whether we are praised or not,” he said.
While acknowledging the fact that Christians usually like to stay away from politics, the Governor said on the contrary, politics must be viewed from the point of service to the people and service without expecting any reward from people but from God.
“I want to encourage everybody to stand on that point of selflessness which is the need to do something without actually asking for a reward. If reward comes, it is just part of the package but not the package. We have been blessed, we have been enriched by God and the only thing is that wherever we find ourselves to touch other people positively, we should always want to do it. It should be service before gratification because the real blessing is the blessing of God which is beyond any other thing,” Governor Ambode said.
In his address, Diocesan Bishop of Lagos and Dean Emeritus, Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Most Rev. Ephraim Ademowo commended Governor Ambode for his absolute devotion to duty and passion for the growth of the State, which according to him, had resulted in the massive developmental projects across the State.
Ademowo, who said the church would pray and support the Governor to win election again for the second term in office, said Governor Ambode as a trail blazer and innovative leader had transformed the State and taken it to an enviable height.
He said: “We have been watching with keen interest and studying the progressive administration of our Governor. As a trail blazer and innovative leader, he (Ambode) has taken our State to a greater height. Lagos State has become a reference point for other States.
“We are also proud to be identified with your laudable achievements in making Lagos a great financial hub and a reference point for other states in the country. Let me say equivocally that your predecessors did eight years in office, and I say without any doubt that you will also use eight years.
“We want to thank you for your absolute devotion to duty and life of practical humility, doggedness and total commitment to the growth and progress of Lagos State, as well as your constant efforts at making Lagos second to none and a reference point for all other States,” Ademowo said
As Christians in the country join their counterparts across the world to celebrate Easter, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode has called on Nigerians to collectively imbibe the spirit of love, sacrifice and peaceful co-existence, saying that it is only when such virtues exist that the nation can make meaningful progress.
Governor Ambode, in his Easter message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Habib Aruna, said such fundamental values would go a long way in promoting and strengthening the foundation of love, peace and harmony in the country, adding that the season should serve as a reminder to all of the selflessness, love, sacrifice and tolerance of Jesus Christ throughout His earthly sojourn, his death and his resurrection.
Noting that this season calls to mind the selflessness, love and tolerance which were the hallmark of Jesus Christ during His earthly life, Governor Ambode said, “It is a season when we should pause and reflect on our individual and collective roles towards promoting and sustaining that foundation of love, peace and harmony in our society”.
“Therefore, we must see this period as a time that affords us to think about how we can each help to steer our nation back on the road to prosperity, by working in the spirit of togetherness.”
He said there was no better time for the country to unite together and eschew resentment along ethnic and religious lines, adding that no challenge is insurmountable where there is unity of purpose.
“No doubt, Nigeria will surely make faster progress towards the achievement of the peaceful, united, strong, progressive and prosperous country that we all desire if, as a nation, we eschew all divisive, parochial, ethnic and religious sentiments and rivalries, and begin to live more harmoniously with one another, as Jesus Christ enjoined us to.
Governor Ambode commended Lagosians for their continued demonstration and promotion of mutual understanding and peaceful co-existence in spite of existing ethnic, cultural and religious diversities, attributing the successes recorded in the State’s 50 years existence to unity of purpose among residents.
“Today, we can tell the world the enthralling story of how our beloved City-State has become a shining example of what peaceful co-existence can help to achieve. Lagos is home for all, Lagos is a land of opportunities, Lagos gives life to dreams and Lagos does not discriminate. Every Nigerian has a root in Lagos and in another 50 years we hope we would have left a legacy for our children to build upon.
While wishing all Lagosians a happy Easter celebration, Governor Ambode enjoined them to continue to work with his administration “by obeying the law, fulfilling your obligations as citizens and stakeholders, and remaining vigilant, to ensure that our State remains a model of peaceful and harmonious co-existence in our dear country, Nigeria”.