It is my pleasure to be here today with my dear wife, Bolanle, to celebrate with all family units in Lagos State the 2016 International Day of Families.
The family is the smallest and most important unit of society. We were all born into a family and our families have influenced and shaped our lives in many ways. Some of the most important moments of our lives have taken place within the family.
It is for this reason that the United Nations places a lot of emphasis on the family as a key factor in human relations thereby setting aside this day to celebrate the value of “family bond” across ethnic, religious, social and economic divides. The theme for this year’s celebration is – “Families, Healthy Lives and Sustainable Future”.
The future of the world depends on the children we raise today. A lot of the acts of terror and violence that have ruptured global peace and security can be traced to the absence of strong family ties. Most of the recorded incidents of domestic violence are as a result of dysfunctional family backgrounds. Our traditional family cohesion and bond has weakened due to daily life challenges of trying to make ends meet.
We must, as a matter of urgency, in spite of the demanding pace of life, pause and find time to re-connect with our families. Our families need us. Our children need us. The family always provides emotional support in times of need. We have family members in need of emotional, physical and moral support. The support and encouragement given to a family member today can prevent a violent act of terror or suicide tomorrow.
The Lagos State Government will continue to provide the necessary infrastructural and institutional supports for the family. One of the crucial infrastructure that the government has put in place to encourage family bonding is the establishment of Parks and Gardens in various strategic locations across the State.
I am happy to note that these facilities have become convergence points for families to recreate, not only during festive occasions but also on weekends. In addition, this administration has started the process of building new world class Leisure Parks.
As we celebrate the International Day of the family today, I urge you all to spend more time with your families, especially our children. A hug or smile goes a long way in building up the morale of family members. If we want to get the society right, we must get the family right.
We must start at the family to reintroduce the norms and values which we grew up with. Our families must reintroduce and imbibe the values of honesty, respect, morality, good neighbourliness, peace and love. We must work towards living in harmony with family members and ensuring safety of lives through healthy practices.
I thank you all for your attention and pray that our families will continue to blossom and be relevant to mankind.
Itesiwaju Ipinle Eko, lo je wa l’ogun!!!
Governor of Lagos State,
15th May, 2016.