Lagos State Government on Thursday rolled out activities to mark Nigeria’s 59th Independence anniversary, noting the state enjoyed religious stability despite crisis in other states.
This was disclosed by the State Commissioner of Home Affairs, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile Yussuf ,during a press briefing at the Baguada Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa, Ikeja.
“On Friday 27th September, 2019 His Excellency, the Deputy Governor, Dr. Kadri Obafemi Hamzat will lead the Executive Council Members and other Muslim Faithful in the State, to the Secretariat Mosque Alausa, for Jumat Service and Special Prayers for continuous peaceful co-existence of Lagos in particular and Nigeria in general.
“On Sunday 29th of September, 2019, His Excellency Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu is billed to lead the Executive Council Members and other dignitaries to the Chapel of Christ the Light, the Secretariat, Alausa, Ikeja, for a Church Service.
“On Tuesday 1st October 2019, the actual day of our Independence, we are expecting His Excellency, the Governor to take a salute during the parade by over 600 children drawn from various schools in the state and other Military and Para- Military groups at the Police College Parade Ground, Ikeja.
“The Grand Finale of this year’s celebrations will witness His Excellency the Governor declaring open an exhibition of Arts and Crafts depicting the chronicle of events surrounding Nigeria’s Independence to date, while the climax of this year’s celebration will be a fun fiesta at the Police College ground,” Yussuf declared.
She also disclosed that the event had commenced with a walk around Ikeja by youth “preceding this briefing, this walk is very instructive as we have commenced an inclusive governance in the state since the inception of Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-olu’s administration.”
The Commissioner noted, “while Religion, which is a source of instability in other states has remained our own source of strength and unity in Lagos, we make bold to say that, Lagos remains the only State in Nigeria that has truly upheld the vision of the founding fathers in Nigeria and those who indeed fought for our Independence as a Nation.
“The likes of Dr. Nnamdi Azikiwe, Obafemi Awolowo, Ahmadu Bello, Pa Enahoro and others will be happy in their graves seeing what Lagos Stands for and how we have held Nigeria together as a Nation. Today, there is no tribe or tongue that is not represented in Lagos.
“Lagos indeed has remained a home for all Nigerians irrespective of tribe or religion and this is the major reason why this Independence Day Celebration is very dear to us as a State and we will not spare any expense to roll out the drums come 1st October, 2019.
“Nigeria, as we are all aware, became an Independent Nation from the British Colonial Rule on the 1st October, 1960 and it was not a coincidence that our state, Lagos, became the capital of the Federation, before the Military administration moved it to Abuja on December 12, 1991.
“The choice of Lagos as the capital city was designed by God and it has been a blessing despite all odds. Going by every standard in terms of population and size, Lagos remains the smallest in size and largest in population with over 20 million inhabitants but despite this seemingly uneven feature, the state was chosen to serve as the administrative Headquarters of Nigeria.
“Up until this moment, Lagos remains the most populous, cosmopolitan, industrialized, detribalized, economically viable, largest economy, most peaceful and secured state in the Country.
“The peaceful and secured nature of the State is what my Ministry has ensured over the years through the peaceful co-existence of the two major religions in Nigeria – Christianity and Islam, while ensuring that other religious beliefs are not left out in the scheme of things in the State.
“The Ministry of Home Affairs, through the Nigeria Inter Religious Council, (NIREC) has ensured that matters of religious issues that could easily degenerate to acrimony are nipped in the bud on a regular basis, through consultations, consolidation and dialogue.
“We solicit your support not only in the area of coverage but also in the area of educating and informing our people of these activities and programmes .While hoping that your reports from now will focus on issues that bind us together as a Nation rather than those that divide or disintegrate us as a Nation.
“We will welcome your constructive criticisms of our activities as we work together to find lasting solutions to issues that may crop up from time to time, we are all partners in progress.
“My Ministry is passionately committed to bridging the gap between the Government and the people.
“In view of this, we are calling on the residents of our great state to join hands with Government in advancing the fortunes of our dear state for the benefit of all.
“I wish to encourage all Lagosians to express and show some love to one another. As we celebrate, go out of your way to do something special to make someone feel that the Independence Day is special and worth celebrating,” the Commissioner said.
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