Thursday, May 25, 2017 7:33 am
Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos state on Wednesday attributed the development and progress of the State to its ability to accommodate people of different cultures, tribes and religion.
Ambode spoke at the Lagos History Lecture entitled “Lagos: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow,” as part of activities to mark the 50th anniversary of the State.
He said that the state was being rated as the fifth largest economy in Africa because the people of the state had distinguished themselves in making others feel home away from home.
“This lecture is an opportunity to have an introspection into the past, engage in an objective appraisal of the present, and a realistic prognosis of the future of another fifty years.
“We have assembled knowledgeable royal fathers, elder statesmen, jurists of distinction and Lagos indigenes of repute to trace the history of the state and proffer insights as to the areas to concentrate on for the future.
“It is important for us to refresh our memory about the beginning; the journey of how the Aworis played an important role in the evolution of what we call Lagos today.
“The same applies to the evolution of the Eko Royalty with the coming of the Bini from present day Edo State and even the momentous role played by the Tappa in the making of our dear State.
“Our greatness, progress and development is in our ability to be the melting pot for all cultures, and as at today, there is no tribe in Nigeria that is not represented in Lagos.
“From the Hausa/Fulani to the Igbo to the Kanuri to the Ibibio, the Nupe, the Berom, the Igala and others. All have spaces to live and live well in our dear State.
“Lagos is not just national in outlook, it is international. The Americans, the British, South Africans are in their thousands; the Chinese are not in short supply; the Indians even have a community in Lagos,” Ambode said.
In his keynote lecture, Prof. Hakeem Danmole urged the state government to fully utilise its God’s given environment, especially in area of water transportation, to drive more development.
Danmole, who is the Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, also called on the Federal Government to assist the state in its development plan.
Also speaking, the first Town Clerk of the Lagos City Council, Sen. Habib Fasinro, expressed displeasure over the claim by some school of thought that ‘Lagos is no Man’s Land’.
He said such claim was not only misleading but abused the history of the indigenous people of Lagos such as the Aworis, Egbas, Binis, Ijeshas, Nupes, Brazilian returnees, among others.
A former Federal Commissioner of Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu, said the creation of more states after Gen. Yakubu Gowon’s administration further created problems than solve the challenges facing the country.
According to Okunnu, if the country had held on to the 12 states structure, the ongoing demand for restructuring by some Nigerians would not have been necessary.
”Successive military administration after Gowon damaged the country built by our founding fathers with the creation of additional states.
”I wish that we have held on to the 12 states structure initially created by the Gowon administration because the creation of additional states brought ethnicity and religious differences that has become a huge problem for the country today, ” he said.
On his part, the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, urged the National Assembly to reconsider the motion to grant special status to Lagos, saying doing so would be in the best interest of Nigeria.