Governor Babatunde Fashola of Nigeria’s Lagos State has called on Lagosians to be extremely vigilant this year in order to nip in the bud any form of upheaval in the state.
The governor also urged Lagosians to shun every form of sentiment and live in harmony as brothers and sisters.
Fashola spoke at the 2013 annual thanksgiving service held at the State House, Ikeja, Lagos, Nigeria on Sunday.
The governor said there was the need to be vigilant in order to prevent avoidable loss of life, adding that the nation would be better for it if Nigerians de-emphasise divisive sentiments such as ethnic and religious sentiments. The governor stated that Lagosians should be more careful both at home and in their business premises, saying that “you have probably heard of multipurpose halls but we are gradually making multipurpose homes.”
He pointed out that when people convert their homes into multipurpose buildings, they attract avoidable accidents.
“What binds us together as a people are more than what divides us. Let us emphasise on those things that bind us together as a people and play down on such divisive sentiments as ethnic and religious sentiments,” he stated.
He said 2012 was an eventful year, recalling the Dana plane crash that claimed 153 lives and the series of bloodshed in some parts of the nation.
Fashola commended Lagosians for the collective will with which they rallied round to render assistance during the rescue operation and in giving support to the relatives of victims of the disaster.
“The sheer number of volunteers, hospital staff, donors and relief workers who went above and beyond the call of duty to bring succour, safety and comfort to families and dependents of the deceased made me especially proud to be a Lagosian.
“So, we have shown over the last year that whenever there has been a major incident, we have the collective wherewithal and capacity to rise to the occasion,” he stated.
In his sermon, the General Overseer, Redeemed Christian Church of God, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, urged Nigerians to embrace new ways of life if they wanted to get God’s blessings this year, assuring that 2013 would be a better year than the previous.
According to him, he had discovered that the world is a university and like all wise men, he would learn every day, saying that he had made seven New Year resolutions that could be of benefits to others.
“My number one resolution is that I have decided to worship God in 2013 like never before. I will open my mouth to tell God exactly how things are with me,” he said, while advising Nigerians to humble themselves more than ever before and not be afraid to ask anybody for help as long as he could solve the problem. He appealed to Nigerians to give to God cheerfully and depend less on men, adding that “We must work closely with God and also not do anything that will annoy him.”
The Prayer for the cessation of all manner of violent crimes in Lagos State and Nigeria was led by Pastor Samuel, a representative of the General Overseer of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles, Pastor (Dr.) Daniel Olukoya, while Pastor Sam Adeyemi of Daystar Christian Centre led the prayer for children and Youth of Nigeria.
Pastor Ikechukwu Ugbaja, representing the General Overseer of the Foursquare Gospel Church, Rev. Felix Meduoye, led the prayer for the economic prosperity of Lagos State and Nigeria.
Also present at the occasion were members of the State Executive Council, including the Commissioner for Budget and Economic Planning, Mr. Ben Akabueze, wife of the General Overseer of RCCG, Pastor (Mrs.) Folu Adeboye, first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande and his wife; former chairman Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government, Prince Rabiu Oluwa, Senator Muniru Muse, Mr. Ayo Opadokun, religious and traditional rulers, members of the choir of different church organisations, dignitaries from all walks of life and top government functionaries.