As Nigeria celebrates its 54th Independence anniversary, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, has advocated peaceful co-existence, cleanliness and rule of law as the most viable means of building a virile and prosperous nation.
In his goodwill message to Nigerians, Fashola maintained that it is only in the atmosphere of peaceful and harmonious co-existence that development and progress could be guaranteed adding that the most important string that binds the people together is their common humanity.
The Governor, who expressed gratitude to God for preserving the nation thus far in spite of the enormous challenges in the last few years, added that the nation, more than anything else, needed those values at this period in her history in order to consolidate the gains of her democracy.
“Peaceful and harmonious co-existence cannot be more relevant at any other time in our history than today when we need all hands on deck to build an enduring democracy; an egalitarian society where every citizen will have the opportunity to attain his or her potentials in life”, he said.
Describing law and order as the building blocks of socio-economic and political stability of any nation, Fashola said Nigeria is greatly challenged today by the attitude of its citizens to the rule of law pointing out that without adherence to the rule of law, the sustenance of her democracy could not be guaranteed.
“At 54, we must be able to re-examine our value system in order to set the nation on the right path to greatness. If things are not working as they should, probably it is time to re-order our priorities and go back to the basics”, the Governor said.
He congratulated the people of Lagos for their cooperation and adherence to the hygienic and sanitary conditions set out for observation during the period of the Ebola Virus Disease containment in the State adding that aside the commitment and dedication of the frontline medical workers at the isolation centre, the readiness by residents to heed expert advices helped the successful containment of the virus.
The Governor, however, enjoined the people to continue to embrace hygienic practices such as regular washing of hands and the maintenance of sanitation around their habitations and business places saying it is the only way to ensure healthy living and the absence of an epidemic.
Fashola, who also commended the people for leading from the front in peaceful and harmonious co-existence, said the State, as the hub of the nation’s economy, has demonstrated, in no small way, what it means to be in unity adding that this has aided the modest achievements his administration has made in the last seven and half years.
Enjoining them not to rest on their oars but gear up for the attainment of greater heights, the Governor declared, “As we celebrate this auspicious occasion, therefore, let us renew our faith in our nation and implore the Almighty God to restore to us those values that place high premium on the maintenance of law and order, love of neighbour and sharing even as we continue to aspire to the highest standards of personal hygiene and environmental sanitation”.