Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode and the United Nations Secretary-General, Ban ki-Moon today called for tolerance among different ethnic groups in Nigeria.
They expressed concern over the growing conflicts, violence and human rights violations across the world and blamed the global insecurity on lack of tolerance among people.
They spoke at The Tolerance Walk which was organised by the United Nations, in collaboration with the Lagos State Government, National Orientation Agency and Community Agenda for Peace held in Ajegunle area of Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Monday.
Speaking at the event in commemoration of the World Tolerance Day, Ambode appealed to Lagosians to work together irrespective of their religious and ethnic differences for a sustained and continued development in the state.
“We are collaborating with the United Nations International Day of Tolerance. There should be unity within the country, wether you are Yoruba, Hausa or Igbo and other parts of the country. When there is unity in the country, there will be progress,” he said.
Ambode, who represented by the Director of Citizen’s Mediation Centre, Mrs Oluwatoyin Odunsanya, said the government on its part is making sure that every resident in the state had access to justice.
He advised residents, particularly the tenants to exercise their rights by reporting landlords who demanded for more than a year rent fee from them.
To ensure peaceful coexistence among the residents, the Governor said the state Citizen’s Mediation Centre has so far treated over 17,000 cases of matrimonial issues, landlords and tenants dispute as well as employers and employees cases in the last one year.
“Tenancy Law is effective, what people need to do is to exercise their rights. If they keep quite when their rights are being infringed upon, there is no way the state government can know. They should come to the Mediation Centre, we will call the landlords for interrogation if necessary. People should speak out, and not contravene the law by allowing illegality to persist which is punishable under the law,” he said.
Speaking, Ki-Moon, who was represented by the Director of the United Nations Information Centre, Ronald Kayanja said the significance of the day was to promote understanding among people.
“We know in the world today, bad and evil things are happening because of intolerance and if we can promote tolerance among people, we shall have more peace. This means one must respect another peoples’ views, culture and ways of life.
“The government must also ensure that people have equitable development. Everybody should feel that they are part of the group and are together,” he stated.