By Moshood Adebayo
Lagos Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has described the state as a rallying and melting pot for Nigerians.
Ambode also said people of the state, over the years, have distinguished themselves in making others feel at home away from home.
The governor said this during a lecture as part of activities marking Lagos at 50, at Eko Hotels and Suites with the theme: “Lagos: Yesterday, Today and Tomorrow.”
Ambode recalled that since inception, Lagos has effectively transited from an administrative entity to becoming a melting point of cultures and the socio-political and economic jurisdiction of global significance, rated today, as the fifth largest economy in Africa.
“It is important for us, at this epochal gathering, to refresh our memory about the beginning; the journey of how the Awori played important role in the evolution of what we call Lagos today.
“The same applies to the evolution of Eko royalty, with the coming of the Bini, from present day Edo State, and even the momentous role played by the Tapa, in the making of our dear state.
“Our greatness 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 so on and so forth all have spaces to live and live well in our dear State. Lagos is not just national in outlook. It is international. The Americans are here; the British are here; South Africans are in their thousands; the Chinese are not in short supply; and the Indians even have a community in Lagos. With all sense of modesty, there is no other state like Lagos in Nigeria. Some may say we owe this to the fact that Lagos used to be a Federal Capital Territory. But, I really do not think so.
First town clerk of Lagos City Council, Senator Habib Fasinro and former minister of Works, Alhaji Femi Okunnu said those behind such claim were ignorant.
They said such claim was not only misleading but confrontational, as same abused the history of the indiginous people of Lagos such as the Aworis, Egbas, Binis, Ijeshas, Nupes, Brazilian returnees, among others.
Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu corroborated Fasinro. and Okunnu’s position.
and urged the National Assembly to reconsider the motion to grant special status to Lagos, saying doing so would be in best interest of Nigeria.
In his keynote lecture, Professor Hakeem Danmole traced the history of Lagos since the inception, saying that it was commendable that the legacy of achievements has been sustained in the State.
Going foward, Danmole, who is the Dean, College of Humanities and Social Sciences, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, said the State must strictly adhere to rules and regulations, adding that for Lagos to reach greater heights, developmental plan must be followed.
While calling on the Federal Government to collaborate with the State Government to fast-track development in Lagos, Danmole urged the State Government to fullyutilize its God’s given environment especially in area of water transportation.