Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Sunday urged Nigerians not to lose hope in the ability of the country to emerge among the world’s greatest nations, but rather team up with government to bring about positive changes that would ensure progress and development.
Speaking at a special thanksgiving service organized by the State Government to commemorate Nigeria’s 59th Independence Day Celebration held at Chapel of Christ The Light, Alausa, Ikeja, Governor Sanwo-Olu said there was a strong need for Nigerians to cohabit in love and be extremely tolerant of others to pave the way for the peace of God to reign which in turn would ensure transformation of the country.
The Governor, who was represented by his wife, Dr. (Mrs.) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu, said despite the numerous challenges confronting Nigeria, there was still hope, expressing optimism that there would soon be a time when people from all over the world will be thronging the country to see and appreciate God’s greatness.
“Despite our challenges, we still have hope that in our lifetime, people will be rushing to Nigeria like Dubai and America.
“The truth is that there is hope for Nigeria and this reminds me of Martin Luther King Jr. who had a dream for America. For Nigeria, it is possible as well and it is going to happen in our lifetime,” the Governor said.
He added that it was important for the people to be reminded of the powerful desire for peace, unity and the need to sustain and deepen democracy.
He also said Nigeria had so much to be thankful and grateful for irrespective of the differences, adding that the country was already on the right path to greatness.
According to him, “As we celebrate the 59th Anniversary of our independence, we know we are on the right path. Although we have our differences, they count far less than the values, virtues and common aspirations that unite us as a nation. We have so much we should be grateful for, and in which we should rightly take pride.
“My message to Lagosians and Nigerians is captured in the book of Galatians chapter 5, verse 13 which says ‘Brethren, ye have been called unto liberty; only use not liberty for an occasion of flesh, but by love serve one another’, I implore everyone to cohabit in love, be tolerant to your neighbors and let the peace of God rule in our state and nation.”
The Governor assured Lagosians that his administration was on course and fully charged to deliver on all the promises made to the people aimed at making the state greater, and one which works for all in which there would be equal opportunity for every resident to pursue legitimate aspirations.
Besides, Governor Sanwo-Olu eulogized the labour and sacrifice of Nigeria’s heroes past to free the country from colonial rule, adding: “More than ever before, we owe it a duty to the younger generation to come together as brothers and sisters, to collectively develop lasting solution to our challenges, so that the labour and sacrifice of our founding fathers will not be in vain.
“As we journey towards the 60 years of independence celebration next year, I enjoin all Lagosians to keep working and praying for the continued unity and peace of Nigeria and the development of Lagos State in particular,” the Governor said.
In his sermon, Pastor John Ekundayo of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) Hossanah Parish, Lagos Province 27, said Nigeria was in dire need of followers who would rise up and challenge the old order.
Speaking on the theme: “Restorer Of City To Dwell,” Ekundayo who took his text from Isaiah 58: 2 and Joel 2: 25 to 27, urged the people not to be discouraged but have hope for a better Nigeria, just as he prayed that God would raise restorers who would in turn transform the country.
The service was attended by dignitaries from all walks of life including senior Lagos State Government officials, members of the Nigerian Armed Forces, Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), traditional chiefs, community leaders, politicians, among others.
Prayers were also offered for the peace, progress and transformation of Nigeria, while there were various musical performances by the Lagos State Orchestra Group and Chapel of Christ The Light Choir, among others.