INAUGURAL ADDRESS BY H.E. BABAJIDE SANWO-OLU, GOVERNOR OF LAGOS STATE ON WEDNESDAY 29TH MAY 29, 2019
“AWAKENING A GREATER LAGOS”
1. By the grace of Almighty God and Your votes, I stand before you today as your Governor. (Pause)
This day marks the beginning of a new chapter in our journey to greatness. Today, I ask you to join me on this journey to awaken a Greater Lagos.
When we speak of a Greater Lagos, we speak not empty words. It is a deep and profound assertion we mean.
2. We intend to make history by making for ourselves and our children a better future.
Therefore, on this day, on this precious land we call our home, let us stand together in the very face of history.
Let us vow to ourselves, and to posterity that we shall not just dream of a Greater Lagos. Let us agree this day that we shall collectively rise up to build the Lagos of our dreams.
We need not be discouraged by the challenges that may be apparent. Today is an opportunity for us to forge ahead in our quest for a Greater Lagos.
It is possible!
No one should ever underestimate the spirit of Lagos and the resilience of its people. Yes, hard problems may confront us, but we will also confront them. Every problem will lose its potency to our unity.
Therefore, Lagosians, in this new chapter of our lives, we need not cry or fret. We are united by our common purpose of a Greater Lagos and fulfilling future.
Posterity has given us this day to commence our journey to greatness. We need to envision the glorious end of working together, tirelessly and committedly, towards achieving a Lagos of our dreams. By our individual and collective efforts and the Grace of God, these dreams will become a reality.
In Lagos State, our story has been of successes and achievements. Since 1999, our tradition of progressive governance has set Lagos apart and strengthened people’s belief in our ideology.
And that is the very reason I stand before you on this historic day as your Governor. While we celebrate the victory of progressive governance and democracy, tomorrow we must be ready to stand on guard and be fully vigilant.
Democracy and progressive governance hold only to the extent that we protect and nurture them. While Lagos glimmers as a beacon of progressive and quality governance, our nation now undergoes a historic battle to establish progressive and just governance.
Lagos must again rise and help lead this nation to fuller progress and to a closer realization of the greatness that exists within all Nigerians.
This inauguration symbolizes such an awakening.
Today, I stand before you as your governor, but also as your friend, brother; neighbor and your servant. I stand here to ask that you join me to script and fashion this greater Lagos with the creativity of our minds.
Let the ingenuity of our hands, the sweat of our labor and the compassion that resides in our hearts be committed to this common goal.
We are but human beings. Our time on this earth is finite, and shall one day pass. At some point, we shall all enter the book of history. This is inevitable.
But we can choose how we walk into history. Shall we do so as masters of our fate, or as slaves to things that seek to suppress us?
When the history of our moment is written, let it not be told in tears of defeat, rather let it resound with the anthem of collective victory.
Let our time be proclaimed in golden celebration of a state, and of a people who stood in unity of purpose to make their home a Greater one.
In this, we simply adhere to the tradition of enlightened government set by those who came before us. We owe a large debt of gratitude to Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and to Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN.
Asiwaju led the team that created the blueprint for development; both administrations faithfully executed that economic blueprint and established the structures and institutions of progressive governance in the process.
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode pushed forward in a special manner. His efforts and actions shall be duly remembered.
As your Governor, I know fully well who I am, because I know where I am from. More importantly, I know where I am headed.
I have been a part of this progressive journey since its very inception. I know first-hand the concerted efforts that went into planning so many of the innovations we now see and enjoy.
It will be my job to continue that process by refining and perfecting the foundation laid by the preceding administrations.
In this regard, I shall forever remain loyal to the aspirations of the people and to the developmental blueprint that has brought so much success to our dear state.
The Babajide Sanwo-Olu you see today shall not change and try to become something I am not. My prayer is only that I grow and improve as your Governor to implement good policies and bring the prosperity you deserve.
On this day, I speak to the young and old, Christian and Muslim, those who trace their earliest ancestry back to this land, and to those who came last week.
I speak to the poor and to the rich. I speak to the Danfo driver as much as to the millionaire, to the fruit vendor and much as to the real estate titan.
I speak to employer and employee, I speak to teacher and student, I speak to mother and father. The civil service as well as the private sector – We are all Lagosians.
I say to you all let us explore how we can best establish a harmony of interests and avoid the growing tendency to focus on those things that differentiate and divide one Lagosian from another.
By the dint of Providence, this small tract of land intersected and surrounded by waterways and lagoons has become home to roughly 22 million people, with their various dreams and aspirations.
Not only is Lagos home to so many people and their aspirations, it is also the catalyst of economic growth for much of Nigeria.
The world outside sees Lagos as Nigeria. We are Nigeria’s door to the global economy and the global economy’s door to Nigeria.
As long as Lagos flourishes, Nigeria has more than a fair chance to enjoy the development and growth needed for its deserving population. If Lagos falters, Nigeria also stumbles.
The reality of the integral role we play in Nigeria’s ascent to national greatness coupled with the untapped potentials we hold to produce even greater wealth to improve the living conditions of our people are the things that make Lagos a magnificent place.
These strategic aspects of our current reality, and of our immediate future, bestow on me and my administration a profound responsibility.