Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode on Friday explained the rationale behind the decision of his administration to host Muslims in twenty centres across the State for the Eid-el-fitri celebration, saying that it was part of the strategy to bring about bonding among the people and enhance community participation in governance.
Speaking at Lagos House when he received members of the Lagos State Council of Obas and Chiefs on a courtesy visit, Governor Ambode said it had been observed overtime that people travel from far and near to celebrate with the first family in the State during festivities, and that the decision to host Muslims in various centres across the State was basically to address such trend on one hand, and also to give greater number of people the sense of participation in governance on the other hand.
He said: “Like you are aware, we intend to celebrate the Ramadan in the various communities and I need to make some explanation here. Before now, anytime we are having festivities maybe Ramadan, Christmas, New Year and so on, people normally converge at the State House to come and greet the first family and so you see people coming all the way from Badagry or coming all the way from Igbogbo or Epe and then they come to celebrate with us.
“I find out that sometimes, they might even spend N3,000 to get here and go home with maybe N500 and so in my own little wisdom, I think if I make them remain in their communities and they celebrate there, there is likely a position for us to start to practice government of inclusion so that everybody feels government everywhere.
“Instead of somebody coming from Badagry, the Local Government, the Community Development Associations (CDAs), the traditional rulers, the Chief Imams and every other person will celebrate the Ramadan and recital of Quran in their communities and so there is a sense of belonging and so instead of 2,000 people coming to Ikeja, I am likely to have one million people across the State doing the same thing at the same time and in doing that, they will get the sense of involvement. So, we must practice community governance using our different platforms to celebrate ourselves,” Governor Ambode explained.
He said the same strategy was adopted during the Community Day Celebration and it worked perfectly well, adding that with the initiative, government would evolve community participation in governance and enhance the bonding among the people.
The Governor said on his part, he would also make appearance in some of the centres to celebrate with the people, and urged the traditional rulers, community leaders, religious leaders among others to also join in the celebration.
Governor Ambode also thanked the monarchs for pledging to support the moves by government to maintain peace, law and order, especially the pledge to do so during the forthcoming Local Government election in the State.
Responding to a request to intervene in the crisis rocking the Lagos State Polytechnic (LASPOTECH), Governor Ambode said it was gratifying to announce that academic activities would resume in the institution immediately after the Eid-el-fitri holiday.