The Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode, has assured Muslims that his administration would protect their rights.

He spoke at the 2017 Eid-ul-Fitri get-together organised by the state’s Ministry of Home Affairs at Lagos Mainland area of Lagos State on Sunday.

Ambode, who congratulated the Muslims on their celebration, urged them to reflect the lessons of festival in their dealings.

While appreciating their support for his government, the Governor said adequate measures have been put in place to ensure security of lives in the state.

He said, “Security of lives remain main priority for our government. I urge you to cooperate with the government and security agencies. 

“I cherish all your support foe religious tolerance and cooperation enjoyed in Lagos State. I will never take it for granted.”

The Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs, Dr. AbdulLateef AbdulHakeem, explained that the programme was to ensure participatory governance.

He said the programme was organised in 20 locations in the state.

“This is part of the participatory governance initiative of the governor and it is holding at different locations to ease celebration with people of the state who usually have to travel from far distance to celebrate with the governor in his house. This confirms again that Lagos is blessed with a transformational leader,” he added.

Amir of Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, challenged the governor to intensify community participation in governance.

“This move is unprecedented in the history of the state,” Ashafa who opened the event with prayers added.

Coordinator of Conference of Islamic Organisation, Abdullahi Shuaib and Chief Imam of Mainland, Alhaji sabitu  Owowunmi, urged the governor not to relent in ensuring representational governance.

They commended the moves of the government to ensure security and quality health service.

During the competition, quiz and Qur’an competitions were organised with participants rewarded with prizes.

Meanwhile, the National President of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Alhaji Lateef Okunnu, urged Muslims to continue to pray for the safe return of the other Chibok girls still in captivity of Boko Haram.

Okunnu in his presidential Eid-ul-Fitri address read across the mosque’s branches, said, “Our prayers are with their parents and loved ones. But Boko Haram, though defeated are still fighting guerrilla warfare: hit-and-run, with suicide bombings on soft targets.

“The menace of marauding herdsmen illegally roaming round private farmlands all over the country is still alive with us. The security of lives and property should be taken more seriously by Governments at all levels than hitherto.

“I urge all member’s of the Society, and indeed all Nigerians, to be more vigilant than hitherto and security conscious in our various communities to prevent the menace of kidnappers and ritual killers in our environs.”

He complained about the marginalization of ethnic groups in the country, adding that government needed to formulate effective policies.

He said, “There is problem of restlessness in the oil producing states of Nigeria, especially in the South South. The problem will not go away. The Amnesty Programme is a mere palliative. The long term solution to it is resource control by those who own oil resource.

“Biafra is once again since 1970 making the headlines, though reduced in size. The reason this time is marginalization. Every ethnic community in Nigeria is marginalised. Nigeria is in self denial. But the antidote to Biafra is not the reckless call by a group of thoughtless youths from a part of Northern Nigeria with their ultimatum to Ibo-speaking Nigerians to quit the North by October 1st, or else? These reckless youth must be  arrested by the security forces before they plunge Nigeria into wars without boundaries, wars without end.”

While lamenting the effects of corruption in the country, he urged the Federal Government to come up with policies that would ameliorate poverty.

“The government must work vigorously to improve the economy and nail the country out of recession.  Members of the jury are not out in the matter of corruption in Nigeria,” he added.

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