By Mary Iloh
Ahead of the yuletide, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Tuesday called on residents of the State to be cautious and take all necessary precautions to avoid any mishap relating to fire and security misfortune in the State during the festivities.
The Governor also called on Lagosians to be on alert against another wave of COVID-19 by adhering strictly to all safety protocols during the Christmas period.
Speaking at the Grand Finale of the Year 2021 Community Day Celebration, held at Police College in Ikeja on Tuesday, Governor Sanwo-Olu advised residents in the various communities across the State to be responsive by providing intelligence to security agents. He urged them to promptly report anything they see to security agents at the community level.
He said: “As Community Development Council (CDC) leaders, please take the message back home that because of the harsh weather during the harmattan season, fire is always a very easy occurrence. So, people need to live safely. Stay safe and make sure you don’t have combustible items around your shops, houses, and ensure precautions on electric gadgets to avert fire incidents.
“Security they say is local. Security is important at the grassroots level. You have been working with us, continue to work with us. You see something, you say something. All the neighborhood watchers are in your communities; let them know if you see strange movements.
“If you notice things that are not meant to be in your communities, pass on the message to them and you can be rest assured that the security agents will come around to keep you safe and secured. As we are going into the yuletide season, please let’s be very vigilant and make sure that we are our brothers’ keeper.”
The Governor also added that “We are getting out of the COVID but we cannot be completely relaxed. In all of our engagements, let’s continue to keep those simple safety protocols.”
Governor Sanwo-Olu, while speaking on his administration’s commitment to community development, said his government as a people-oriented government has executed grassroots improvement programme across the State, adding that the Government is committed to promoting coordinated efforts for a peaceful, harmonious and serene atmosphere for growth and development in communities.
He said the Community Development Associations (CDAs) in Lagos State have been recognised as the engine for growth and therefore called on the various CDAs to join hands with the government to ensure safety and security of lives and property in Lagos, particularly during the festive season.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, who described the CDAs as the beacon of hope, said various community projects across 377 wards in Lagos State were being executed to foster even development across the State.
He said the various infrastructure projects implemented by his administration across various communities centered on promoting intermodal transportation, school projects and health facilities, among others were directed towards the effect of improving the condition of living at the grassroots. Governor Sanwo-Olu who danced during a march past by various communities in the 57 councils in the State, also recognised and presented various prizes to the best performing CDAs.
Harmony CDA in Agbado/Oke-Odo Local Council Development Area (LCDA) and Elepe Royal Estate CDA in Ikorodu Central LCDA received bus gifts for emerging first and second respectively in the urban category, while Oluwanisola CDA in Eredo LCDA and Oke-Egan CDA in Olorunda LCDA also received gifts for emerging first and second respectively in the rural category.
The CDAs were rewarded for executing various community development projects ranging from electrification, roads, and drainages to security, within their communities.
Speaking earlier, Lagos State Commissioner for Local Government and Community Affairs, Dr. Wale Ahmed appreciated Governor Sanwo-Olu for “his vision, sense of commitment and dedication to grassroots development,” adding that “He (Governor Sanwo-Olu) is indeed taking Lagos to an enviable level in community development.”
He said the Community Day Celebration 2021 was to emphasise and amplify the necessity of development as a strategic factor for socio-economic development and empowerment at the grassroots.
Dr. Ahmed said the theme for the 2021 Community Day Celebration, “Consolidating the Ongoing Development in our Various Communities” was apt as the present administration in the State is embarking on the expansion of various community development projects across all the nooks and crannies of the State.
He said the administration is conscious of the fact that in the overall development of the State, there must be development that is totally people-oriented development at the grassroots, driven by the administration right from the inception.
The Commissioner appreciated the CDAs for what he described as their “impressive and continuous support for our administration so far.”
Also speaking, the Chairman, Lagos State Community Development Advisory Council, Alhaji Azeez Amusat, said Governor Sanwo-Olu has been a catalyst for fostering grassroots engagement for development across the State.
“On behalf of all the communities, I wish to express my profound gratitude to our amiable Governor, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu who has been the catalyst for all our efforts at ensuring that public participation by all the communities in his Administration is accorded deserved attention and recognition,” he said.
He assured the Governor of the continued partnership of all communities in complementing efforts in public safety and security of all residents in the various communities.
Amuzat also urged the CDCs and CDAs in Lagos State to put in more collective efforts from this year yuletide to promote more attention for adequate security and safety of their various communities in rewarding the empowerment of the leadership training by the State Government geared towards the community policing system.
“With the wave of insecurity across the country, it is imperative to rise up to the security needs and challenges that may face our communities in the forthcoming year as leaders in the communities,” he advised.