HARDSHIP: ‘CITIZENS DESERVE OUR COMPASSION, HIGHER DEDICATION’ — SANWO-OLU TELLS LAGOS OFFICIALS
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HARDSHIP: ‘CITIZENS DESERVE OUR COMPASSION, HIGHER DEDICATION’ — SANWO-OLU TELLS LAGOS OFFICIALS

•Intensify call for Special Status for Lagos, Fashola charges elected representatives. Lagos holds 18th Executive-Legislative Parliament.

Current hardship facing the country calls for renewed cooperation and higher dedication from all Government officials, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu told all elected and appointed public officials in Lagos on Friday.

The Governor said the challenging situation required public officials to rise up to recommit themselves to social contract with the citizens, stressing that the current circumstances called for compassion and constant engagement to ensure the primary purpose of Government is not defeated.

Sanwo-Olu made the “passionate” appeal at the ongoing 18th Executive and Legislative Parley organised by the Lagos State Government with the theme: “Engaging All for Inclusive Governance: Hands On for A Greater Lagos Rising.”

The two-day yearly event is a forum for dialogue and collaboration towards facilitating harmonious relationships between the two arms of the Government.

All members of the State Executive Council, elected representatives in the House of Assembly and National Assembly are attending the forum being held at Eko Hotels and Suites.

Sanwo-Olu called for a scale-up of inclusivity across palliative measures and targeted services aimed at reducing effects of hardship on the citizens, stressing that public officials must show compassion and higher dedication to the welfare of the residents.

He said: “This challenging period calls for compassion. We owe our citizens a duty to show up for them, as every public official is seen as a Government entity. The burden we shoulder at this period calls for higher dedication, innovative strategies, sense of urgency and sacrifice as we weather the current economic downturn.

“We are in a period where every public official must work together and come out with solutions and ideas to solve the immediate problems of our respective constituents. Sometimes, the issue may not involve money, but giving attention and listening ears to the people to make the difference in their lives.

“Either elected or appointed, we cannot shy away and dissociate ourselves from the Government. When the citizens knock on our doors, we must be able to ensure that we help them solve some of the pressing problems they are facing. We must ensure people feel the impact of the government without having to come to the seat of Government in Alausa.”

Sanwo-Olu said both the executive and legislature had maintained “an uncompromising” posture in the pursuit of vision of governance under his watch, explaining that the commitment by the Assembly members to expedite passage of critical bills was an indication of mutual understanding between the two arms.

The Governor said the harmonious approach adopted by the executive and legislative arms had yielded long-term benefits for the State, listing completion of Blue and Red Lines, 32-metric tons Imota Rice Mill, establishment of food market hubs and other social services as part of the dividends transforming and improving socio-economic conditions of the residents.

Former Governor Babatunde Raji Fashola, who was the keynote speaker, said interaction between the executive and the parliament must continue to be nurtured in order to make governance possible.

Fashola, a former Minister of Works and Housing, pointed out that democracy was becoming dysfunctional all over the world due to failure of governments in fulfilling their primary objectives.

He said the task before the current generation of leaders was to make democracy work for the people, just as he urged participants at the parley to use the forum to reignite the debate on special status for Lagos.

“As we convene here, I want to use this opportunity to remind us that our work is far from being done, especially to members of the National Assembly. This is a time when a constitutional amendment is being considered. I want them to go back and re-open the books about the campaign for a Special Status for Lagos. This is the time to have that conversation,” Fashola said.

Speaker, Lagos House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Mudashiru Obasa, harped on building bridges and fostering collaboration to further strengthen cooperation between the parliament and the executive arm.

Obasa, represented by Majority Leader, Hon. Noheem Adams, urged participants to approach the parley with open mind, while focusing on challenges and goals to bind the officials together.

Special Adviser to the Governor on Political Legislative and Civic Engagement, Dr. Tajudeen Afolabi, said the parley, for almost two decades, had offered a platform to strengthen harmonious relationship among all political actors in the State.

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