By; RAYMOND TEDUNJAYE, Lagos
Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday took oath of office as the 15th Governor of Lagos State, with a plegde to birth and nurture a greater Lagos that will utimately rank amongst top cities on the African continent.
The new Governor, who made the promise in his inaugural speech shortly after the oath of office at 11.35am prompt, urged residents to rededicate themselves to contribute their individual quota positively and responsibly in the new drive to reform the state and take it to a higher pedestal.
Sanwo-Olu, who tagged the speech ” Awakening A Greater Lagos” promised to appoint only the best into his cabinet, adding that he would be fair to all irrespective of tribe and social status.
At the ceremony held at the Tafawa Balewa Square on Lagos Island, he pledged to work with his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, to ensure the fulfilment of his campaign promises encapsulated in the acronym: THEMES.
Further, he stated that himself and the Deputy Governor are single-minded in the desire to bequeath to their successors a far Greater Lagos than the one inhereted by them.
In addition, Sanwo-Olu said they have both formulated a conscise framework that encapsulates their collective vision for the state as they endeavour to build a Greater Lagos.
He explained that THEMES means Traffic management and Transportation, Health and Environment, Education and Technology, Making Lagos a 21st-century economy, Entertainment and Tourism and Security and Governance.
His words, ” When we speak of a greater Lagos, we speak not empty words, this deep and profound assertion is what we mean.
We intend to make history by making for ourselves and our children a better future. Therefore, on this day, on this precious plot of land we call our home, let us stand together before the very face of history. Let us vow to ourselves and to posterity that we shall not just dream of a greater Lagos, but we shall collectively rise up to build the Lagos of our dreams. Let us not be discouraged. There are those who do not believe a greater Lagos is possible in our time.
“The challenges of life have deceived them into thinking nothing can change for the better. They see problems as insurmountable. I understand why they feel this way. But no matter the number of hard miles they have been made to walk during their lives, they should never give themselves over to despair and pessimism. No one should ever underestimate the spirit of Lagos and the resilience of its people.
“Yes, hard times confront us. But that means we also confront them. Any problem we choose to face together is more susceptible to our resolving it than we are vulnerable to it defeating us.”
He commended the residents for always rejecting “negative political forces”
which had made several attempts to take over the reins of power of the state.
The governor asked residents to support him to build a better Lagos, saying he would welcome constructive criticisms.
He lauded the contributions of former governors Ahmed Tinubu and Babatunde Fashola whom he said created the blueprint for the development of the state.
“Both their administrations faithfully executed that economic blueprint and built the structures and institutions of progressive governance in the process. This indeed set the groundwork for future progress.
He added that “Governor Akinwunmi Ambode pushed forward in his special manner. His efforts and actions shall be duly remembered,”
Undaunted by the downpour and many party supporters and residents who graced the event, the new Governor unfolded some of the strategies that would be adopted to run the economy of the state.
In the area of power generation, he disclosed that his administration will encourage private power initiatives to boost generation, transmission and distribution.
As part of plans to boost the economy, Sanwo-Olu said the goal of his administration is to provide an enabling environment for optimal economic growth and business development.
He assured that this will be achieved through focusing on those areas of infrastructure that will help business to flourish.
Earlier, the Chief Judge of Lagos State, Justice Opeyemi Oke, led Sanwo-Olu in his oath taking at exactly 11.35am, while that of his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat was done at 11.20am.