By Olaolu Oladipo, Lagos
Stakeholders in Lagos State have commended the Akinwunmi Ambode on his policy to include all segments of the society in the governance of the state.
Speaking at the annual public lecture of the Lagos Information Chapel of the Nigeria Union of Journalists recently, guests at the occasion stated that the policy has accounted largely for the successes that the state government has achieved since the governor came on board.
Those who spoke at the event include a professor-emeritus, Professor Sophie Oluwole, the Vice Chancellor of the Lagos State University, Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun as well as a Commissioner in the Lagos State Independent Electoral Commission, Mr. Lateef Raji.
In his opening remarks, Raji who was the chairman of the occasion praised Governor Ambode for ensuring that all segments of the Lagos society are carried along in the day-to-day running of the state.
Raji who described the move as novel however stated that the move has ensured that the people of the state have come to see the current administration in the state as their own.
“What I can say here today is that the Akinwunmi Ambode government has shown what government should be. That it must be effective as it should be. Governor Ambode has demonstrated that he feels the pulse of the people through his actions.
“One example would suffice, when there were hues and cries over the activities of armed hoodlums in the state, he invested a whooping N4b on equipping the police, something that has never been done by any government in the country before. Not even the Federal Government has expended that kind of amount on the force before.” He said.
“The Information Chapel is the repertoire of knowledge of the seat of government. For instance, if the Ministry of Science and Technology is doing something and it is not reported nobody will know. All the information of the state is domiciled within the chapel.” Raji said.
On her part, Lagos State Deputy-Governor, Dr. Idiat Oluranti Adebule stated that for any government to enjoy acceptability, effective and prompt information dissemination must be made available to the people.
Represented by the Tutor General/Permanent Secretary, Education District 1, Dr. Yinka Ayandele, she therefore commended information managers in the state for their professionalism in ensuring accurate dissemination of the policies and programmes of the government to the citizenry.
She reiterated the current administration’s commitment to improving the welfare of the residents through infrastructure provision and renewal and urged the information managers to maintain the practice of reporting government activities promptly.
In his remarks at the occasion, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, stressed the need to encourage intellectually motivated and thought-provoking gatherings, noting that such events are of utmost importance to any nation that is desirous of greatness.
Represented by the Director of Public Affairs, Mrs. `Toro Oladapo, he commended the chapel for organizing the event saying: “to me this is a showcase of communication for development because, in reality, the success of a government is not felt except through strategic communication which is where members of NUJ deserve all commendation”.
In his lecture, the Vice Chancellor of Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Olanrewaju Fagbohun stated that the people have the right to participate actively in governance for meaningful development.
“All people including the poor, women, ethnic and religious minorities, indigenous people and other disadvantaged groups have the right to participate meaningfully in governance processes and also influence decisions that affected them,” he said.
He opined that: “Ambode’s model of inclusive governance is an imperative if we are to meet the challenges of inequalities that undermine economic growth and strain the relationship between governance and the citizens”.
Fagbohun observed that the current practice where the current administration regularly engages citizens in governance has given rise to the legitimacy of the State government and enhanced effective service delivery by public servants.
The book “Ambode: Gains of all Inclusive Government” was unveiled by Senator Ganiyu Solomon who recommended the book to all lovers of democracy and good governance.
Discussants at the event included Professor Sophie Oluwole, Chairman Centre for African Culture and Development, Dr. Bolu Folayan of the University of Lagos and Mr. Kehinde Joseph, Special Adviser to the Governor on Civic Engagement.