I Will Use Police To Change My People At All Cost —Oba Akiolu

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As the Oba of Lagos, Rilwan Akiolu clocked eight years on the throne, he has vowed to  change the life of his people on the Island in Lagos State, South West Nigeria.

The oba spoke on Tuesday at the handing over of the Iga Iduganran Health Centre, donated by Zenith Bank.

According to Akiolu, before he clocked 10 years in office, he would have changed the lives of people on the Island , especially area boys.

“I will change the lives of my people by force whether they like it or not,” he said.

He hinted that several other laudable projects were in the offing which would be of tremendous benefit to the residents of the Island and expressed happiness that the health centre was a project that would be a harbinger of good things for the people.

Akiolu said it is his joy that today, a project which was viewed with cynicism by many of the residents of Central Lagos over two years ago when the work started, had crystallized into a people centred health centre.

Speaking, Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola said that Lagos would meet the Millennium Development Goals, MDGs in healthcare and education, adding that the state had embarked on the construction of eight Maternal Child Care Centres each with a 100-bed capacity to bring healthcare closer to mother and child.

The governor explained that seven out of the eight had been completed whereas a country like Ghana had only one of such a hospital, stressing that only a healthy people can be a productive people.

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He commended Zenith Bank for playing a prominent role in developing the community where they operate, adding that if the state should incorporate a prize for corporate social responsibility, the bank would rank high.

“As important as the balance sheet of any organisation is to the Chief Executive Officer, any serious Chief Executive Officer will also pay attention to its corporate social responsibilities because without the citizens there is no business,” Governor Fashola said.

Fashola applauded the innovativeness of the bank which single-handedly constructed Ajose Adeogun Street during the administration of Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and relieved the government of the burden of maintaining the road.

He recalled that when he became the governor and had challenges of security and some decisions were reached after setting up the Musiliu Smith Committee on Security, one of the leading initiatives on how to fund the programme came from former Managing Director of Zenith Bank, Mr Jim Ovia.

Fashola also commended Akiolu I for his selflessness in the service of the people of Lagos , adding that every year that the Oba commemorated his enthronement, he had always used it for handing over a community or societal project.

Managing Director, Zenith Bank Plc, Mr Godwin Emefiele described the project as another opportunity to partner with the Lagos State Government, adding that the ceremony was a clear testimony to the effective deployment of Public Private Partnership (PPP) as a weapon being employed by developing economies to develop infrastructure to their advantage.

According to him, the health centre was being donated as part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) of the bank to the state as well as assists it to meet part of the requirements of the MDGs as well as reduce needless deaths in Lagos State .

—Kazeem Ugbodaga

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