ABUJA BOMB BLAST: Fashola Condoles With Victims' Families


As Muslims celebrate the end of the Month of Ramadan, Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has condoled with families of victims of the bomb blast at the United Nations building in Abuja just as he prayed for the quick recovery of the wounded and peaceful repose of the souls of those who lost their lives in the blast.

Governor Fashola, who spoke at a Special Prayer Session for the nation and Lagos State in the Holy City of Mecca, at the weekend also prayed for God’s intervention in pacifying all aggrieved parties in Nigeria in order for the country to witness a return to peaceful co-existence, social harmony, law and order.

Canvassing collaboration between the leadership and followership in the country, Governor Fashola, who described it as a viable means to achieve an orderly society and sustainable development, said while it is important to have good leadership, the followership has a critical role to play in achieving a stable polity.

According to the Governor, “If the leader desires a progressive and orderly society, it would be difficult to attain the goal without the cooperation of the citizenry who constitute the followership.

“The role of followership becomes critical in achieving an orderly society because this will be difficult if simple regulations which are made even for the benefit of the people are not obeyed.”

He Governor noted that this attitude often manifest even when people are told to relocate from faulty buildings for their own safety.

Citing Mecca as example, Governor Fashola said on his arrival in the Holy City for the lesser Hajj, he discovered that certain places where people used to trade had been cleared for development purposes, noting that back home, people find it difficult to obey government “even when it is said that their homes are about collapsing and they should move away to avoid disaster”.

“That has to do with followership. When fingers are pointed at the leaders, followers should also examine themselves”, the Governor said, adding that while people in the United States readily heeded warnings by the government to evacuate from the path of hurricane Irene, in Lagos, it was difficult getting people to move away from flood-prone areas and even flood plains.

Governor Fashola recalled that for three months before the onset of the last heavy rains in Lagos, government had been asking people to prepare for heavier than normal rains and those living in the flood plains to move to high land, adding that it was largely not heeded.

“God has been quite benevolent to Nigeria and what remains is for the people to do what is right and work hard,” the governor said, citing the experience of some Chinese who came to Nigeria and found people praying.

“The men said with the geographical location in area that is not prone to earthquakes, hurricane and related natural disasters, the country is already well blessed. What is required to make the country a trading and economic hub like China is hard work”, he said.

According to Governor Fashola, “Nigeria has clear advantage in terms of natural resources, human capital and stability. We should not turn against ourselves”, pointing out that a few years ago, the British and some other Western nations were issuing travel advisory to their citizens to avoid Nigeria.

“But recently, the British Prime Minister himself visited Lagos and stayed in one of the hotels and not the British High Commission,” the governor said, adding that the positive signs of such a development should not be wasted.

Governor Fashola urged all to fear God and learn to pay attention to things that really matter rather than material things adding, “with the large volume of petitions often received over land matters, the government has never received any petition from any individual complaining about the theft of the six feet where such a person will ultimately be buried.”

Governor Fashola also prayed for leaders at all levels of governance that the Almighty Allah would give them wisdom to render good service to the people.

Earlier, in his lecture, the former Special Adviser to the Governor on Executive and Legislative Matters, Hon. Abdul Lateef Abdul Hakeem, urged everyone to put absolute faith in God “as the Creator who makes everything possible”, adding, “even when an individual is used to bless another person, this could only have been made possible by God using that individual”.

Also present at the session were some members of the State House of Assembly and the State Executive Council such as the Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mr. Oyinlomo Danmole, his predecessor, Mr. Tunde Balogun and his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr. Aderemi Ibirogba, Special Duties Commissioner, Dr. Wale Ahmed and Secretary to the State Government, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule among others.

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