By Kingsley Adegboye & Olasunkanmi Akoni
CALL it their day of glory, you probably will not be wrong. Afterall it is not everyday one gets to share the limelight with the chief executive of your state, the governor himself. As so while the ceremony lasted, the lucky kids were full of smiles. And who wouldnâ€™t be after being so feted and treated as Very Important People(VIP).
The occasion was the 800 Days in Office celebration of Governor Babatunde Fashola with the theme: â€œRepositioning the Youth for Future Challengesâ€.Â The choice of the theme for the day was deliberate for the Governor: It was to reveal to Lagos youths how much he had done for them and his desire to continue to strive to offer them a fair deal in the scheme of things. This also included making the children aware of the need for them to play their own part in the emerging partnership between them and the government.
As early as 8.am that Thursday, â€˜Blue Roofâ€™ within the premises of the Lagos Television (LTV)Â Ikeja, the venue of the event, was already parked full with highly expectant junior and senior secondary school children from across the state, all looking their best in their various school uniforms waiting for the commencement of the programme slated for11 am.
Also making their presence felt at the gathering were members of the Youth Wing of the Action Congress (AC) in Lagos State who were there in their large numbers, decked in green T-shirts and face caps upon black trousers for both male and female AC youths.
Addressing the young people, Governor Fashola said: â€œWe have decided to do more this year and in the years to come, by focusing more directly on those things that affect you directly, even as we deal with those things that affect your parents and guardians and from which you indirectly benefitâ€.
He explained that in the last 100 days, the administration undertook its second quarter budget review which not only recorded a 68 percent performance but has led to the creation of 156,779 jobs in 2009 alone.
His words: â€œWe have been busy with sports through the hosting of the Federations Cup in which many of you turned out in large numbers and we have delivered another park and sporting facility at Kernel Street in Surulere while we are almost completing the sports facilities in Agege and Campos Square.
â€œWe have provided 500 vacation job opportunities again this year for students on vacation within the public service to keep you busy, mentor you and provide some extra cash and pocket money to enable you address those needs that young persons have.
â€œWe have aggressively through the law enforcement agents tried to protect you from those who try to corrupt you by arresting and prosecuting those who have taken advantage of your innocence to display pornographic materialâ€.
The highpoint of the day was the reading of the first essay and presentation of gifts to winners of the Babatunde Raji Fasholaâ€™s 800 Days in Office Essay Competition to students of both junior and senior secondary schools across the state. The first prize in the senior category which attracted a lap top, N50,000 cash and a trophy was won by Master Ikumelo Kayode of Iganmu Senior High School who wrote on â€œThe Lagos of My Dreamâ€.
According to him: â€œJust imagine a Lagos full of activities such as clean, beautiful and serene, with food, for all, with available jobs, with power and water supply, secured and with a smile on the face of its citizens. How would it look like? These are my dreams and aspirations for Lagosâ€. Second and third positions attracted a lap top, N35,000, N20,000 and a plaque, respectively.
Olaniyan Omosolape of Ijaiye Housing Estate Junior Secondary School, Alakashi, Lagos was the lucky first prize winner in the junior schools category with a lap top, N50,000 cash and a trophy. She wrote on â€œThe Challenges of Present Day Youth in a Developing Countryâ€.
According to her: â€œWhen a country is developed, everything about it, including the individuals must be developed. So, for a country to have youth who would excel in all endeavours, both mentally, socially, academically, politically and otherwise, our present day leaders should start looking for a way to solve the problems or challenges facing the present day youth in a developing country like Nigeriaâ€. Second and third positions attracted a lap top, N35,000, N20,000 and a plaque, respectively.
Bariga LCDA arrests over10 fake staff
Over 10 fake staff in Bariga Local Council Development Area (LCDA) have been arrested in the last seven months for allegedly parading themselves as council officials and fund collectors from motorists.
This was disclosedÂ by the Chairman of Bariga LCDA Mr. Sulaimon Akeem at a press conference held at the Ladi Lawal Press Centre, Ikeja.
Akeem said that over 10 fake officials were arrested on the highways by policemen while extorting money from motorists.
His words: â€œIn the last seven months, we have arrested over 10 illegal staff who parade themselves as officials of the Bariga LCDA.
â€œWe have increase the tempo of getting rid of illegal activities of touts in the LCDAâ€.
Akeem also advised the inhabitants of Bariga to desist from patronising illegal council officials but should instead pay their council levies to the authorised banks.
The Council Chairman said that the leviesÂ paid through the proper channel were used to construct various roads and provide other social amenities for the benefit of the inhabitants.
YCE, others caution Yarâ€™Adua against heating up polity
The Yoruba Council of Elders (Igbimo Agba Yoruba) has again decried the lingering face-off between President Umaru Yarâ€™ Adua and Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola over the creation of 37 Local Council Development Areas (LCDAs) in addition to the 20 Local Government Areas (LGAs), saying the Presidentâ€™s position in this respect was ill-advised.
Similarly, a chieftain of the Action Congress(AC) Otunba Yomi Ogunnusi has warned President Umaru Yarâ€™ Adua against taking decisions and actions capable of pushing the nation into chaos.
Addressing the media at his Ikeja GRA residence, the octogenarian Major General Adeyinka Adebayo (rtd) who is also the President of YCE, expressed the deep concern of the group over the matter even as they declared their support for Governor Fashola.
His words: â€œYoruba Council of Elders (YCE) wishes to state that as the Father of the Nation, President Yarâ€™Adua should have first called Governor Babatunde Fashola for discussions on the issue before the public announcement It is a known fact that the problem started with the former President, Olusegun Obasanjo and former Governor of Lagos State, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu.
â€œYCE believes like every other patriotic Nigerian who actually believes in the development of this nation that Lagos State is the fastest developing state in Nigeria today, nay Africa, and the Federal Government should be seen to be giving maximum support and encouragement to the state nationally and also internationally in order to encourage all other states in the country.