Lagos State Governor, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) yesterday officially presented the Institute of Government and Public Policy incorporating the Awo Museum with a charge that everyone should devote time and efforts to encourage competitive and cooperative attitude among one another.
According to Governor Fashola who spoke at the renaming of the former detention camp of the late Chief Obafemi Awolowo in Lekki town, Ibeju-Lekki,â€œnever again should we allow any resolvable conflict deter our time and efforts to encourage cooperative and competitive attitude”.
The Governor expressed the hope that the institute would help to provide answers to nagging questions as to why Africa as a continent that is richly blessed and a continent that supplied oil, gold, diamond, coffee, copper, cocoa and all the basic raw materials that supports human race still remains the most underdeveloped continent.
Said he: â€œOne hopes the institute would encourage debates to find answers to questions on what we must do to add value to and take benefit of natureâ€™â€™s extraordinary generosity to this continent of vast opportunities and provide the clear roadmap for the implementation of solutions that has so evolved.â€
He expressed optimism that the centre would help in finding solutions to Nigeriaâ€™s problem of leadership problems and crises and would help in charting a roadmap that will deliver true federalism and democracy where the vote of the people will count.
Said Fashola: â€œMuch of Nigerian history can be understood as an elaboration of Chief Awolowoâ€™s works, ideas, programmes and policy implementation as leader of Government Business and Premier, Leader of Opposition and Prisonerâ€.
The Governor also said Awolowo believed that success was achievable through anticipating appreciation of the individual through good education, job creation, provision of security by government for themselves, their families and their localities.
He explained that the entire social welfare scheme of Chief Awolowo had a cost which was financed through taxation, grants and public partnership.
His accomplishments as leader of Government Business through massive development of public infrastructures, comprehension of problems and possible solutions as leader of opposition, was seen as a threat and later manifested into conflicts among brothers.
Fashola recalled that it was the crises of leadership arising from Awolowoâ€™s unrepentant commitment to federalism and true democracy resulted in his being detained at the infamous colonial Lekki guest house.
Governor Fashola expressed appreciation to former Governor Bola Ahmed Tinubu for initiating the idea of the centre while in office and also gave kudos to Chief Bisi Akande and all other who would constitute a faculty of intellects and resourcefulness.
The Governor who said he could not help but try to recollect what the place looked like in 1955 when Pa Awo was detained there as it was described as a â€œmosquito infested islandâ€, added that it is to the credit of the people of Lekki that they did all they could to ensure that the very unsavoury and inhuman conditions was mediated by their warn hospitality.
â€œToday the reward has become evident as Lekki has become the fastest growing real estate corridor in Africaâ€â€, Governor Fashola added.