Use ethnicity, religion to heal Nigeria, Sanwo-Olu tells citizens

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GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, urged Nigerians to see their ethnicity and religious diversity as an opportunity to unite, rather than divide them.

Sanwo-Olu said this when the National Technical Committee of the National Festival of Arts and Culture, led by the Director-General, National Council for Arts and Culture, Olusegun Runsewe, paid him a courtesy visit at Lagos House, Ikeja, ahead of the NAFEST Festival, holding in Lagos in November.

The governor said: “We believe that bringing the NAFEST Festival to Lagos at this very difficult times in our country would be used as a means to galvanise the country. The NAFEST 2022 in Lagos, by the grace of God, will be used to heal this country; it will be used to bring together our diversity in unity.

“If sports can bring us together, arts, culture and entertainment can do better. And if we do it and package it very well before we go into the general elections in 2023, we would have used that platform to heal the country; we would have used it for people to see that we don’t have any other place to go to. We have a responsibility to fix it (Nigeria).

“We should see the NAFEST not just as a festivity, but an opportunity for us to come together, heal and project unity for our country. And ensure that if we can go into next year with all of the tribulations and fears that we have; we will suppress them, surpass them and have elections that will be free, and peaceful, and we can build a better and bigger nation that would be the envy of the world.”

Speaking earlier, Runsewe commended Sanwo-Olu’s commitment to promoting tourism, arts and culture, noting that the decision of the government to make entertainment and tourism a fifth pillar in the six-pillar THEMES developmental agenda for Greater Lagos is commendable.

He compensated about 800 tenants and property owners affected by the right of ways for the Lagos Rail Mass Transit, LRMT, Red line project in Ogun State.

The compensation process was carried out jointly by officials of the Land Bureau of the Ogun State Government and consultant to Lagos metropolitan Area Transport Authority, LAMATA, Messrs. Global Impact and Environmental Service.

Speaking at the event, the Managing Director of LAMATA, Mrs Abimbola Akinajo, who was represented by the Technical Adviser, Corporate and Investment Planning, LAMATA, Mr Osa Konyeha, said the gesture was in fulfillment of its promise to compensate affected parties by project.

Akinajo, said it underscored the importance of the process which she described as one of the outputs of the Lagos Ogun Joint Development Commission- the body set up to ensure seamless development between Lagos and Ogun states especially where there are cross boundary issues.

She stated that Lagos State Government was developing a number of transport schemes that would impact Ogun State, adding that one of such projects is the Red Line rail project which would have a station and depot in Agbado.

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