Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos state, says there is no other state like Lagos in Nigeria.
Speaking at the Lagos history lecture held at Eko Hotels and Suites, as part of activities marking the golden jubilee anniversary of the state, Ambode attributed the greatness of the state to its ability to be the melting pot for all cultures.
He said over the years, the people of the state have distinguished themselves by making others feel “home away from home”.
“With all sense of modesty, there is no other state like Lagos in Nigeria. Some may say we owe this to the fact that Lagos used to be a federal capital territory, but I really do not think so,” he said.
“While that may have contributed to our greatness, we are also a unique people ready to make fellow human beings from other lands feel home away from home.
“Our greatness is in our ability to be the melting pot for all cultures and as at today, there is no tribe in Nigeria that is not represented in Lagos. From the Hausa/Fulani to the Igbo to the Kanuri to the Ibibio, the Nupe, the Berom, the Igala and so on and so forth all have spaces to live and live well in our dear State.
“Lagos is not just national in outlook. It is international. The Americans are here; the British are here; South Africans are in their thousands; the Chinese are not in short supply; and the Indians even have a community in Lagos.”
He described the lecture as an opportunity to have “an introspection into the past, engage in an objective appraisal of the present and, a realistic prognosis of the future of another fifty years”.
Ambode said such necessitated the assemblage of knowledgeable royal fathers, elder statesmen, jurists of distinction and Lagos indigenes of repute to trace the history of the state and proffer insights as to the areas to concentrate on for the future.
“It is important for us at this epochal gathering to refresh our memory about the beginning; the journey of how the AWORI played an important role in the evolution of what we call Lagos today,” he said.
“The same applies to the evolution of the EKO Royalty with the coming of the Bini from present day Edo state and even the momentous role played by the TAPPA in the making of our dear state.”
In his keynote lecture, Hakeem Danmole, a professor, traced the history of Lagos since the inception, saying that it was commendable that the “legacy of achievement” had been sustained in the state.
Danmole, who is the dean, college of humanities and social sciences, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, said the state must strictly adhere to rules and regulations, adding that for Lagos to reach greater heights, developmental plan must be followed.
The scholar urged the state government to fully utilise its God’s given environment especially in area of water transportation.
On the notion of Lagos being a no man’s land, first town clerk of the Lagos City Council, Habib Fasinro and former minister of works, Femi Okunnu (SAN) said those behind such claim were ignorant.
They said such claim was not only misleading but confrontational, as same abused the history of the indiginous people of Lagos such as the Aworis, Egbas, Binis, Ijeshas, Nupes, Brazilian returnees, among others.
On his part, Rilwan Akiolu, oba of Lagos, corroborated Fasinro and Okunnu, and urged the national assembly to reconsider the motion to grant special status to Lagos, saying doing so would be in best interest of Nigeria.