Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode on Wednesday appointed Nobel Laureate, Professor Wole Soyinka and Mr. Rasheed Gbadamosi as Co-Chairmen of the Lagos at 50 Planning Committee, just as he expressed optimism that the celebration will go a long way to showcase Lagos in its full splendor.
“Lagos State will be 50 years next year. 50 years is a significant landmark in the life of any individual, institution or State. For Lagos State, it has been an eventful 50 years which deserves to be fittingly celebrated,” Governor Ambode said.
“Lagos is a land of opportunities, offering all residents the chance to succeed in their vocations and endeavours. Lagos provides jobs to more people than any other State in Sub Saharan Africa. Lagos is that place where you have a chance to make it if you work hard.
“Indeed, Lagos State has justified its creation. Apart from being the pacesetter and first among equals in the comity of States in the Nigerian Federation, Lagos State also occupies a noticeable position in global affairs especially as the fastest growing mega city in the world.
“With all these in mind, it is imperative that we celebrate Lagos at 50. In celebrating Lagos, we must showcase our cultural heritage. We must celebrate the language, arts, sights and sounds of Lagos. Celebrating Lagos is to celebrate Nigerian Unity and Progress because Lagos provides the cohesion that keeps Nigeria together”, he said.
He said a celebration of such great significance requires proper and adequate planning, hence the inauguration of the Committee comprising respected men and women whom he said had perfect understanding of the expectations of Lagosians, Nigerians and indeed the entire world.
The Committee also has 10 others as members, including Hon. Habeeb Fasinro, Chief Olawale Cole, Mrs. Sarah Boulos, Mr. Abimbola Obafunwa, Prof (Mrs) Senapon Bakare, Mrs. Chika Balogun, Mr. Folarin Coker, Prof. Ademola Abass, Bolanle Austen Peter and Mrs Olufunmilayo Balogun as Secretary.
In his short remarks, Professor Soyinka said the celebration of Lagos at 50 would afford an excellent opportunity for the state to identify with the triumph, losses and experience of the Black Race at home and in the diaspora. “It would be used to project the black race not just for the colonial experience and slave trade, but also as a cultural people”, he said.