It was a moment of fun, excitement and lots of gifts to take home as Lagos State First Lady, Dr. (Mrs) Ibijoke Sanwo-Olu on Monday hosted children in the State to a special Christmas and End of the Year Party.
Speaking at the event which held at The Parliament, State House, Marina, the First Lady said it was important for children to know history of Nigeria, as well as the THEMES agenda of the State Government designed to engender a greater Lagos.
According to her, “This is 2019 Children end of year party for all our children in Lagos State. We decided this year that we should have it in the House of Parliament. This place has been here for a long time.
“You see, way back we had the whites that were ruling Nigeria then; we had people like Lord Lugard if you have done history you would have heard that name. They used to live here and take decisions for the whole of Nigeria not just Lagos. So, we want you to be part of the history too; we want you to know your history very well and at the same time we want you to enjoy your party.”
She said in the spirit of Christmas, it was important for people including children to show love to others and be thankful to God for His grace and benevolence.
“Christmas is a period when we share love; when we remember our loved ones; when we remember people that are not as blessed as us; people that have special qualities that are VIPs in their own rights.
“And so we want to thank God for the opportunity of being alive today. We started this year since January through to December. It can only be God that made it possible for all of us to be alive from the beginning of the year up to this moment and beyond.
“We want to say a very big thank you too to all our parents out there for taking good care of our children. We thank God for our teachers. God bless our teachers; God bless our children and God bless all the guardians that have been taking care of us one way or the other,” she said.
The First Lady said the theme of the party had been carefully selected to be THEMES which stands for the ideals of the present administration of Governor Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu for a greater Lagos, an acronym for Traffic Management and Transportation; Health and Environment; Education and Technology; Making Lagos a 21st Century Economy; Entertainment and Toursim, as well as Security and Governance.
“As children, we want you to know what THEMES stands for and it has to do with so many things including Traffic Management. You know when you are going to school in the morning and there is a lot of traffic, some of you get late to school and serve punishment because of the traffic. So, we must learn how to solve our traffic problem and it starts with all of us. On transportation too, we need buses, cars, trains, boats and trams to take us to school.
“We also have the health sector. Each and every one of us at one time or the other have had to go to the hospital for check-up to ensure that we are okay; to ensure that we can see very well in school and then we can speak very well too. Even, our special needs children that need to go to special needs school to be taught in a special way.
“We have the environmental section in THEMES as well and before we leave this place, we are going to ensure we leave it the clean way we met it. Each and every one of you will pick the paper or the plastic bottle or the food pack and ensure that we put them at the side here. We are going to make Lagos clean and it starts with you and me,” she said.
While harping on the need to encourage waste sorting from source, the First Lady said the task of ensuring a cleaner Lagos involves everybody including children, and that it must be taken seriously.
“Now, yoU have heard about recycling. When you see your water bottles, we are going to pick them up and put them in purple waste bags and dustbin for recycling, while every other domestic waste should go to the black bags and dustbin.
“When you get home, you are going to tell mummy, daddy, aunties, uncles, nannies about the need to embrace waste sorting from source. Waste sorting starts from our homes. We can make Lagos very very clean,” Sanwo-Olu said just as she stressed that the present administration was very much interested in developing a 21st Century economy and scaling up tourism and entertainment sectors.
On security, Sanwo-Olu said everybody has to be vigilant and speak up when they see strange movement around their vicinity.
According to her, “Everybody has to be security conscious. When you see something, say something. Don’t keep quiet when you see something strange in your area or in school. Gone are the days when they say don’t open the door for strangers. Even the people you know now a days, you have to be wary of them not only strangers. The uncle in that house, the aunty in that house, you have to be wary of them; you have to be careful. If you see anything they are doing that is not right, you need to report to your parents or guardians out there.”
Also speaking, Women Leader of All Progressives Congress in Lagos State, Hon Jumoke Okoya-Thomas commended the First Lady and her team for putting the party together, just as she urged children to take their studies more seriously as they go into the new year.
“I feel like a child myself. You can see us dancing around the event centre. Its a fun time for the children and I am glad the First Lady organized this. The children are so happy; so lively and they are all over the place dancing and enjoying the period that they are on holiday and I am happy that they are also here having fun.
“My message is that parents should please take care of their wards and protect them from dangers out there. My prayer is that God will also protect us. For the children, please face your studies so that you can be great in life; so that you can be Governor of Lagos State and President of Nigeria one day,” Okoya