By Lucy Osuizigbo
Lagos – In a bid to stem ethnic agitations and hate speech across the country, Mr Mudashiru Obasa, the Speaker, Lagos State House of Assembly, says government at all levels should listen to the yearnings of the citizens.
Obasa said this after Eid-el Kabir prayers at Dodan Barracks prayer ground on Friday in Lagos.
According to him, the people, who elected the leaders, have the right to hold the government accountable.
“As a people, we need to learn to live and co-exist with others to promote peace in the country. And the government should also reciprocate by ensuring that they listen to the followers.
“’Recently, agitations have been on the increase on issues such as restructuring, devolution of power and others.
“I strongly believe that the hate speech the government is guarding against would not have arisen in the first place if government had listened to the yearnings of the people.
“So, government needs to listen to the people and proffer solutions, do those which will bring about peace, development and affect the people positively,’’ he told newsmen.
On the vexed issue of restructuring, Obasa said there was need to restructure the country to make it more united, productive and peaceful.
According to the speaker, restructuring does not mean dividing the country, but making the Nigeria project work in the interest of all.
He said:“Take for instance, the issue of kidnapping and insecurity in Lagos State. Security matters are solely in the hands of the Federal Government, the state does not have control over the police.
“That is why restructuring is important. With restructuring, we will have devolution of power and part of it, is to have state police where the state will be in charge of the police and tackle insecurity headlong.
“If we can have this, the rate of crime in the state will reduce and Lagos will be totally safe for all.’’
Obasa also urged Muslim faithful to uphold the significance of the Eid celebration by being selfless and submitting to the will of Allah just as Prophet Ibrahim did.
Also speaking, the Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr Idiat Adebule, urged Nigerians to uphold the significance of Eid-el Kabir, total submission and obedience to God by caring for people and sharing with them.
“Today’s celebration is in remembrance of Prophet Ibrahim’s submission to the Almighty Allah, who out of faith was ready to sacrifice his son but Allah, out of his mercy, provided a ram for the sacrifice.
“The message for us as Muslims is that we submit ourselves to the will of the Almighty God. We should not just be carried away by today’s celebration but reflect on the significance of today which is total submission to God.
“As we also wine and dine, let us care and share with others, especially the underprivileged, irrespective of tribe or religion.
“This is why Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode led-administration is organising Eid celebration in the 20 Local Government Areas of the state to make the celebration an inclusive one,’’ she said.
In his message, the immediate past Commissioner of Police in the state, Mr Fatai Owoseni, advised residents to be security conscious and cooperate with security agents to ensure a crime-free celebration.
Earlier in his sermon, Sheikh Garuba Akinola-Ibrahim, the Chief Imam of Lagos, urged Nigerians to shun all forms of vices that threaten the peace and unity of the country.
“Let us learn to forgive and co-exist peacefully so that we do not incur the wrath of the Almighty Allah. Let us shun acts of terrorism, kidnapping, armed robbery and other crimes that are now serious challenges in the country.
“I also appeal to our political leaders to shun corruption, impunity and injustice. They should utilise the nation’s wealth to develop the country and make the people happy,’’ he said.
The Chief Imam called for continued prayers for President Muhammadu Buhari and other government officials for them to lead the country right.