The Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has urged Nigerians and governments to look beyond prejudice and hatred.
He said this as a guest lecturer at the University of Lagos Convocation Lecture titled; Inclusion: Path to a new nation.
As a panacea, Ambode urged Nigerians to jettison ethnic pettiness and religious bigotry and entrench true federalism.
As the first alumnus of the University to become Lagos State governor, Ambode said the policy of inclusion has helped Lagos develop and advocated same for other states.
He said, “Here, I offer Lagos State as an example of what is possible for all Nigeria and Nigerians when we practice the governance of inclusion instead of the old, malign ways of exclusion.
“What makes you truly Lagosian has little to do with where you were born, the origin of your surname or which Holy Book, if any, you read.
“If you do not mind if a person of a different group or religion prospers so long as you too have the fair chance to do the same, then you are Lagosian at heart.
“It is in this spirit that we build Lagos anew. It is in this spirit that we can build a new Nation.
“Inclusion is a principle by which we put to constructive use the full industry and skill of the people; rich and poor, old and young, men and women, boys and girls.
“It is my unyielding belief that the principle of inclusion which has served Lagos so well can be employed in other states with similar effect. In effect, our dear nation, Nigeria.”
To practice true federalism, Ambode called for reallocation of power between states and the Federal government “by amending the list of exclusive and concurrent powers and duties of these governments to reflect the current realities in the nation.”
“We need to shift some functions/responsibilities from the national government to place more of it in the hands of the states. This is how we give federalism the best chance to work,” he submitted.
Earlier, UNILAG Vice-Chancellor, Prof. Oluwatoyin Ogundipe lauded the governor for his commitment to the education sector, saying UNILAG was proud to associate with his achievements as an alumnus of the school.