Fashola Decries Violence Against Women, Children
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has played host to the Vice President of the International Association of Lions Clubs, Mr. Barry Palmer, advocating a world devoid of violence and brutality especially against women and children.
Addressing a large delegation of Lions Club members from across the state, including Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere (retd.), who accompanied Palmer at the Lagos House Marina, Fashola said such a world was possible if only humanity could work hard to embrace peace.
“I wish that we could have a world where there are no guns; I wish we could have a world where there is peace; I wish we could have a world where women are not brutalized, where children are not kidnapped,“ he said adding, “I think that all this is possible if only we can all work hard to embrace peace.”
Commending the Lions Club International for the tremendous work it is doing all over the world to bring succour to suffering humanity, Fashola added: “These are my wishes for my state; these are my wishes for the world in which I live and I am ready to embrace partnerships like the Lions Club to bring them to reality.
“The responsibility that we bear as a people, but more so, as a Government, is essentially to bring out the best from God’s greatest creation– humanity -, first by preserving their lives, by making them healthy and by giving them education that gives them skills to unleash the real potential that is in every human being.”
He thanked the Lions Family in Nigeria and in Lagos for the tremendous support they are giving to the people of Nigeria and particularly to the government and people of Lagos State, saying such support has been visible especially in the areas of disease eradication and prevention.
Fashola, who said he had to give up a previously scheduled trip to Abuja in order to receive the delegation personally, described the Lions Club International as ”very worthy and laudable partners in the worthy cause to save humanity from abject poverty and disease”.
He lauded the Lagos Districts of the Club for their commitment towards the eradication and prevention of polio, expressing joy that the state government has effectively kept the disease out of the state for four years “in spite of the challenges arising from immigration and from behavioural patterns which we are using advocacy to deepen.”
He also thanked Lion Air Vice-Marshal Anthony Okpere (retd.) “for the untiring work that he has done in promoting the Lions Family here”, adding that his commitment to the cause of the Club could be detected from contributions of council members and past District Governors towards the welfare of the people. He said his government has been at the forefront of the battle to eradicate poverty and disease among the people through prevention and eradication of diseases and education to give skills to the people with which to engage in enterprise and prosper.
“You will see that among the small team that is with me, there are three doctors and this speaks to our commitment to health and welfare of our people. One of them is an educationist because we understand the importance of skills to battle the greatest challenge, perhaps, that has beset humanity – poverty – and with skills you can go into enterprise and that is why the Commissioner for Commerce and Industry is here because we all have the commercial aspiration to do business and prosper”, he said.
Describing the Lions Family in Lagos as “very worthy and salutary partners”, Governor Fashola thanked Palmer for his visit and for his commitment to the cause of humanity adding that his administration would always be found ready partners in the Club’s endeavour to make the world a better place for humanity.
In his opening remarks, Palmer said the Lion Club has undertaken to eradicate measles in Nigeria as well as assist in basic educational programmes so that more young people could learn to read and write at the rudimentary stages.
“We realize that government cannot do it all alone neither can we do it alone. We need the cooperation and collaboration of each other to achieve the required goal,” he said, and thanked Fashola for “all the support you are giving to the club here.”