The Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has called for harmony and interfaith tolerance among religious bodies in the state.
Sanwo-Olu made the call on Wednesday in Ikeja during the celebration of the 2019 International Day of Tolerance.
The programme, with the theme: ”Enhancing Harmonious Relationship and Peace among Religious Bodies for Better Socio-Economic Development in the State”, was organised by Lagos State Ministry of Home Affairs.
Represented by Wife of Lagos State Deputy Governor, Mrs Oluremi Hamzat, Sanwo-Olu said that some people in the country were still beating drums of war over religion and tribe.
According to him, Lagos, being the most cosmopolitan state in Nigeria, remains very peaceful and tolerant, devoid of religion and tribal sentiments.
“We pride ourselves in saying that Lagos State is not only ‘a Mini-Nigeria but a state for all’, where every tribe and tongue go about their businesses in peace.
“This has helped our economy and invariably our socio-economic development,’’ he said.
The governor said that his administration would continue to create a more enabling environment for more interactions among all religions in Lagos State.
He described tolerance as the respect and appreciation of the rich variety of the world’s cultures, forms of expression and ways of being human.
“It is a conscious act of showing respect for other beliefs, culture and ways of life as long as it does not affect the basic right of others.
“Let us be proud of our cultural diversity and our great accomplishment even in civilisation,’’ he said.
Sanwo-Olu urged residents to live in peace and harmony with one another so as to leave a better society for their unborn children.
In her remark, Home Affairs Commissioner, Mrs Uzamat Akinbile-Yussuf, said that tolerance had been considered as the bedrock of society where people felt valued and respected.
Akinbile-Yussuf said that through tolerance, people of different backgrounds, cultures and faiths would be able to live together, adding that cultural diversity was a form of wealth and not a factor of division.
She called on Lagosians to imbibe the spirit of tolerance and togetherness for peacebuilding as well as combating racism and discrimination tearing some societies apart.
“The government is adequately mobilising the security agents and spending so much on education and enlightenment of the citizens.
“People should become aware of the link between their behaviour and the vicious circle of mistrust and violence in society.
“The peaceful development being witnessed in Lagos State presently is not by accident. It is due to our level of tolerance,” she said.