Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Sunday evening acknowledged the efforts of exceptionally talented children and youths in contributing to the excellence which the state is known for, saying they deserved to be commended and celebrated.
Speaking at a special evening of arts held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja to celebrate Children’s Day, Lagos at 51 and the third anniversary of his administration, Governor Ambode said it was gratifying that the frontline position of Lagos in the area of performing arts was now globally acknowledged, and attributed the recognition to the young ones who are doing the state proud with their talents.
Describing children in the State as the most cherished assets of his administration, the Governor said any nation desirous of realising its full potential could not afford to toy with its youth, which according to him, was why deliberate policies were put in place to support them to use their talents for the benefit of the state.
“No nation achieves its full potential without the human capital that the children and youth represent. Our state as you know has the largest concentration of such beautiful, brilliant set of children and youths anywhere in the black world. Whether in education, in innovations, arts and literature or in sports, Lagos excels because of the exceptional talents of our young ones.
“This is why we have chosen to specially celebrate them this evening with one of the gifts that the world now acknowledges the frontline position of our State – performing arts. This of course is in line with our promise to make Tourism, Hospitality, Entertainment and the Arts together with Sports the centrepiece of our development agenda for the youths in our State,” Governor Ambode said.
He said it was satisfying that the critical stakeholders in the sector appreciated the efforts being made by his administration to nurture and grow the performing arts industry, just as he assured that no efforts would be spared to sustain the drive to place the State on a sound pedestal for growth and development via the sector.
“In three years of renewed vigour and commitment to the finer things of life like the Arts and Culture, we are pleased with the fact that our critical stakeholders appreciate our modest intervention and are encouraged to do more.
“This evening we have chosen four of such stakeholders today not only for the beautiful performance they have treated us with; but to also specially honour them too for their contributions in uplifting the standard of performing arts in our State, especially as it concerns children and the youth,” he said.
The governor specifically celebrated the parents and members of the youth groups which performed at the event – The Dream Catchers, Dance Na The Main Thing (DNMT), The Q Dance Company and Footprints of David, among others, just as he urged them to keep up the good work.
“These children mean so much to me and I love them all from the bottom of my heart. I am and I reiterate once again committed to the upliftment of the culture and the heritage of Lagos. I will do it with it with all my strength and I also promise that I will keep the performing arts growing by investing in the sector.
“Already, we are in the process of having a Lagos Museum and we will do everything to create the atmosphere that will allow these young ones to thrive and also become additional celebrities that we want them to be,” the governor said.
In his vote of thanks, Commissioner for Tourism, Arts and Culture, Steve Ayorinde, appreciated Ambode’ consistency in providing strategy and direction for enriching arts experiences in the state.
Mr Ayorinde said the entire people of Lagos gives gratitude to the governor for opening the possibilities in the world of arts and entertainment to enrich people’s life.
“The entire world of arts and entertainment are grateful for the exceptional confidence, vision and commitment you have bestowed into the creative industry,” Ayorinde said.
The evening was witnessed by distinguished personalities including the Deputy Governor of the State, Dr. Idiat Adebule; the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji. Lai Mohammed; Wife of the Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Abimbola Ambode; The first Governor of the State, Rtd. Brigadier Gen. Mobolaji Johnson; Chief Kesington Adebutu; Senator Solomon Olamilekan and others.