Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has charged religious leaders to preach tolerance, perseverance, and complete trust in God during this trying period.
Sanwo-Olu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Home Affairs, Mr Olanrewaju Kayode, gave the charge on Thursday at Ikeja, during the event marking the 2023 International Day for Tolerance.
The theme of the event is “The Role of Religion in Engendering a Positive Mental State in the Face of Current Economic Realities.”
“Permit me to charge our religious leaders to preach tolerance, perseverance, and complete trust in God for this trying economic period. As the Holy Book says, “And this too shall pass.” We hereby seek your continued partnership, cooperation, and endurance in this regard,” he said.
According to him, Lagos, being the commercial nerve centre of Sub-Saharan Africa, is a melting point for diverse nationalities of different religions from all over the world.
He said it was, therefore, necessary to emphasise tolerance and mutual respect for opinions and differences among residents of the state.
“The celebration of today is quite significant, considering the human dynamics and recent economic developments in our country and the world at large. You will agree with me that the economic pulse in Lagos State is palpable.
“The role of religion emerges as a guiding force for sculpting a positive mental state amid the challenges of our current economic landscape.
“As we navigate the intricacies of fiscal uncertainties, the interplay between faith and mindset becomes a beacon of hope and resilience for individuals and communities alike,” the governor said.
He said that with respect to the current economic realities globally, people’s lifestyles, worldviews, and global economies had not been the same.
Sanwo-Olu said a lot of companies and organisations were greatly hit by the harshness being experienced, while some businesses are merging or winding up.
He said his administration, in its social responsibilities, had put measures in place to assist small and medium-scale enterprises with soft loans and grants.
According to him, as a government, the economic prosperity of the people is a top priority and the government is determined to create an economic hub for all businesses.
“We have also appealed to corporates not to lay off staff. We are indeed faced with several health and economic challenges at this time, but the Almighty God has been benevolent to us in Nigeria generally and in Lagos State in particular, coupled with the resilient spirit known to Lagosians.
“The state government has observed with a high sense of pride how residents have become resilient in fostering solidarity.
“The congregational spirit becomes a source of mutual support, a reminder that, in the face of economic uncertainties, we are not alone,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said it was quite commendable that Lagos residents were tolerant of one another.
He also said that during this period, the government was responsive enough to embark on a compassionate drive, by distributing food relief materials to its residents, irrespective of tribe, tongue, or religious inclinations, to cushion the effects of inflation.
“This is simply an act of tolerance. Let me reiterate and admonish our beloved people not to relent in supporting and understanding the efforts of the Lagos State Government; we should be our brothers’ keeper and exhibit mutual respect for our diverse opinions, culture, and religion,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He urged residents to exercise patience, tolerance, and understanding among themselves.
The governor said his administration was leaving nothing to chance in ensuring that the goals and gains of the T.H.E.M.E.S. Plus agenda are vigorously pursued and delivered for the good and benefit of all and sundry.