Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola (SAN), has enjoined parents and guardians to promote societal values among members of their families pointing out that whatever a State or country turns out to be is a function of the kind of families that constitute that state or country.
In his goodwill message at this year’s Justice Muri Okunola Memorial Ramadan Lecture at the Eko FM Open Field, Radio House, Agidingbi, Governor Fashola said the act of government starts from the individual families, pointing out that the men and women that would eventually become president, governors, legislators and commissioners as well as local government chairmen were first members of individual families.
He told the gathering of Muslim scholars, imams, current and former top government officials as well as hundreds of Muslim faithful, “You should all know that government starts from individual families and the way and manner we handle or operate our families is how our State and our country will be”.
“There is nothing at all that Governors Tinubu, Fashola, Amosun, Aregbesola, Fayemi, Ajimobi and others can do in this case. They cannot enter every family to govern. The husbands and their wives are the governors and the deputy governors of their families. They have their budgets and they have those they cater for every month as the State also present their budgets”, the Governor said.
Noting that the people who are armed robbers and suicide bombers today came from individual families, Governor Fashola declared, “When those children were born, everybody rejoiced with their families. It was the government of these children – the families – that have problems and this affected the children”.
Obviously preaching birth control, Governor Fashola also asked, “If we say there is poverty, what exactly are we doing to put a stop to it? If a family has already had four children and later add twins, it is then that they will be challenging government”, adding that it would be in the interest of both the individual family and the State to control the population.
He dismissed the excuse by some men that the inability to have a male child prompts them to produce more children than they could cope with pointing out that aside the fact that it is not the fault of the woman in such a circumstance, every child, male or female, has the potential to attain the highest height in life.
Commenting also on the on-going debate over the Senate’s proposal to legalize child marriage in the country, Governor Fashola declared, “If we allow a 10-year-old girl to get married, she is not even matured enough to decide what she wants unless the parents forced her into it”.
He noted that before the clerics in Islam join any couple in marriage, they used to ask the girl whether she is forced into the union adding, “The reason for such question is to allow the lady to say her mind. If an under-aged girl is forced into marriage, she is just going there to be a slave and by the time she will be giving birth, she wil be nurturing the disease called VVF”.
Earlier at another Ramadan organized by the Muslim Association of Nigeria, Governor Fashola also called on parents and guardians to join hands and inculcate moral values in their children pointing out that the value system of any nation was a reflection of the value system of individual families that make up that nation.
Arguing that politics starts from the family, Governor Fashola declared, “I have often heard the statement, and I have even heard it here today ‘I am not a politician’. Nothing could be further from the truth because every one of us is a political animal”, he said.
“Politics starts from the family. That is the first government and if we get the government in the homes right, all will be well for Lagos and for our nation Nigeria. It is not the angels that will do it for us. It is easy to blame Satan but it is the human beings who perform actions that discomfort us”, the Governor said.
He reiterated that those who carry out armed robbery and other criminal activities in the country were not born criminals but acquired the evil habit as a result of failure of the families where they come from. “As much as I would love everything to be fine, I cannot be in your family homes”, Governor Fashola said.
“It is not quite correct to say that we are not politicians, the first politics starts from the homes, the first government also starts from the homes and it is the number of good governments that we have in these family units that accrue to the State as a sign of good governance”, he said.
Describing transformation as a radical change, Governor Fashola asked, “Are we ready to change ourselves radically? If we want that transformation and we want to change, are we ready to make the sacrifice? Yes, it is said that we are poor. There is poverty in the land, nobody can dispute that, we see poverty but the same land has so much waste”.
“So, how can we accurately measure this poverty if we do not reduce the waste. We tailor our lifestyle towards the people whose lifestyle we want to emulate. But how do these people live? How many clothes do they have? How many jeweleries do they wear, how much food do they eat? From my little experience with those people, if they give you money for food they will ask you to choose between fish and meat and not take both. But we know how we eat here and how much is wasted”, the Governor said.
The Governor further declared, “We do not have enough electricity but how many of us can truly say they switch off all their electrical appliances when leaving home? The same thing applies to water. That is the beginning of transformation. It is in our hands. Do not wait for the political head. Start your own transformation in your home and in your self”.
He thanked the lecturers for doing justice to the topics and hoped that the people would inculcate and utilize the lessons learnt not only during the Ramadan but also beyond and all through their lives.
Among those present at the Muri Okunola Memorial Lecture were, widow of late Justice Muri Okunola and the family members, the first civilian Governor of Lagos State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Secretary to the Lagos State Government, Mrs. Oluranti Adebule, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi and his wife, Muslim scholars and imams as well as numerous other .Muslim Faithful.
At the venue of the Muslim Association of Nigeria organized lecture were the National President of the Association, Alhaji Sulayman Yusuf, members of the Board of Trustees of the Association, His Royal Majesty Oba Babatunde Akanbi Ogunronbi and other traditional rulers as well as Muslim scholars Imams and Faithful.
The two presentations delivered at the Muri Okunola Memorial Ramadan Lecture were titled “Spiritual Rebirth Towards a New Nation” by Alhaji Shaykh Isa Akindele and “Building a Viral marriage” by Alhaja Sherifat Yusuf.