Lagos State Governor, Mr Akinwunmi Ambode on Sunday attributed the global recognition of the State as a major capital to God’s grace, guidance and divine favour, saying the State should be thankful for the numerous achievements and growth so far recorded.
Speaking at the annual special thanksgiving service of the State Government for the new year held at Lagos House in Alausa, Ikeja, the Governor said it was evidently clear that God had been faithful to the State in making the modest successes recorded possible.
“God has been very faithful to us in Lagos and that is why we dedicate every first Sunday of the year to give Him thanks and praise. The modest achievements and progress our State has recorded would not have been possible without His grace, guidance and divine favour.
“The occasion of this Annual Thanksgiving Service is very symbolic to us in Lagos as it not only serves as a yearly tradition but it provides us a platform to come together as a people and as a State to give praise to the Almighty.
“When we count the numerous blessings and favours our State has enjoyed, protection from natural disasters, security of lives and property of Lagosians, the continuous growth and development of our State and the global recognition of Lagos as a major capital in the world, we would see that truly, our God has been faithful and benevolent to us beyond our expectations,” Governor Ambode said.
Describing the theme of the service – “Enter His Gates with Thanksgiving,” taken from Psalms 100:4, as apt, the Governor said it was for people to appreciate God for His blessings, hence the need for the service.
According to him, “The place of thanksgiving is paramount, as it is through thanksgiving that the presence of God is brought down. Through this yearly tradition of the State Thanksgiving Service, we have had the priviledge of coming together to appreciate God and also commit the activities of the New Year unto His hands and in return, He has bestowed upon us peace and divine intervention especially at difficult times.”
Besides, Governor Ambode said as the nation prepares for crucial elections in 2019, it was important for Nigerians to to pray for peaceful elections to facilitate continuity of development and good governance.
“As we raise our voices in songs of praise, adoration and supplications, I urge us all to pray for our State and our Country especially in this special and crucial year of general elections. Let us seek the face of God to grant us peaceful elections devoid of violence, so that Lagos, and indeed Nigeria, will continue to excel and experience continuity of development and good governance,” he said.
The Governor also used the service to appreciate and all Clergymen in the State for always keeping faith with the annual thanksgiving service and for their ceaseless prayers and wise counsels for the continued progress of the State.
In his sermon, General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Pastor Enoch Adeboye emphasised the need for people to continually appreciate God, saying doing such always help to complete prayers.
Citing Acts 16: 25-26, Adeboye who was represented by his Special Assistant, Pastor Idowu Iluyomade said thanksgiving also has the ability to move God to action, urging the people to imbibe the act of giving thanks in all situations.
Aside songs ministrations from various choirs, prayers were also offered for the first family, the Executive, Judiciary, Legislature, Civil Service, Local Governments and security operatives, and also for the success of the forthcoming general elections.
Among dignitaries who attended the service include Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo and his wife, Dolapo; former Lagos State Governors – Brigd Gen. Mobolaji Johnson Rtd, Alhaji Lateef Jakande, Rr. Admiral Ndubuisi Kanu Rtd; Governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC) in the State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu and leading Christian clerics in the State.