The Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-olu has announced his decision to drop ‘YOUR EXCELLENCY’ title as it symbolises ‘an authoritarian disposition on the people.
The Governor in a press statement said, in the last five months that he has been privileged to exercise the mandate freely given by the great and hardworking people of Lagos State, he has become conscious of the need to review certain features of citizen-government relations which impede the genuine expression of the democratic spirit of the society and the meaningful exercise of the sovereignty of our people.
He added, ”the office of the Governor has been celebrated as the paragon of excellence, a temple of perfection and a throne of purity. This demi-god mystique spreads over the entire machinery of the executive arm of the government, symbolising an authoritarian disposition on the governed. It has deformed the orientation of elected and appointed persons who are paid from the taxes of the people to see themselves as oppressors who can do no wrong and must be served, rather than serve the people”.
Sanwo-Olu said the office of Governor is a public trust that was established to add value to the lives of the people.
He further explained that the title commanded obeisance and undermined the democratic role of citizens as the masters of those they have elected and appointed to serve.
He said, ”Whatever might have been the reason for this myth, let us be honest, the office is occupied by a mortal who has been called upon to serve the electorate with humility and sincerity. The office of Governor is a public trust that calls for sacrifice, modesty and willingness to add value to the lives of the people.
”Fellow Lagosians, I have come to the conclusion that for us to change the narrative of governance, we have to strike down this seeming symbol of executive arrogance that commands popular obeisance and undermines the democratic role of citizens as the masters of those they have elected and appointed to serve. It is a conviction that I believe will send the right signals to all politicians and civil servants that service to the people has brought us here. It is the duty we are obliged to do. It is the responsibility that we bear wherever we find ourselves; whenever we are called to serve”
He further added , ‘I wish to be addressed simply as Mr. Governor, a title that will constantly remind me that I have been chosen out of so many fellow compatriots to lead a collective salvage of our political economy. A salutation that sanitizes the paraphernalia of office and reminds us all of our imperfections and mortality.’
Governor Sanwo-Olu said an executive order will be issued to make the announcement official to ensure full compliance.