Ahead of the swearing-in ceremony of the Lagos State Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Governor Akinwumi Ambode bid residents of the state farewell on Tuesday.
The outgoing Governor lost his reelection bid after the All Progressives Congress’ (APC) governorship primaries, wherein Mr. Sanwo-Olu emerged the party’s choice.
Mr. Sanwo-Olu, who won with a wide margin in the primaries also defeated the opposition party’s candidate, Jimi Agbaje, in the March 9 governorship poll.
The swearing-in ceremony of the new governor comes up on Wednesday.
Meanwhile, in his handing over speech, Mr. Ambode expressed gratitude to the people of Lagos who supported him during the four years.
He also reflected on the past, present and the future of the state as he passes on the baton of leadership to Mr Sanwo-Olu.
Below is the full text of his speech
My fellow Lagosians.
With a heart full of gratitude, I address you today for the last time as your governor. It has been an honour and a privilege of a lifetime to serve you for the last four years.
It has been a remarkable journey which has had a lasting impact on my life and I want to thank all Lagosians for the experience of these last four years.
As in the beginning when we visited every single corner of this state, listening to you and asking for your votes, I have felt the power of your support, your collective energy and the endless goodwill that has propelled us to achieve many things.
For this administration, policies, programmes and projects aimed at lifting more of our people out of poverty and making every part of the State safe, accessible and economically viable were always the priority; the driving force behind all our decisions and plans.
A few of our policies might have been unpopular but these were decisions taken with the best interest of our State in mind. With the benefit of hindsight, maybe we could have done some things differently but our intention was always clear, for the good of Lagos.
Even in those tough times, your constructive feedback and patience helped us surmount the challenges and enabled us grow stronger.
As a little boy growing up in Lagos, all I wanted was to be an accountant. This State gave me that and so much more. Our State is a land of opportunities, a home for everyone and a place where dreams come true. It is our duty and responsibility to ensure that we remain a centre of opportunities and growth for everyone; a place where people can achieve their dreams and aspirations.
From being just a commercial centre, our State has now become a prime destination for tourism, sports, entertainment and culture. And the future is even brighter with more exciting prospects and possibilities. In the near future, with God on our side, Lagos will take its rightful place in the comity of major city-States of the world.
Fellow Lagosians, it has been a remarkable journey. One in which we have pushed boundaries and moved our State to another level. A journey in which we have transformed many aspects of our State and set the ball rolling in other sectors. But there is still a lot more to be done.
But it is a job not for only the government; it is a responsibility for us all. In Lagos everyone counts and we all have a part to play.
By tomorrow, there will be a change of guard in our State. I will be stepping down and a new Governor will be sworn in. We will have a new Governor and a new administration with the same objective; achieving a better Lagos.
Those who have had the privilege of serving our dear State in different capacities especially as Governors owe their successes to your prayers, understanding and support. The same courtesy and cooperation that you gave to my predecessors from the first elected Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande to our national leader, Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola (SAN) to my humble self, I urge you to extend same to the next administration of Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and ensure that he succeeds. It is in our best interest to do so.
I am immensely grateful to the three arms of Government, the Executive, the Legislature and the Judiciary for their immense support throughout the tenure of our administration.
I also reserve special thanks for the leadership, elders and members of our great party, the All Progressives Congress, the Local Government Councils and community leaders, all our Security agencies, civil society groups and our religious leaders.
I also owe a debt of gratitude to the President, Muhammadu Buhari, and the Vice President, Professor Yemi Osibanjo (SAN) for their support in the last four years.
To my wife, Bolanle and the children, who have had to endure many days and nights without me; I thank you for your love and steadfastness. You will continue to be my pillar of strength.
To all Lagosians; for your love, compassion, cooperation and support, I am eternally grateful. My love always.
God bless you.
God bless Lagos State, and
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria
Itesiwaju ipinle eko lo je wa logun