The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, has come under intense attack on social media over his decision to be addressed as ”Mr Governor” and not ”Your Excellency.”
But he also had a following which commended his humble decision not to arrogate excellence to himself.
By this morning, there were over 1300 retweets and over 4600 likes on his Twitter handle.
Sanwo-Olu said in a statement on Wednesday in Lagos that being addressed as Mr Governor would propel his sense of responsibility to the residents.
According to him, only God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Protector is the Most Excellent,stressing no man can share His eternal qualities.
He said that he had been privileged, in the last five months, to exercise the mandate, freely given to him by the great and hardworking people of Lagos State.
The governor said that it had come to his consciousness to review certain features of citizen-government relations.
He said he took the decision because such features had impeded the genuine expression of the democratic spirit of the society and the meaningful exercise of the sovereignty of the people.
He said that the office of the Governor had 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.
”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,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said that the office of Governor was a public trust that called 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.
“It 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.
”Only God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Protector is the Most Excellent. No man can share His eternal qualities.
”Thenceforth, 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 sanitises the paraphernalia of office and reminds us all of our imperfections and mortality.”
Sanwo-Olu said that to give official effect to this announcement, he would issue an executive order that would formally ensure full compliance with this new policy.
Additional reports by NAN