The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Wednesday said he no longer wants to be addressed as ‘Your Excellency’ in his engagements with citizens and other official duties.
In a statement Sanwo-Olu said the decision came following a review of 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 the people.
He said he now wants to be addressed simply as ‘Mr Governor’, to constantly remind him that he had been chosen out of so many fellow compatriots to lead the state.
“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,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“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.’’
“A salutation that sanitises the paraphernalia of office and reminds us all of our imperfections and mortality. To give official effect to this announcement, I shall issue tomorrow an executive order that will formally ensure full compliance with this new policy.’’
Sanwo-Olu was elected Governor in the 2019 general election and was sworn into office in May.
In his statement, the Governor said his office 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,” he said.
“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. The office of Governor is a public trust that calls for sacrifice, modesty and willingness to add value to the lives of the people,” he said.