The Lagos State Government (LASG), on Monday said that it would turn the ancient town of Badagry into Jerusalem of Nigeria by constructing a befitting structure under the Agia Tree, where Christmas was first celebrated in 1842.
Mr Solomon Bonu, the Special Adviser to Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Tourism, Arts and Culture, said this at the 15th anniversary of Badagry Prime, a Town Hall Meeting and Award in Badagry.
The theme of the event was: “Badagry in the Face of Modern Development: Beyond the Talks”.
According to Bonu, the whole idea is meant to revitalise the tourism sector in Badagry.
“Lagos State governor has just approved the construction of a structure around the Agia Tree in Badagry, where the first Christmas was celebrated in Nigeria.
“The idea is that if Christmas was celebrated in 1842 here in Badagry under the Agia Tree here, the present administration is trying to turn Badagry into Jerusalem, so that the there will be festival of Christmas in the town.
“This will be an avenue for pastors that used to travel from Nigeria to Jerusalem, to get back to their root.
“So, every year, we want to make sure that everyone comes to Badagry to celebrate Christmas, the plan is on now.
“Any moment from now, the contractor will move to site and the work will start,” he said.
The special adviser said that the abandoned chalet in the town had been revisited and the contractor had returned to site.
Mr Setonji David, the lawmaker representing Badagry Constituency 11 in the Lagos State House of Assembly, described the publisher of Badagry Prime, Mr Felix Godonu, as a role model in the town.
According to the lawmaker, the publisher has sustained the publication for over 15 years without hitches.
He urged the youth in Badagry to emulate him, adding that he had remained well-versed in his job.
Mr Miyise Suru-Lere, an Architect, urged politicians to always attend public functions where they would have the opportunity to highlight what they had contributed to the development of the town.
He urged them that they should not be sending representatives.
Mr Sunday Ogunfowora, the Protocol Officer of NULGE in Lagos State, said that there was the need to change the old system of doing things in Badagry.
Ogunfowora suggested a kind of summit where all stakeholders would come together and recharge and channel a common front.
He said that technocrats should be appointed as special advisers, supervisors and councilors, to move the town forward.
In his remarks, Godonu said that the objective of the publication was to bridge the information gap and to ensure real, timely and undiluted news reportage without economising the truth.
“A journalist should always say only the truth, no exaggeration of any stories, articles or news.
“He should be truly unbiased, but be conscientious, magnanimous by nature, and should first free himself from religion, party politics and greed for wealth, ” he said.