Nigeria: Stop Addressing Me As 'Your Excellency' - Sanwo-Olu

7 November 2019

Lagos — The governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has declared that he no longer wishes to be addressed as 'Your Excellency', saying the term is "a symbol of executive arrogance".

In a statement yesterday from the office of his Chief Press Secretary , which Sanwo-Olu personally signed, the governor said he had become conscious of the need "to review certain features of citizen-government relations which impede the genuine expression of the democratic spirit".

The governor described the 'Your Excellency' title as "a demi-god mystique" that had spread over the entire machinery of the executive arm of the government, and was a symbol of 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.

The office is occupied by a mortal who has been called upon to serve the electorate with humility and sincerity," he said.

Stressing his resolve to change the narrative of governance, Sanwo-Olu added, "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. Only God, the Almighty, the Creator, the Protector is the Most Excellent. No man can share His eternal qualities."

The governor, therefore, stated that, henceforth, he would wish to be addressed simply as 'Mr. Governor', a title he said would constantly remind him he had been chosen out of so many fellow compatriots to lead a collective salvage of the state's political economy.

The governor is expected to issue today an executive order that would formally ensure full compliance with the new policy.

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