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Nigeria’s Lagos governor says ‘don’t call me Your Excellency’

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Nigeria's Lagos governor says 'don't call me Your Excellency'

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Image caption Babajide Sanwo-Olu took the office of governor of Lagos state in May 2019

The governor of Nigeria's most populous state has asked to be referred to as "Mr Governor" instead of "Your Excellency".

Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the governor of Lagos, wrote on Twitter that the previous title had come to represent "authoritarian disposition".

He argued the title allows appointed people to see themselves as oppressors instead of servants.

Mr Sanwo-Olu has been serving as governor of Lagos for five months.

Image Copyright @jidesanwoolu @jidesanwoolu Report
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Twitter post by @jidesanwoolu: Good evening Lagos. Your Excellency is a nice title that has been used to signify authority, position in government, authoritarian disposition, executive arrogance, and a demi-god mystique. Today, I wish to drop the title and to embrace a more representative one; Mr. Governor Image Copyright @jidesanwoolu @jidesanwoolu Report

Titles are very important in Nigeria and are used to signify authority especially for those in power, the BBC's Nduka Orjinmo in Lagos says.

Mr Sanwo-Olu said the title spread a "demi-god mystique" over the office of the governor and reminded that the office is "occupied by a mortal" who has been called upon to serve.

The governor called for "sacrifice, modesty and a willingness to add value to the lives of the people".

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However many see his statement as an act of distraction, our correspondent says.

The statement has been criticised by social medial users who say they want him to work on Lagos' infrastructure and his campaign promises instead of honorifics.

Users also referred to the case of Babangida Aliyu, the former governor of Niger state, who called himself "Chief Servant" of the state but was later charged for fraud.

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