Following the wanton destruction of properties and killings in Lagos State during the violence that trailed the peaceful #EndSARS protest, Governors of Southwest states on Sunday, 25th October, 2020, paid a solidarity visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to commiserate with the people and government of the state.
Ondo State Governor and Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, led other Governors in the Southwest region to assess the destruction of government and private properties by hoodlums.
The Governors were accompanied by Ministers from the Southwest including Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola SAN, Minister of state for Health, Olorunnimbe Momowora and Minister for Interior, Rauf Aregbesola.
Earlier at a press briefing, Governor Akeredolu stated that the unfortunate occurrences of the past few days in Lagos State have impacted negatively on the whole of the Southwest Region.
Governor Akeredolu said:”It is disquieting, to assert the least, that a protest, widely acclaimed as peaceful and purpose-driven, has been hijacked by some people, ostensibly to execute a destructive design.”
The Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum said that recent development has shown that there might have been other reasons for the continued, well-coordinated and funded protests.
“The spread of fake news and videos, which followed an allegation of shooting by some soldiers with a claimed heavy casualty figure at the Lekki Toll Gate, Victoria Island, Lagos, is primarily responsible for the subsequent loss of lives and property.” Governor Akeredolu said.
While commiserating with the families of victims of violence across Lagos State and slain Policemen, Governor Akeredolu prayed that the Almighty grant them the fortitude to bear the avoidable losses.
Arakunrin Akeredolu said: “We also note, with much pain and sadness, the vast and spreading destruction of property belonging to notable individuals and vestiges of our collective patrimony and pride.
“We commiserate with His Royal Majesty, Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on the sacrilege committed at his palace and condemn in no unmistakable terms the vile attack on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and destruction of businesses where it is believed he has interest, TVC, THE NATION to mention a few.”
The Governors expressed worry over the refusal of the military authorities to make definitive statement on the Lekki Toll Gate incident, days after the unfortunate incident took place.
They said their anxiety was heightened by the categorical statement of Governor Sanwo-Olu concerning the deployment of military officers to Lekki Toll Gate, adding that no Governor has power to authorize deployment of military personnel in Nigeria.
“We note, with great relief, the confirmation by the Governor that no fatality was recorded at the Lekki Toll Gate incident based on visits to hospitals, mortuaries, both private and public.
“There were no doubt different levels of injury to persons arising from the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate. Consequently, we insist that full investigation be conducted to ascertain the veracity of the news items liberally circulated by some local media.
“It is becoming very clear that the conflagration may have been caused by deliberate deployment “a weapon of mass confusion” apology to Dr. Ope Banwo. The attendant damage was extensive and massive.
“We enjoin our youth to rise up to defend our land and people against the diabolical incursions ravaging our space. What do we stand to gain destroying ourselves. We cannot continue to fold our hands and watch our heritage destroyed and our people suffer. We must engage, constructively, all those whose dubious solutions to a social problem is the descent to anarchy. We appeal to them to ‘CALM DOWN’.
The Governors commended Governor Sanwo-Olu for his administrative acumen while noting that his patience and understanding in the face of unwarranted provocation by agents of darkness is also comendable.
Olabode Richard Olatunde
Special Assistant to the Governor (New Media)
October 25, 2020.