Politics

Gbajabiamila, S/W Govs, Ministers Say Mystery Behind Lagos Arson, Mayhem Must Be Unravelled

By Benjamin Omoike

The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Rt. Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, South West Governors and ministers from the region on Sunday paid a solidariry visit to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-olu, over the deaths and wanton destruction of property over EndSARS protests in the State.

The Southwest Governors led by its chairman, Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, as well as the ministers who embarked on inspection tours of the devastating incidents at various scenes, commiserated with those that lost their lives and property in the coordinated arsons on public assets and private property.

Youths had embarked on peaceful protests against brutality committed by operatives of the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) tagged #EndSARS which resulted in mayham.

Sanwo-Olu in company of State government officials, took the South West Governors and Minister round on an inspection of some areas which included Igbosere High Court, City Hall, DNA and forensic Centre, and  that were razed and vandalised in the coordinated attacks by arsonists.

The South West Governors included that of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi; Oyo State, Seyi Makinde; while the Minister of works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola; Minister for State of Health, Olorunnimbe Mamowora; Minister for interior, Rauf Aregbesola; Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare; Solid Minerals, Olamilekan Adegbite; Trade and Investment, Tayo Alasoadura and Niyi Adebayo.

Speaking on behalf of South West Governors, Akeredolu appealed to the youths to suspend the protests, saying also that the Igbos should disregard the threat to vacate Lagos.

He said, “The Governors of the South West States of Nigeria wish to solidarise with the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo Olu, on the unfortunate occurrences of the past few days in Lagos State, which have impacted, negatively, on the whole Region. It is disquieting, to assert the least, that a protest, widely acclaimed as peaceful and purpose-drlven, has been hijacked by some people, ostensibly to execute a destructive design.

“You will recall that the Inspector General of Police issued an order disbanding the special unit formerly known as Special Anti-Robbery Unit, SARS, in the wake of the protests across the country. It Is also on record that the President and State Governors responded positively to the demands of the agitators. A decision was reached at the National Economic Council meeting held on the 16m October, 2020, that all State should set up judicial panel of inquiry over violation of people’s rights and Incidence of police brutality. This has been complied with.

“Recent development leaves us with no other option than to believe that there may have been other reasons for the continued protests, wellcoordlnated and funded. The spread of fake news and videos, which followed an allegation of shooting by some soldiers with heavy casualty figure at the Lekki Toll Gate, Victoria Island, Lagos, is primarily the purpose of our visit.

“We commiserate with the families of victims of violence across Lagos State and slain Policemen. We pray that the Almighty grant them the fortitude to bear these avoidable losses. 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.

“We are deeply concerned about the facilities and people’s investments that have been burnt.

“We are worried that despite the unfortunate incident in Lekki, there is no definitive statement from the military.

“We want to insist on full investigation to ascertain on what actually occurred. The conflagration  has been deployed by deliberate mass destruction.

“The damage done to the oldest court in the country is horrendous and other places,” Akeredolu stated.

He urged youths to desist from arson, saying “government properties cease to be government own once they are within your domains.”

We commend our brother, Babajide for his patience, we are very proud of you.

He urged the Igbos who are residents in Lagos to disregard a viral video asking them to vacate Lagos, saying “the video should be totally disregarded.”

“We appeal to our youths to suspend EndSARS protests, you should remain calm. We will attend to all your demands in due time.”

Also speaking on behalf of the Federal Government, Fashola said, “Our presence here is not accidental, it’s deliberate.

“Words are not enough to describe the extent of the damage we have seen but we are sure all will be well.” Fashola stated.

He added that all the ministers who came down to Lagos were the South West ministers, saying “we sympathize with the government of the State.

“I condole with families of those who have lost their lives and those lost properties,” he said.

He also commended the Governor for his untiring job, saying “we hope that will bring down the temperature.”

He added that, “We await the outcome of the investigation to unravel the the mystery. It is when we have answers that we can really have a close.

“We urged peace, we urged calm, saying that Nigerians are from all walks of life to come and do their business in Lagos and other parts of South West.”

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