Governors of the six states in the South-West geo-political zone have expressed worry over the refusal of the Nigerian Army to say a word on the shooting of unharmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate area of Lagos State on Tuesday.
The governors also raised the alarm on what they called the external infiltration of the genuine #EndSARS protesters by some persons to destroy the economic assets in Lagos which is the economic capital of the country.
The Chairman South West Governor’s Forum and the Governor of Ondo State, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, said on Thursday that the protest which started on a peaceful and purpose-driven note, had already been hijacked by some people, ostensibly to execute a destructive design.
The governors said the shootings at Lekki and the alleged killings had caused the protest to turn violent and bloody with massive destruction of lives and properties.
Akeredolu, who just won a re-election, stated that the governors in the region responded positively to the demands of the #EndSARS protesters by setting up Judicial Panel of Inquiry in their various states to look into the alleged violation of people’s rights and incidence of police brutality after the National Economic Council meeting held on October 16, 2020.
He said, “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.
“Recent development leaves us with no other option than to believe that there may have been other reasons for the continued protests, well-coordinated and funded.
“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.
“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.
” 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-driven, has been hijacked by some people, ostensibly to execute a destructive design.”
The governors also sympathized with the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on the attack on his palace as well as the heavy destruction of investments of Asiwaju Bola Tinubu, Television Continental ( TVC) and The Nation newspapers by hoodlums among others.
The governors said the selective application of jungle justice was another source of worry while calling on Yoruba youths to be circumspect and read the hand writing that some persons were out to destroy the economic base of the South-West.
They charged the security agencies to investigate all cases of violence with a view to identifying the culprits and prosecute them.
He said further, “This regression into savagery exposes our land as not only vulnerable but susceptible to vile manipulations by elements keenly anxious to annihilate the South West and destroy our common heritage.
“We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations and investments of our people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in those areas. We call on the heads of all security agencies to be alive to their obligations to defend the country.
“We are particularly worried that 48 hours, after the unfortunate incident at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos by persons adorning military fatigue, there has been no definitive statement from the military authorities on the incident.
“Our anxiety becomes heightened by the categorical denial of the Governor of Lagos State concerning the deployment. No Governor has the power to authorise the 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.
“The selective application of jungle justice raises suspicion as regards the real motive of the arsonists and vandals. We use this medium to appeal to the youths, especially those of South-West extraction, to be circumspect lest they
lend themselves to the evil schemes of those who want to destroy our land.
“The protests started off as genuine, demanding reforms and restitution. The current happenings across the South-West, especially Lagos State, have exposed dubiousness and complicity evidencing malice afore-thought.”
The post EndSARS Attacks: South West Govs Allege Plot To ‘Annihilate’ Region Economically appeared first on The Whistler Nigeria.