Lekki shooting: Gbajabiamila, govs, ministers demand investigation
• As govs express lack of definitive statement from military authorities
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon Femi Gbajabiamila, South-West governors and ministers from the region, on Sunday, demanded an investigation into the Lekki shooting and the wanton destruction of properties over EndSARS protests in the Lago State.
Gbajabiamila, the governors and ministers made the call when the paid a solidarity visit to the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, at the State Marina, and after the tour of some sites affected in the state.
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.
This was just as the governors expressed deep worry that hours after the unfortunate incident at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos by persons adorning military fatigue, there had been no definitive statement from the military authorities on the incident.
They also expressed worries at 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.
The governors led by Ondo State governor, Mr Rotimi Akeredolu, were in Lagos to commiserate with the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, over the Lekki shooting and the turn of events which later witnessed burning, looting and destruction of public buildings, utilities, police stations, among others across the state.
Oyo State governor, Engr Seyi Makinde, was also in Lagos, while the ministers include: Mr Babatunde Raji of Works and Housing, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola (Interior), Dr Olorunnimbe Mamora (Health State), Senator Tayo Alasoadura (Defence State), Olamilekan Adegbite (Solid Minerals) and Sunday Dare (Sports).
Addressing newsmen at the State House, Marina, after the tour of the sites, Akeredolu, on behalf of other governors, also expressed worries 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 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 charge the relevant security agencies to investigate all cases of violence with a view to identifying the culprits.
“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.
“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.
“Our anxiety becomes heightened by the categorical denial of the Governor of Lagos State concerning the deployment. No governor has power to authorize deployment of military personnel in Nigeria,” he added.
The governors, while solidarsing with the Lagos State governor on the sad incident applauding the role he played in curbing the spread, appealed to the youths to suspend the protests, saying also that the Igbos should disregard the threat to vacate Lagos.
“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.
“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, well-coordinated 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.
Governor Akeredolu, while lamenting the level of destruction recorded in the state, expressing sadness and pain, also commiserated with the Oba of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, on the sacrilege committed at his palace and condemned in no unmistakable terms the vile attack on Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu and destruction of businesses where it was believed he had interest, including the TVC, the Nation newspapers.
“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 newspapers.
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.”
The governor further appealed to the country’s youths to suspend the #EndSARS protests, urging them remain calm, even as he assured that their demands would be addressed in due time.
“We appeal to our youths to suspend EndSARS protests, you should remain calm. We will attend to all your demands in due time,” he said.
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 they were in sympathy with the state government and the families of those who had lost their lives and those who also lost their properties.
“We sympathise with the government of the state. I condole with families of those who have lost their lives and those lost properties,” he said.
The minister also commended the governor for his untiring job, expressing hope that things would now return to normal in the state.
“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.”
Gbajabiamila also lamented the level of destruction in the state, which he noted discussion between him and the governor would need a trillion naira to replace, adding: “You can see we are going backward, in reverse, we must always think of consequences, foreseen or unforeseen and intended and unintended action.
He urged the youth in the country “to let us sit at the table and dialogue.”
Lekki shooting: Gbajabiamila, govs, ministers demand investigation