Members of the Southwest Caucus in the Senate, today (Tuesday), visited Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to commiserate with him on last week’s coordinated destruction of public and private properties in Lagos.
Senator Ajayi Boroffice, who is representing the Ondo North Senatorial District and the leader of the delegation that visited the Governor at the State House in Marina, Lagos, said that the destruction has “orchestrated tragedy” that must be thoroughly investigated.
He wondered why the protest by the youths was prolonged and allowed to degenerate to violence when the Federal Government had agreed to the five-point demands of the protesters.
The lawmaker expressed worry that many youths working in the businesses that were destroyed would be rendered jobless, adding that it would take time for the owners of the businesses to recover, given the extent of loss.
“Members of the Southwest caucus in the Senate are here to console you over the demonic violence unleashed on Lagos. Government and private individuals suffered incalculable loss in the unfortunate destruction that trailed the EndSARS protest. No Nigerian is against peaceful protest, but demonstration that does not have a leadership will encourage hoodlums to hijack and wreak havoc.
“Adequate decisions had been taken by the Government to attend to the demands of the protesters. Of course, some of the demands require constitutional amendment and cannot be done immediately. The Senate showed its readiness to look into the issues with the necessary amendments. So, it was unnecessary for the protest to be prolonged to the point of being hijacked by those with violent agenda”.
Boroffice said that the burden, occasioned by the destruction, could not be borne by Lagos State Government alone, stressing that the Southwest Senate caucus would be meeting with the leadership of the National Assembly to prevail on the Federal Government to assist the State to recover and rebuild.
The lawmaker also said that the caucus would move a motion that would enable the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to catalogue the ugly images from the destruction and send them to Nigerian Embassies overseas for those in the Diaspora to see the proportion of damage wreaked.
“We are concerned about the gravity of the damage on public properties in Lagos and other places across the country. We will be moving a motion in the Senate to urge the Federal Government to come with assistance to Lagos State, because the burden of the destruction is too much for Lagos to bear alone”.
In his response, Sanwo-Olu thanked the lawmakers for showing solidarity, stating that law-abiding residents suffered from the violence and borne the brunt in harsh ways.
The Governor expressed concern that some Lagos communities are now vulnerable to crimes, following the arsonist attacks on police stations and facilities housing security operatives.
The Governor also condemned the shooting of protesters at the Lekki Toll Plaza by soldiers, insisting that until after a thorough investigation, no one would know how many lives were lost in the incident as against misinformation spread on the social media, which gave conflicting figures of deaths.
He said that the two bodies found on the roads on Admiralty Road and Victoria Island had no link with the Lekki shooting, adding that most of those that were injured in the incident have been treated and discharged.
The Governor reiterated his commitment to thorough investigation into the violence and the shooting of protesters by soldiers and added that findings of the investigative panel would be forwarded to relevant authorities for actions.