Governors of Nigeria’s south-western states have said the large scale of destruction witnessed last week in Lagos following #EndSARS protests, was well coordinated and funded.
The governors stated this at a joint press conference with members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) members from the Southwest shortly after they toured the public assets and private properties destroyed by hoodlums.
Chairman of the Southwest Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, likened Lagos to a war zone, given the extent of the destruction.
He said the violence that resulted from the riots left much to be desired, stressing that there was an agenda beyond the youth demonstration against police brutality.
“We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations and investment of our people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in those areas.
“The development leaves us with no other option than to believe that there may be other reasons for continued protests, well coordinated and funded.
“The regression into savagery has exposed Southwest’s vulnerability to manipulation by divisive elements bent on annihilating the region’s economic prosperity and destroying its common heritage,” Akeredolu said at the joint press conference.
The Southwest governors also expressed worry that “several hours after the Lekki incident, the Nigerian military authority is yet to release a definitive statement”.
Anxiety is heightened, he said, especially as the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had at no time ordered for the deployment of the military.
“No governor anywhere in Nigeria as you know, has the power to deploy military in Nigeria.”
Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the visit was at the instance of the country’s President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that words were not enough to describe the extent of the destruction wreaked by the arsonists.
Fashola, a former governor of Lagos state hailed Sanwo-Olu for his “untiring effort” at restoring peace in the state, and cautioned those posting inflammatory comments on social media to desist from the act.
The delegation visited the Lagos High Court, the Lagos State DNA & Forensic Centre, the Nigerian Ports Authority Headquarters, Marina which was burnt at the back wing including vehicles in the compound, and the Lekki Toll Gate.
Those present include; Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of Ondo, Governor Kayode Fayemi of Ekiti, and Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo state, Rauf Aregbesola the Minister of Interior, Babatunde Fashola the Minister of Power and Housing, Olamilekan Adebite, Minister of Mines and Steel, and Niyi Adebayo the Minister of Industry, Trade, and Investment.
Others include Sunday Dare, Minister of Youth and Sports Development, and Olorunmibe Mamora the Minister of State for Health.