Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has again expressed shock and surprise at the events that led to shooting of unarmed #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, on Tuesday.
“The events that started around 7-7:30pm came as a total shock,” Sanwo-Olu said during an interview on ARISE News, as he explained that he got to know from the wife of a cabinet member that called him.
“I don’t know how the officers got it all wrong because the instruction was that police won’t be out until 10-10:30pm when all citizens should have gotten to their various homes,” he continued.
“This is totally against what we stand for.”
The governor said he has taken the incident up with the highest level of the military hierarchy and a judicial panel will be set up to investigate it.
“The army does not report to me, I have reported the matter to the highest command in the military. It’s not something we are going to gloss over. A judicial panel will be set up to investigate it. I have escalated it to the highest level of the military,” he said.
The governor however called on leaders at all level to speak up and put an end to the continued protest.
“Everyone including leaders at all levels need to speak out now for this protest to stop. We need to restrain these youths now to put an end to this. We need to begin a rigorous community engagement and win our trust back, that’s the message we need to preach now,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He explained why he called for a curfew in the first place. “The incidents started Saturday and Sunday. We saw breakdown of law and order and there was mayhem.
“Prior instruction had been given to the police to stand down. We set up a panel and hoped it would assuage the grievances.
“By Tuesday, we had started seeing destruction and attack on police stations, and arms being carted away. It was turning to a complete breakdown of law and order.
“I consulted with the Commissioner of Police and members of my security team in the state. And we took a decision to institute a curfew.”
He also explained the change of commencement of the curfew from 4pm to 9pm from on Tuesday.
“The whole idea was to let people to know that people needed to start going home. At about 4, when we started reviewing, By 5:30, I got calls from opinion moulders in the state that we need to extend it,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu insisted that citizens should on their own take responsibility to bring an end to the chaos bedevilling the state.
“Let all opinion moulders including religious leaders and traditional leaders to speak up and speak out now and stop this and restrain the youth going out to commit arson.
“…It is beyond law and order. We do not want to keep the police on the streets longer than necessary. We need to slow down and pause and think through what we’re going through right now.
“This is not what we stand for, Lagos has been the most peaceful part of the country for decades.
“Former President Obasanjo has spoken, our uncle Wole Soyinka has spoken… We need to restore order.”
He also touched on the possibility of compensation following the losses suffered during riots.
“That (restitution) will be a work in progress. Nobody has been able to go out to ascertain the level of destruction apart from pictures and footage we have seen.
“These are all monetary things we can work on bur right now, we need to stop bloodshed and any form of carnage.
“Let us stop the destruction and loss of life we’re seeing – from policemen to innocent citizens. This should concern everyone.”
Abel Ejikeme, Rita Osakwe