South-West Governors and members of the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has expressed shock as they toured the public assets and private properties destroyed in the several attacks by hoodlums in Lagos State.
The delegates on Sunday paid a condolence visit to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu over the large-scale destruction of the facilities by hoodlums who had hijacked the #EndSARS protests by youths.
The delegation of Governors and Ministers was personally received by Sanwo-Olu at the State House in Marina, where he showed them the pictorial evidence of the violence before visiting some of the torched assets.
At a joint press conference held after the tour, chairman of 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 EndSARS protest left much to be desired, stressing that there was an agenda beyond the youth demonstration against police brutality.
He said: “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 beother reasons for continued protests, well coordinated and funded.
“We are particularly worried that 48 hours after the unfortunate incident at the Lekki Toll Gate by persons adorning military outfit, 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 military deployment. No Governor has powers to authorise deployment of military personnel in Nigeria.”
According to Akeredolu, the attacks exposed Southwest’s vulnerability to manipulation by divisive elements bent on annihilating the region’s economic prosperity and destroying its common heritage.
The Governors thereafter applauded Sanwo-Olu for his patience and the manner with which he handled the situation.
The Forum also demanded an investigation into the circumstances that led to the destruction of public assets and private businesses in Lagos.
“We commend Gov. Sanwo-Olu for his administrative acumen. We note his patience and understanding in the face of unwarranted provocation by agents of darkness. We stand resolutely with him at this trying period. We urged our youths to rise up and defend our land against diabolical incursion ravaging our space. We cannot continue to fold our hands and watch our heritage destroyed,” Akeredolu said.
On his part, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the visit was at the instance of President Muhammadu Buhari, noting that words were not enough to describe the extent of the destruction wreaked by the arsonists.
He also hailed Sanwo-Olu for his untiring effort to restore peace and order in the State.
Fashola urged all Lagos residents to unite and collectively address the cause of the violence, stressing that the State Government needed the support in unraveling the truth behind the unfortunate event.