By Henry Umoru
ABUJA – HAVING carried out a postportem analysis of the protests and subsequent looting and wanton destruction of property following the protests by youths against the disbarded Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and bad governance, Chairman, Senate Committee on Finance, Senator Solomon Olamilekan Adeola, All Progressives Congress, APC, Lagos West has reiterated calls on Nigerians to grant Lagos State a Special Status and Special Grant.
According to a statement yesterday by his Media Adviser, Kayode Odunaro, the Senator who was among the South West Senators briefed by Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu on the destruction of public and private property across Lagos State assessed at over a trillion naira following,, among he EndSARS protest, said that over the years many attempts have been made in the agitation for a special status for Lagos State on the basis of its being the nation’s economic nerve centre and its status as the former Federal Capital of Nigeria with many federal infrastructures and huge population of all tribes of Nigeria.
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According to him, the resources of the state government cannot adequately cater for the population and the pressure on amenities arising out of the status of the state as an acknowledged mega city with a population of over 20 million Nigerians.
He said, “The issue of special status for Lagos State has again been brought to the front burner following the fallouts of the protest against extra-judicial killings and Police brutality. With the magnitude of the destruction of critical infrastructures in Lagos State last week, it is inconceivable that Lagos Government alone can handle the rebuilding of destroyed properties, most of which are for public good. It is necessary at this time to state that when Federal Government makes interventions to assist the state like the N1billion per state to assist in efforts aimed at stemming COVID-19, Lagos State should be more favourably treated in view of its status. Nigerians boarding all the burns BRT Buses are not asked their state of origins when they board.”
Senator Adeola while commending the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Sanwo-Olu for his adroit and patriotic handling of the crisis within the power and resources available to him, however called for urgent grant from the Federal Government to aid the Lagos State Government in rebuilding and replacing destroyed public facilities of all kinds during the attendant mayhem to the protest.
He said,,”From what we saw during our sympathy and condolence visit to Lagos State Governor and its people, it was clear that Lagos State Government cannot handle the rebuilding of infrastructure and facilities destroyed alone as the destruction in Lagos State in all aspects expectedly dwarfed that of other states and FCT put together as a result of the crisis.”
The Senator reiterated the argument that such a grant from the Federal Government at this time following the regrettable mayhem is ultimately in national interest as not only are all Nigerians of all parts of the country resident and doing business in Lagos State going to benefit but many revenue generating agencies and other federal institutions are similarly located in Lagos State with the real possibility that their operations will be greatly impeded without urgent rebuilding and replacing some of the destroyed properties.