…As Onitiri wants IGP to release arrested youths
By Innocent Anaba, Olasunkanmi Akoni & Nelson Alu
GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State, yesterday, assured citizens that the White Paper on the final report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Enquiry and Restitution would be made public and fully implemented, in due course.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said this while addressing participants at the 10th National Council on Lands, Housing and Urban Development, held in Ikeja, with Minister of Works and Housing and former governor of Lagos State, Babatunde Fashola, in attendance.
The conference was themed: Housing Development as a Catalyst for Job Creation, Social Inclusion and Economic Development’.
Sanwo-Olu, who seized the opportunity to comment on the EndSARS saga and first year memorial, reflected on the arduous task of rebuilding the state, one year after the state was hit by a wave of arsonist attacks resulting from EndSARS protests.
His words: “The panel concluded its sittings about three days ago and has asked for time to put the reports together behind closed doors. We do not know the content of the report, but we want to say publicly that, upon the handover of the report, we will be making it public. We will not cover up anything.
“This is not who we are and that is not what our Government stands for. We will make full disclosure of whatever recommendations that the panel will come up with. I assure citizens of Lagos that we will not leave anything to chance.”
On the arrest of protesters at the Lekki Tollgate on Wednesday, the Governor announced that he had ordered an unconditional release of those detained by the police, except one person who was caught with dangerous weapons at the scene.
He said: “On Wednesday, we saw a protest in Lagos and those arrested in connection with the protest have all been released, except an individual that was caught with dangerous weapons and who confessed to the police that he joined the protest to cause mayhem.”
READ ALSO: Sanwo-Olu, wife, others grace ‘Eko On Show’
Speaking on the rebuilding effort, the Governor said: “It is exactly a year ago today when Lagos was hit by violence in the aftermath of the EndSARS protests. Lagos witnessed massive destruction of infrastructure, iconic buildings, transport infrastructure, police stations and others.
“Today (yesterday) being a year after the event, there is no better time to say how difficult it has been for us as a state and how committed it has been for us.
“As tough as it is, the Government will certainly not shy away from its responsibility. We see the incident as a challenge and we will fix it with everything that we have.”
Onitiri wants IGP to release arrested youths
Meanwhile, an activist and critic, Chief Adesunbo Onitiri has urged the Police authorities to release all the youths and journalists arrested by security men during the October 20 #EndSARS memorial protest across the country for peace to reign.
Onitiri, in a statement, said: “We, the democrats, wish to call on the Inspector-General of Police and other security operatives to release immediately all youths arrested and rough-handled during Wednesday’s memorial protests of #EndSARS .
“Peaceful demonstration is part of democracy. No government can take or deny its citizens the constitutional rights to peaceful demonstration. In most advanced nations, people demonstrate and the police protect the demonstrators.
“Brutalising protesters is the height of injustice. Where there is so much injustice, there can be no peace. There is no fairness and justice in the country
“There is absolutely bad governance by our political leaders, who are living in opulence and wastage while majority of the people are poor and wretched at the moment. Nobody is happy with the situation of things in the country, either politically or economically.”
“Not only the youths are angry and frustrated, the adults are also fed up.”
No government can gag the press and the youths. Let our youths ooze out their grievances and let us address and pacify them.”