The honourable representing Ibadan North Federal Constituency from Oyo State at the National Assembly, Hon. Akinremi Jagaban has commended the Lagos State governor, Jide Sanwo-Olu for giant stride in handling crisis in the state.
In a statement made available to LiveTimesNG on Sunday, Akinremi described Sanwo-Olu as exemplary governor who handled the crisis which followed #EndSARS peaceful protest with care.
Below is details of the statement:
The #EndSARS protests has since few days ago come to a halt after a two weeks peaceful agitation by young Nigerians. Quite a number of sad and regrettable incidences happened in the course of the demonstration. Lives were lost, injuries were suffered, properties were damaged and lessons were learnt.
Lagos State happened to be the centre of attention, and from where the consciousness of our teeming Youths across the nation was awaken. The struggle to end police brutality, to #EndSARS and to demand good governance was therefore birthed.
While it is unfortunate that heartbreaking incidences marked the end of the protest, it is important that we examine ourselves, as Nigerians and stakeholders in managing the peace, and ensuring development of our nation, so we never have to make the same set of mistakes again.
Just as he was at the height of the Covid-19 pandemic, Governor Babájídé Sanwó-Olú was once again at the front of this challenge, taking necessary steps, making relevant consultations and attending to the yearnings of our Youths who had called for his attention.
He heeded their call at various times, and never hesitated to address the protesters both at Alausa and at the Lekki toll gate. Consistently, he assured the Youths of his support for their movement, and even marched with them in solidarity, while also giving assurances of a total end to SARS as announced by the Presidency.
Consequently, upon the breakout of violence in Surulere Lagos, as well as brewing tension between police officers and protesters, Governor Sanwo-Olu intervened to douse the tension, and also ensured all arrested protesters were immediately released.
He also followed his actions up by accepting the #5for5 demands of the Youths, and delivered same to Mr President and the Inspector General of Police in Abuja, while also pressing that necessary steps be taken on demands that can be resolved in the short term.
Governor Sanwo-Olu took the lead as regard advocacy on the issues raised, and as demanded by the protesters, he also made sure to begin the implementation of some of the #5for5 demands in Lagos State, as he without delay, set up a 7 member Panel of Enquiry and Restitution for Victims.
In addition, he set up a 200 million naira trust fund which will be made available to members of this panel, who will see to its judicious use as compensation for victims with verifiable cases of SARS brutality or fatality. He also visited families of victims who lost their lives and those who sustained injuries in the course of the protests.
More so, a complaints help desk was also put in place to receive reports and petitions on old and new cases of Police brutality from the people, with necessary contacts made available to the public.
He also started the process of bringing errant officers to book, with the 4 police officers involved in the Surulere incidence facing orderly room trials, and a list of others who has been accused of various crimes also collated.
These are processes set to ease the assignment of the panel of enquiry, and in turn to quicken justice, thereby bringing closure to numerous families who has been yearning for such.
All of these, Governor Babájídé Sanwó-Olú did in good faith and in consonance with the valid agitation of our Youths, to meet protesters halfway, to resolve lingering issues, bring a peaceful end to the protests and ensure a settled Lagos State.
This is not to say it is right for the Nigerian Army to intervene in a civil engagement, as our Youths are not enemies of the state, and all through the protests, they have proven to be of impeccable character, a disposition Nigerians and the entire world are proud of.
I really commend Governor Babájídé Sanwó-Olú for standing with Lagosians, for been true, passionate and caring towards his people. For taking their concerns serious, and for exploring several avenues to settle the issues around police brutality and fatality in Lagos state.
I also appreciate other Governors in the South-West and the entire country at large for the support given to protesters, as well as their tireless effort in managing the protests in their respective states.
It is possible that Lagosians feel disappointed at the moment, I am however praying that as time passes, everyone will heal from the pains and work together to restore all that was damaged by hoodlums and thugs who availed themselves of the protest opportunity to commit crimes.
Conclusively, Governor Babájídé Sanwó-Olú’s government needs the support of all Lagosians as he commences work to set Lagos state back on the front foot, creating as usual, a thriving environment for businesses, guaranteeing safety, fostering love and harmony among the people irrespective of ethnic, religious and socio-political differences.
May God Almighty heal our land, amen.
Èkó ó ní bàjẹ́ o!
Prince Akínrẹ̀mí Jagaban.
MHR, Ìbàdàn North Federal Constituency.