Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has addressed Lagosians on the Lekki Tollgate shooting and panel report.
In his address on Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu expressed regrets over the leaked EndSARS panel report, assured that his administration is determined necessary steps to bring closure to a painful episode in the history (Octover 20) of the State, with the release of the White Paper later today.
Recall that a panel set up by the state government to investigate the incident had indicted the Nigerian Army and Police, as well as the state government in the killing of unarmed peaceful protesters at the Lekki tollgate.
Read full text below;
“My dear good people of Lagos State, It is with great sense of responsibility that I address you today on the reactions that have trailed the release of the #EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry Report submitted to me two weeks ago, and how it has played out in public discourse since then.
“I believe — and have always been vocal about this — that we owe it to you, the people of Lagos, to constantly speak and engage with you. In easy times, in difficult circumstances, we will never shy away from making our case to you, while also ensuring that we listen to you.
“I will start by saying that we, as an administration, are determined that the next steps that will be taken in this process of coming to terms with the events of October 2020, must bring closure to a painful episode in the history of our State, with the release of the White Paper later today.
“This, in my view, is a moment that beckons us to define who and what we are as a people.
“To be a Centre of Excellence, we must be a Centre of Truth. To be a smart city, we first must be a just one.
“To be a prosperous state, we must establish ourselves as a peaceful entity. And to achieve the Greater Lagos of our dreams we must learn to live in harmony, even amidst inevitable disagreement.
“In times like these, with anger and animosity too quick and fast at hand, it is easy to hide behind our own prejudices, treating them as deeper truths instead of the superficial lies they are.
“It is far too easy to take sides and choose emotion over fact, even when the truth is to be found in shades of nuance. It is easy to choose darkness over light; to take perverse delight in playing unhelpful games of cynicism and suspicion; to cling to beliefs that do not carry the weight of verifiable evidence.
“To become a champion of prejudice is to own a fleeting and false victory. It is a victory of rancor over reason, of vengeance over justice, of anger over compassion.
“Today, I stand before you to declare that I reject this path; and I invite you all to do same.
“The choice confronting us today is between restoring greater harmony or doing greater harm. I choose harmony over harm. As your Governor, it is my task to explain why all Lagosians should join me on this path that promises a more beneficial future.
“Fellow Lagosians, let me at this point bring to the fore some very important context that we must never lose sight of. You will recall that the Judicial Panel of Inquiry was originally inaugurated to investigate allegations of police brutality committed by the disbanded SARS in Lagos state.
“In the aftermath of what happened on October 20, 2020, I decided to expand the mandate of the Panel to include investigating what really happened at the Lekki Tollgate that night.
“As a matter of good faith and a sincere commitment to uncovering the truth, we constituted a panel of individuals that we believed were independent, credible, and representative of the various stakeholder community interested in the movement against police brutality.
“Apart from the Chairman of the panel being a respected retired jurist, various stakeholders including the youths, #EndSars protesters, the police and civil society groups were represented on the panel.
“I am sure no member of the panel can claim that the state government made any attempt to influence them in any way throughout the duration of its sitting.
“While I commend the panel for undertaking its task to the best of its abilities, it is however regrettable that the panel’s work and the leakage of an unauthorized version of the report have generated much tension. Sadly, a deep wound has been reopened.
“The heated exchanges among various shades of opinion on the report have unfortunately put us all at the risk of missing the larger picture; the fact that what we all seek in common is a land in which we are all safe and secure, law enforcement agents are trusted, and justice is guaranteed for all.
“As I have stated earlier, we have no intention to engage in histrionics or further inflame passion on a matter that has generated intense interest and controversy nationally and internationally. Our decisions and actions will be based entirely on the law, the weight of evidence and an unblemished respect for the truth.
“Let me at this juncture say that I have never been in any doubt as to the sincerity, patriotism and noble motivations of both organizers of and participants in the movement to see an end to the human rights abuses by the now disbanded Special Anti- Robbery Squad (SARS).
“It is also on record that the Federal Government accepted all the demands of the protesters, including the immediate scrapping of SARS. The National Economic Council (NEC) also recommended the establishment of State Panels of Inquiry into cases of police brutality. And the Lagos State Government was the first to set up its own panel.
“I can boldly say that no State took the advocacy for police reforms and justice in the face of documented brutality more seriously than we did in Lagos. We have so far paid N420million in compensation to victims of police brutality, in line with the recommendations of the panel.
“My good people of Lagos State, you will also recall that, in solidarity with the protesters, I joined our youths at various points during the demonstrations, particularly at the Lekki Tollgate and Alausa.
“I received the charter of demands of the protesters and promised to pass them on to the President and Commander-In-Chief of the Armed Forces, President Muhammadu Buhari.
“I kept my word and passed on the demands to the President, who promised to act promptly on the issues raised.
“However, perhaps as a result of entrenched lack of trust between the government and the governed over the years, the protesters responded to the government’s concessions with skepticism, and the demonstrations continued, even growing in intensity.
“Regrettably, what had been very well organized and peaceful protests were subsequently hijacked in different parts of the country, particularly in Lagos.
“In the ensuing descent into anarchy, many of our compatriots were caught up in the violence. Several policemen were killed. Public and private property, including critical infrastructure, were set on fire, leading to losses estimated at several billions of naira.
“At that point, I imposed a curfew to restore normalcy in Lagos. We had only one goal in mind: the maintenance of law and order, and protection of citizens going about their daily lives. This is more than a legal duty. It is a sacred obligation under the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, which I swore to uphold.
“In my inaugural speech on May 29, 2019, I said, Let us explore how we can establish a harmony of interests and avoid the growing tendency to focus on those things that differentiate and divide one Lagosian from another. By dint of providence, this small tract of land intersected and surrounded by waterways and lagoons has become home to roughly twenty-two million people, with their various dreams and aspirations.”
“It is my earnest desire that all of us — the government, the youth, protesters, the police, and other security agencies — learn the appropriate lessons from the #EndSars protests, particularly the Lekki Tollgate incident, with a view to averting any recurrence to the detriment of our dear state.
“It is a testimony to our strength and resilience as a people that, despite the huge losses incurred because of these terrible incidents, we have bounced back, with our economy as vibrant and virile as ever. I have no doubt whatsoever that our prospects are as bright as ever and the best lies ahead of Lagos State and Nigeria.
“My Dear Lagosians, let me remind you of our collective strength as a people. We are that social collective who through the resilience of our Spirit confronted an unseen enemy called Covid- 19. In our common resolve, we overcame the worst of the pandemic.
“We are the great people who triumphed over the terrible explosion at Ado-Soba, an incident in which many lives and property were lost. Just a month ago, we rose above the differences in our tribes and tongues; we rallied our inner strength to rescue survivors of the collapsed Ikoyi building and console those who lost their loved ones.
THE TESTAMENT TO THE RESILIENCE OF OUR SPIRIT RESTS IN HOW WE RISE AFTER EVERY ADVERSITY. THIS IS WHO WE ARE. THIS IS THE TRUE SPIRIT OF LAGOS.
“Our resilient and irrepressible spirit also propels us to show our empathetic nature in the face of tribulations has long defined us as a people; and is also at the root of the just clamor for an end to Police brutality.
“Going forward, dear Lagosians, we shall facilitate better communication between our youths and the state’s security machinery to resolve issues before they become intractable. We will make it easier for our young people to initiate formal complaints on human rights violations through the Ministry of Justice.
“We will also improve the coordination between the state government and the security agencies, including the police and the military. In this vein, we are studying how to improve security policy formulation, information sharing, and clarifying rules of engagement in times of social unrest.
“Just as we have established a mechanism to compensate all those who lost homes, businesses, and livelihoods to the violent destruction of October 2020, we shall also establish a detailed procedure for the just compensation of citizens with verified claims of police brutality committed during the protests.
“In December, I will be leading A WALK FOR PEACE to herald the healing of our land. Let me use this occasion to extend an open invitation to our youths, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, students and the media as well as other stakeholders to join me.
“Folarin Falana (Falz). Debo Adebayo (Mr. Marcaroni). Dele Farotimi. Temitope Majekodunmi. Segun Awosanya(Segalinks). Adetoun (Just Detoun). Seun Kuti. Cp Hakeem Odumosu. Csp Yinka Egbeyemi.
“Join me on this historic march for our dear lagos. Nobody will build this city for us. Let us show the world who we are. We are lagosians. A people of great renown, driven by the irrepressible spirit of Lagos”.
”Your mentorship, humility, and resilience was exemplary” Oando Boss, Wale Tinubu Mourns Barkindo
Oando, LAMATA sign MoU on electric mass transit buse
Oando Clean Energy Limited has announced the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (referred to as LAMATA), the Lagos State Government agency tasked with planning, implementing, regulating and franchising sustainable integrated public transport in Lagos.
The MoU establishes a partnership between OCEL and Lagos State in her journey to becoming a sustainable city via the rollout of electric mass transit buses, supporting charging infrastructure and service centres (EV Infrastructure Ecosystem).
The statement obtained from the NGX noted that with over 25 million residents, Lagos is the most populous city in Africa and among the top ten of the world’s fastest-growing megacities.
Speaking at the MoU signing ceremony, Commissioner for Transportation, Lagos State, Dr. Frederic Oladeinde said the MoU represented the State Government’s commitment to cutting greenhouse gases by replacing them with cleaner sources of energy.
Oladeinde said, “With an understanding that transportation is a key emitter of greenhouse gases in Nigeria, we developed a strategy to cut greenhouse gases by 50%. A key component of this strategy was identifying and developing a more robust mass transit system for Lagos that would include rail and waterways amongst others. Using electricity to power mass transit is a step in the right direction, and from there we would gradually transit to private cars.
“This is just the beginning, there is still a lot more to come on stream. I commend LAMATA and Oando on this MoU signing, and both parties can be rest assured that they have my full backing to ensure success,” he added.
Commenting on the MoU signing, the Managing Director, LAMATA, Engr. Abimbola Akinajo said: “We began this journey late last year, and for us, this has been a rapid development. It speaks to the energy and zeal of both organizations, and that is commendable. Oando Clean Energy came to us with a comprehensive solution that went beyond electric mass transit buses to include supporting infrastructure, and this was key for us, as the full remit of an EV support ecosystem is the only way to achieve success.
“This initiative will not only accelerate the Government’s transportation agenda, but also positively impact the health of Lagosians and the environment. The magnitude of its impact is far-reaching, and when you start to look at it as more than a transport initiative, you will see how laudable a project it is. The Oando brand comes with know-how and experience, and we are relying on this to successfully move from MoU signing to actual implementation that will in the medium to long term benefit over 22 million Lagos commuters. We look forward to a very robust and fruitful partnership.”
In his response, the Chairman, Oando Clean Energy, Adewale Tinubu, who was represented at the MoU signing by Dr. Ainojie ‘Alex’ Irune said: “Oando Clean Energy was born out of a need to curate the best energy mix to propel Nigeria and indeed Africa, to its full potential.
As a company, Oando has always championed Public-Private Partnerships as fundamental to Nigeria’s industrialization. Through the signing of this MoU, we are revolutionizing the landscape of mobility by pioneering e-mobility in Lagos. Furthermore, we remain dedicated to achieving our national commitment to net-zero by 2060, ending energy deficiencies and further propelling the country to an industrialized phase through decentralized and sustainable energy systems.
We are excited to be embarking on this journey with Lagos State and must commend their foresight and willingness to forge a template for others to follow. It’s easy to be perturbed by the perceived challenges that come with the mega-city status tag, but by taking this bold step, Lagos is showing the continent what is indeed possible and giving other cities the impetus to redefine today how to build a public transport system for the future.”
Over the last decade, the number of vehicles on Lagos roads has quadrupled, yet studies suggest that Lagos could become the world’s most populated city by 2100 with as many as 100 million residents; and as the city grows, so will the number of vehicles.
This upward trajectory in vehicle numbers poses a significant challenge as transportation has been identified as the key contributing sector at circa 23% to 30% in annual CO2 emissions.
Against this backdrop, the Public-Private Partnership (PPP) between LAMATA and OCEL will enable the successful fulfilment of the objectives of the Lagos State Government through the deployment of an EV Infrastructure Ecosystem towards the attainment of a sustainable road transport system in the State.
Furthermore, this initiative will bridge the existing gap in available mass transit buses for the increasing number of Lagos commuters.
Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, Wins Primary for Second term
The Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, has emerged winner of the state governorship primary of the All Progressives Congress.
In the primary election conducted at the MKO International Stadium, Abeokuta, five other aspirants contested against the governor.
The aspirants include Olubiyi Otegbeye, Mrs Modele Sarafa- Yussuf, Mr Owodunni Opayemi, Remilekun Bakare and Abdukadir Akinlade.
Of the six aspirants, only Abiodun, attended the primary, while agents of all other aspirants, announced their presence and did what was expected of them.
Giving the details of the election, that was conducted in a peaceful atmosphere, the Chairman of the Ogun State APC Primary Election Committee, Chief Wale Ohu, disclosed that 1,180 delegates, from the 20 local governments, were accredited for the exercise.
Announcing the results, Ohu, said Abiodun scored 1,168 votes, while other aapirants, did not secure any vote, saying that two votes were voided.
Prior to the commencement of the process, Ohu, announced to the delegates and all the leaders of the party that attended the event, that all required agents, were present.
Ohu took time to read out names of the officials of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC) and other officials of the APC officials that were sent from the National Secretariat.
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