…Inaugurates 5-man Committee To probe Soldiers’ Shooting
By Gbenga Abulude (Politics and General Desk)
Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu in his state-wide broadcast Wednesday, came short of saying people were killed in the shootings that occurred Tuesday night at the Lekki Toll Gate, despite footages that showed many #EndSARS protesters dropped dead.
His address comes amid violence that has ravaged Lagos since the dawn of Wednesday, following the Lekki killings and the violence that rattled the state, Tuesday. TV stations, Bus Terminals, strategic national infrastructures have been set ablaze by arsonists. Also, the Governor’s family home on Lagos Island had been burnt by hoodlums.
However, Sanwo-olu announced the suspension of all activities in the state for 3 days dues to mayhem going on in the state and triggered by outrage on the shooting of #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate plaza by soldiers on Tuesday.
Sanwo-Olu in his Wednesday speech apologised for the sad development of shooting of protesters at Lekki tollgate plaza which happened after the curfew was imposed.
The governor said that he could not have ordered the shooting of protesters as this has to do with the rules of engagement and under the control of the army.
While commiserating with persons affected and having visited those with different degrees of injuries at the hospital, the governor inaugurated a 5-man Fact-Finding Committee into the Rules of Engagement ordered and adopted by the Nigerian Army to be headed by a retired military officer not less than the rank of a General.
He said, the report will be presented to President Mohammadu Buhari within 2 weeks
Sanwo-Olu who ordered a curfew on Tuesday because of the hijacking of the protesters by armed thugs and hoodlums, said he took the measure to avoid the total breakdown of law and order in the state.
“While many of the protesters in Alausa dispersed peacefully ahead of the start of the curfew, many of our youths at the Lekki Toll Gate insisted on continuing with the protests. Sadly, there was no leadership to appeal to as they had continually maintained that remaining leaderless was a strategy.
“For clarity, it is imperative to explain that no sitting governor controls the rules of engagement of the army. I have nevertheless instructed an investigation into the ordered and the adopted rules of engagement employed by the officers and men of the Nigerian Army deployed to the Lekki Toll Gate yesterday.
“This is with a view to taking this up with the high command of the Nigerian Army and seek the intervention of President Muhammadu Buhari in his capacity as the Commander-in-Chief to unravel the sequence of event that happened yesterday.
“This may seem like the darkest hour of our history as a people, our sun will rise again. From the present ashes of our mourning today, a bright morning shall emerge from the womb of time and we shall rise again.
“From the lowest place where this incident has thrown us, we shall rise with wings like the Phoenix and regenerate ourselves with new strength for a brighter tomorrow.
“As we walk this phase of our history, let us remain one resilient people under God, with absolute faith trusting that we shall indeed rise again. Where we are now is fate. I apologise for everything that happened,” he said.