By Gena Lubem
A coalition of over 120 Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) drawn across Nigeria have thrown their weight behind the Lagos state Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu after studying the #EndSARS report released on Monday, 15th November, 2021.
The Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and other matters on Monday submitted its findings on #EndSARS protesters to the Governor in which they said, the state executive did not interfere in their assignment.
The coalition which is operating under aegis of Conscience of the Nation Network (CNN) also appreciated the Governor by taking a proactive step by calling on the military to help in stopping the carnage that hoodlums unleashed on Lagos during the protest.
The spokesman of the group, Dr. Jeremiah Kaltungu who stated this in a press statement made available to News Headquarter emphasised that there was nothing wrong in calling on the military to roll back the hoodlums noting that the governor did not fold his hands but acted in the best interest as a deliberate step to protect lives, sources of livelihoods, economy of as well as social activities in the commercial nerve centre.
The group which spoke shortly after its “routine national check” further said, even as it was not happy that in the end, lives were said to have been lost as indicated by the report, the Governor acted in good conscience and deserves to be applauded for taking the decision.
The statement further adds that, the circumstances that led to the Governor calling on the military to support the conventional Police was the right thing to do in such precarious situation.
Part of the statement reads:
“Today is a day of not just taking a retrospective look at events that occured in our dear country in the recent past. We at Conscience of the Nation Network (CNN) do such routine national check on regular basis. We are aware that The Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel report titled, ‘Report of Lekki Incident Investigation Of 20th October 2020’ was submitted to the Lagos State Government to His Excellency, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
“The Governor having noticed that the Police were overwhelmed with the magnitude of the problem had no other option than to call on the military authorities to help in salvaging the situation. It was therefore necessary for a very very urgent and responsible decision to be taken. And His Excellency did not fail in living upto the responsibility of his office.
“CNN wishes to place it on the records that the Governor acted in the purest of the hearts. It is evidently clear people lost loved ones, police lost personnel, the state was literally on fire; sources of livelihoods, economic and social activities were outrightly disrupted by unknown hoodlums who hijacked the well-intentioned protest.
“We are of the utmost belief and have actually, after scrutinizing the situation, come to the conclusion that, the decision saved Lagos state. We wish to note that, every assignment by the armed forces or even the paramilitary has its rules of engagement. The Governor does not determine such and has no such powers vested on him by the Constitution. We salute his courage in this regards and want to roll out drums to celebrate him.
“We are also proud to be associated with all the monumental achievements he has recorded since assumption of office in this capacity. We are happy that he stopped the carnage by the undesirable elements. History will well document him as someone who saw a challenging situation and faced it squarely, and dislodged same”.