Governors in the South-West have expressed shock at the large-scale destruction of private and public infrastructure in Lagos State, saying the attacks are beyond the #EndSARS protest.
While condemning the shooting of protesters at the Lekki toll gate, they stated that the “no definitive statement” of the military was worrisome.
They urged the youth to rise and “defend our land against diabolical incursion ravaging our space.”
The governors spoke on Sunday after touring some of the facilities burnt by hoodlums who hijacked the #EndSARS protest in the state.
The delegation, which also included ministers, commiserated with Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu after visiting some of the torched assets, including the Lagos High Court, the Nigeria Port Authority building and the state forensic lab.
The Chairman of the South-West Governors’ Forum and Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Rotimi Akeredolu, likened Lagos to a war zone.
He said, “We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations and investment of our people were burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in those areas. The development leaves us with no other option but to believe that there may be other reasons for continued protests, well-coordinated and funded.
“We are particularly worried that 48 hours after the unfortunate incident at the Lekki toll gate by persons adorning military outfit, there has been no definitive statement from the military authorities on the incident.
“Our anxiety becomes heightened by the categorical denial of the Governor of Lagos State concerning military deployment. No governor has powers to authorise the deployment of military personnel in Nigeria.”
Akeredolu said the regression into savagery exposed South-West’s vulnerability to manipulation by divisive elements bent on destroying the region’s economic prosperity and shared heritage.
The governors unanimously disowned the war-mongering rhetoric of a man, Adeyinka Grandson, in a video circulating on social media.
They urged the Yoruba and non-Yoruba residents in the South-West to disregard the threat of violence issued in the video, saying the “secessionist” had no authority to speak for the Yoruba.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, appealed to Lagos residents to support the government in unravelling the truth behind the violence in the state.
The Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, who also visited Sanwo-Olu, promised that the National Assembly would do all within its power in rebuilding Lagos and other states affected by the violence.