South-West Governors have raised the alarm over the infiltration, destruction and carnage in the region under the guise of #EndSARS protests.
Chairman, South West Governor’s Forum and Ondo State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, in a statement in Akure expressed concern over the hijack of the protests by some people, ostensibly to execute a destructive design.
Akeredolu in the statement said, “The protests started as genuine, demanding reforms and restitution. The current happenings across the South-West, especially Lagos State, have exposed dubiousness and complicity evidencing malice afore-thought.
“We enjoin our youth to rise to defend our land and people against the diabolical incursions ravaging our space. What do we stand to gain by destroying ourselves?
“We cannot continue to fold our hands and watch our heritage destroyed, and our people suffer.
“We must engage, constructively, all those whose dubious solutions to a social problem is the descent to anarchy. We appeal to them to ‘calm down’.
“We commend the governor of Lagos State for his administrative acumen. We note his patience and understanding in the face of unwarranted provocation by agents of darkness. We stand, resolutely, with him at this trying period.
“We should not allow brigandage and wanton destruction of lives and property within our walls in the South-West.”
The statement added, “This regression into savagery exposes our land as not only vulnerable but susceptible to vile manipulations by elements keenly anxious to annihilate the South-West and destroy our shared heritage.
“We are deeply concerned with the ease with which public buildings, utilities, police stations and investments of our people have been burnt despite the proximity of security agencies in those areas.
“We call on the heads of all security agencies to be alive to their obligations to defend the country. We charge the relevant security agencies to investigate all cases of violence to identify the culprits.
“We are particularly worried that 48 hours, after the unfortunate incident at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos by persons adorning military fatigue, 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 the deployment. No governor has the power to authorise the deployment of military personnel in Nigeria.
“We note, with great relief, the confirmation by the governor that no fatality was recorded at the Lekki Toll Gate incident based on visits to hospitals, mortuaries, both private and public.
“There were no doubt different levels of injury to persons arising from the incident at the Lekki Toll Gate.
“Consequently, we insist that full investigation be conducted to ascertain the veracity of the news items liberally circulated by some local media.”