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Buhari upbeat about justice in Lekki mayhem as South West govs belie video

By Seye Olumide, Gbenga Salau, Omolabake Ohu (Lagos), Terhemba Daka, Matthew Ogune (Abuja) and Oluwaseun Akingboye (Akure)
26 October 2020   |   4:11 am
President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed optimism that the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government will assist the nation to give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives, security men who were murdered and property owners whose assets were vandalised.

President Muhammadu Buhari has expressed optimism that the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government will assist the nation to give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives, security men who were murdered and property owners whose assets were vandalised.

The panel starts sitting today, October 26. 

The President, who said his administration was working to reduce the burden of millions of Nigerians rendered unemployed and poor by the coronavirus disease (COVID-19), warned that resort to widespread attacks and organised plundering of property in many states were inimical to public good and stood condemned.

His Senior Special Assistant on Media and Publicity, Garba Shehu, stated yesterday that the President advised that peace and harmony be central to the peoples’ ethos.

ONDO State Governor, Rotimi Akeredolu, has said that “fake news and video” shared after the Lekki shooting on October 20 was responsible for the ensuing violence that claimed lives and properties.

Speaking on behalf of South West governors, who visited Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, Akeredolu stated that 48 hours after the Lekki shooting by persons in military camouflage, there was no definite information from the military authorities on the incident.

He said their anxiety was heightened by the categorical denial of the deployment by the Lagos governor, adding that “no governor has power to deploy military officers.”

He also blamed the violence in Ondo on failure of community leadership and political will, affirming the need for more commitment to the grassroots.

In a state broadcast yesterday on the destruction of public properties last week, he lamented that the incident underscored weakness in communal bonding and social protection.

The Overseer, The Citadel Global Community Church (CGCC), Tunde Bakare, has called on President Muhammadu Buhari to fish out the shooters and subject them to justice.

Bakare, who convened Save Nigeria Group (SNG), also wants the officers to face the International Court of Justice (ICJ) for offences committed against peaceful protesters and humanity.

In a state of the nation broadcast entitled ‘The Building Blocks of Nationhood: A Blueprint of Nationhood’ yesterday, the cleric said “the protests go beyond the youths’ demand for end to brutality to include other challenges confronting Nigeria.”

HOWEVER, a coalition of Civil Society Organisations (CSOs) has berated President Muhammadu Buhari for failing, in his national broadcast, to acknowledge the killing of unarmed peaceful protesters.

The coalition expressed displeasure in a statement jointly signed by Connected Development (CODE), TechHerNG, The Interactive Initiative for Social Impact (Dataphyte), Accountability Lab Nigeria and Spaces for Change (S4C).
MEDIA Rights Agenda (MRA) has condemned the attacks against journalists and media houses in some parts of the country, particularly in Lagos, during the protests.

It described it as “reprehensible acts of intimidation and reprisal against media workers and organisations engaged in the lawful pursuit of their professional functions.”

MRA, in a statement by its Programme Director, Mr. Ayode Longe, said “the failure of the government and its law enforcement agencies to protect media houses and media workers in the face of these threats and violation of media rights is a shameful abdication by the government of its legal and constitutional responsibility to protect them as well as a breach of its obligations under international human rights law.”