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Lagos needs healing, reconciliation, Sanwo-Olu laments

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Says State Recorded Unprecedented Destruction In Its History
• Relaxes Curfew

After three days of rage, the Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babjide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, said the city-state needed healing, lamenting that the carnage it witnessed in the last few days was unprecedented in its history

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Speaking after a tour of some areas in the city that were torched or destroyed as a result of the violence that erupted in the state, a visibly dejected Sanwo-Olu said what he saw was not the Lagos that was handed over to him on May 29, 2019. He added that he had never seen the level of destruction of private and public property perpetrated in the state before.

Sanwo-Olu, however, reviewed the curfew imposed on the state, saying residents could now move about between 8 am and 6 pm.

From Wednesday to Thursday, hoodlums took over the streets of Lagos, destroying targeted private and public properties and looting others. Following the destructions, the governor extended a 24-hour curfew he had imposed on the state last Tuesday to 72 hours as part of measures to curtail the violence.

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Yesterday, some level of peace returned to the state, which enabled the governor to take a tour of both private and public buildings that were razed to see first hand the level of damage done.

He visited the palace of Oba of Lagos, HRM Rilwan Akiolu, which was looted and destroyed by hoodlums; Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government Secretariat; Divisional Police Headquarters; Police Stations in Layeni and Amukoko; Lagos State Public Works Office at Ojodu; Ojodu Bus Rapid Transit Terminal; Igbosere High Court; Lekki Toll Plaza and Lekki Shoprite, among other facilities attacked by hoodlums in the state.

While addressing the media after the tour, Sanwo-Olu said there was a need for Lagosians to continue to talk and dialogue. He, however, pleaded with residents and citizens sharing fake news and misinformation to stop.

He insisted that a number of people lost their lives in several parts of the city in the course of the crisis but not directly from the Lekki shooting.

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The governor said the state government would pay the medical bills of all the victims being treated in private and public health facilities in the state.

The governor disclosed that the Lagos State Waste Management Authority (LAWMA) would be moving to different parts of the city to clean up areas that needed to be cleaned, maintaining that the city needs clean up from the carnage.

He explained that he could not completely lift the curfew in the state because there were still pockets of insecurity in some areas.

He implored motorists to drive with caution as they move around the city following the relaxation of the curfew, urging those who have no reason to drive or go out stay at home.

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He said the curfew would be reviewed on Monday after taking stock of developments today and tomorrow (Sunday).

Sanwo-Olu emphasised that the state needed healing, stating that the healing has started.

On the plans the state government has for private businesses that suffered losses in the crisis, the governor said he would sit back with his team to take stock before making any pronouncement, noting that, that is why the reconciliation has to be total.

At Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Council, the governor was received by Fatai Adekunle Ayoola and Fatai Ajidagba, Chairmen of Ajeromi-Ifelodun Local Government and Ifelodun Local Council Development Area, respectively.

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The governor inspected the burnt vehicles numbering 86 and looted offices within the secretariat.

He expressed dismay at the actions of the vandals, empathising with women and children believed to be wives and kinsmen of police officers in the barracks, who gathered at the location.

Speaking, the Chairman, Isale Eko Descendants, Yomi Tokosi, described the invasion of the Oba of Lagos Palace as a taboo, which should not be overlooked as mere looting by protesters.

Tokosi spoke when the governor conducted an on the spot assessment of the level of destruction at the palace.

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He appealed to the vandals to return the staff of the office stolen from the palace or face the consequences.

Also, the Chairman, Lagos Island East LCDA, Kamal Basua, condemned the invasion of the sacred palace, urging security personnel to investigate and bring the culprits to book.

Speaking during the visit, Lagos State Commissioner for Information, Gbenga Omotoso, said the attacks on public facilities compelled the state government to impose a curfew on the state.

He said: “I want us to realise that all of these happened before the curfew. This was why the government imposed the curfew. The correct situation is that these attacks sparked the curfew

“This is not the kind of Lagos we know and want to know. We should see ourselves as brothers. The kind of rebuilding that we have to do now is great. This is a tough and difficult time for us, but we will come out stronger.”

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