The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained the reason why the state government announced curfew on Tuesday and how it turned bloody at night.
Mr Sanwo-Olu who spoke on Arise TV interview on Thursday said the curfew was to ensure that lives and properties are protected as against the insinuation of many that it was calculated to harm protesters.
“We saw the breakdown of law and order and there was mayhem and prior instruction had been given to the police to stand down. We set up a panel and hoped it would assuage the grievances.”
“By Tuesday, we had started seeing destruction and attack on police stations, and arms being carted away. It was turning to a complete breakdown of law and order. I consulted with the Commissioner of Police and members of my security team in the state. And we took a decision to institute a curfew.
“The whole idea was to let people know that they needed to go home. By 5:30 p.m., I got calls from opinion moulders in the state that we need to extend it,” the governor said as he admitted later extending to 9:00 p.m.
Removal of camera, shooting
Speaking on the military invasion, Mr Sanwo-Olu said “it was his wife and cabinet members that informed him about the shooting at Lekki toll gate”. He also said he never ordered that the billboard light should be put off.
“Nobody ordered the removal of cameras at the Lekki tollgate. The MD of LCC said because of the curfew, they made the decision to take out installations. The cameras you saw are not security or motion cameras, they are laser cameras for vehicles. The security cameras are still available and we are using them for our security investigations.”
Condemning the military invasion, he said “he has no knowledge about the protocols of the military and how they come out of their chain of command”.
“I don’t know how the officers got it all wrong because the instruction was that police won’t be out until 10-10:30 p.m. when all citizens should have gotten to their various homes. This is totally against what we stand for.
“The army does not report to me, I have reported the matter to the highest command in the military. It’s not something we are going to gloss over. A judicial panel will be set up to investigate it. I have escalated it to the highest level of the military.”
Speaking on Wednesday’s destruction across the state, he said “how did we get to a place where people are destroying our heritage…destroying brand new public transportation buses that are meant to make lives easier?”
Call for peace
“The unfortunate incident is not me. I was the first Governor to join the protesters in solidarity, the first to engage with the youth, and also took their requests to the president,” he said. “I’m calling on the youth to send their representatives to the Judicial Panel of Inquiry so that we can have real evidence and make a closure on most of the agitations.”
He also called for an end to the protests.
“Let all opinion moulders including religious leaders and traditional leaders to speak up and speak out now and stop this and restrain the youth going out to commit arson. We do not want to keep the police on the streets longer than necessary. We need to slow down and pause and think through what we’re going through right now.
“This is not what we stand for, Lagos has been the most peaceful part of the country for decades. Former President Obasanjo has spoken, our uncle – Wole Soyinka (Nobel Laureate) has spoken. We need to restore order.”