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Sanwo-Olu Calls for Healing, Reconciliation as Violence Slows Down

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Sanwo-Olu

On the switching off of the LED lights, he said there is a concessionaire that manages the place and that they said they pulled off the lights because of the curfew that was announced by the state government.

The governor also revealed that investigations into the Lekki Tollgate shooting will commence on Monday and stressed that there may be more to the #EndSARS protest than was initially thought.

While calling for state police, he said the state was unable to nip the destruction in the bud because of the lack of adequate police personnel.
“Yes we have the formations on paper but I also did not realize that some of them have actually been transferred to some other parts of the country to restore law and order in some other parts of the country that were in distress before we got to where we are now in Lagos.

“So it was a case of how do we get to pull back our men that are in other parts of the country to come back to their main posts, that is a logistics thing that we are still working on, “he explained.

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He called for responsible use of social media, stressing that misinformation mostly fuelled the wanton destruction witnessed in Lagos in the last three days.
The governor said: “I will be honest with you, up until about six to eight months ago I did not appreciate the extent of what social media is in our community. During COVID-19 era, I realise that it was a very strong tool that can be used for communication.

“As good as social media is, there are so many sour points like false news, because if you say fake news, people will think the government just wants to sweep away issues. False news is one of the major downsides of social media. As free as social media has made us, there is an element of restraint that we need to have,” he said.

Sanwo-Olu, who looked disturbed, said the event of Tuesday does not define his person or what he stands for.
He said: “This is me, this is who I am. I am your governor that you all truly elected last year and I want to continue to thank you for that. The unfortunate event of Tuesday is not what I believe in. I was the first governor that joined the protest, I held the flag in solidarity, I was petted with water, pulled down and I did shake. I was with them.

The following day, I was with the protesters at Alausa, which were the two prominent locations.

“I collected their letter stating their demands and promised that relevant authorities at the highest level will get the letters. I went to Abuja and there are footages to show that I made those communications. I was the first to set up a fund to compensate protesters, who were victims of police brutality; I was the first that set up a judicial panel of enquiry and we have inaugurated them. We did everything within our means. Sanwo-Olu disclosed that once the looting and burning were taking place across the state on Wednesday, he got a call from the Chief of Army Staff, Lt. Gen. Buratai who offered to deploy soldiers to quell the protest.

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He denied ordering the Army to the state, saying such powers is beyond any state governor.
He pleaded that moving forward: “We need to come together to engage ourselves, have a genuine reconciliation and plan a better and stronger Lagos State.”

On his efforts to contact the president, he said: “I made phone calls to the president; I made calls to want to speak to the president twice yesterday. The first time, he hadn’t come to the office, and the second time he was at the FEC meeting. So indeed, I haven’t spoken to him directly, but I actually did call to want to speak with him.

“Like I said, he was at FEC meeting and probably had this briefing. He was actually the one that asked the Chief of Defence Staff to call me and I think it was when he got my message, because when the Chief of Staff called me, he said to me that it was the president that asked him to call. But I haven’t spoken to him directly, may be later today that might happen.
“I don’t have the report to say this was what he said because we haven’t spoken.”

Violence Persists in Lagos, Abuja, Delta, Akwa Ibom

Meanwhile, the curfew imposed by Sanwo-Olu to restore order, seemed to have restricted everybody except hoodlums, who had a field day looting and burning different parts of the state.

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In Ojodu Berger, the hoodlums vandalised the police division and made away with the weapons, before they set the station ablaze.
Also vandalised were different malls on Lagos Island and Mainland with some set ablaze after the looting.

On the island, the hoodlums ravaged the Circle Mall, Shoprite and Spar and carted away valuables worth millions of naira.
Others set targeted Shoprite in Surulere and Amuwo Odofin Estate and unleashed mayhem after looting different stalls occupying the mall.

In Fagba, in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area, there was a large scale destruction, including the burning of a branch of an old generation bank that razed two empty fuel tankers, over 40 vehicles, shops and stalls at Fagba Market.

Also looted and burnt down were the spare parts market, two churches, events centre, bar, and pharmacy, while an eatery, hotel, supermarket, residential buildings and shops were looted.
As at press time, the casualties and fatalities recorded in the melee were yet to be fully accounted for.

The hoodlums also looted COVID-19 palliatives in a warehouse at Mazamaza area of the state.
However, the Lagos State acting Commissioner for Agriculture, Abisola Olusanya, yesterday clarified that the palliatives were received by the state government from CA-COVID only on September 22, stressing that the distribution was halted due to the protests.

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In a viral video, the looters stormed the warehouse at Benster Crescent, popularly called Monkey Village and carted away hundreds of bags containing rice, spaghetti, salt, and beans among others, per pack.
With the local touts on guard, they protected residents who went in to loot as many bags as they could carry.

Meanwhile, police and the military foiled attempted jailbreak at the Ikoyi Correctional Centre in Lagos.
Part of the facility was, however, set ablaze.
The Police Public Relations Officer, Lagos State, Mr. Muyiwa Adejobi, said the cause of the fire could not yet be ascertained.

He confirmed that policemen had been deployed to the facility.
“We don’t know the cause of the fire but we are there on the ground. We have mobilised to the place. We will give details later,” he said.

At Mile 2 axis of Amuwo Odofin Local Government Area, hoodlums mounted a blockade along the Oshodi-Apapa road, robbing passersby of their phones and money.

WE gathered that the hoodlums were said to have been attacked by a rival group believed to have come from the Ajegunle axis leading to the death of one of the boys as well as burning of one trailer.
Residents of the Jakande Estate, Mile 2 woke up to behold thick smoke on Mile 2 Bridge.

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Abuja

In Abuja, one person was confirmed dead when Gudu market in the precinct of Apo, came under attack from suspected hoodlums, who allegedly jumped the fence to attack the traders.

Eye witnesses said one of the victims was attacked with a dagger and was rushed to the hospital by the police who are in charge of the market. He later died in the hospital from gunshot injuries.

However, the Public Relations Officer of Abuja Market Management Limited, Mr. Innocent Amaechina, said the attack resulted from market quarrel, which was being fully handled.
The FCT police spokesperson, ASP Mariam Yusuf, also confirmed the incident.
She said operatives had been deployed in to provide security at the facility.

Uyo

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The protest also turned bloody in Uyo, the Akwa Ibom State capital, yesterday.
It was gathered that while two persons were killed along Ebong Street, another person was allegedly shot by a prison official.
In the ensuing confusion, a-four storey building belonging to an insurance company along Barracks road was set ablaze.

Ibadan

In Oyo State, two police officers were allegedly burnt to death at Iwo road area of Ibadan, the state capital.
Hoodlums also set ablaze a police vehicle attached to the Gbagi police station and some other vans.

The hoodlums, who moved round the city, also set on fire a police station located at Alabebe area, Iyana Church while attempts were made on other stations in Akobo, Testing Ground and Agugu.
Efforts made to get reaction from the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Olugbenga Fadeyi, proved abortive as he did not take his calls or reply messages sent to him.

However, as the time of filling this report, normalcy had been restored to most of the areas by men of the state security outfit, ‘Operation Burst.’
Governor Seyi Makinde, yesterday visited hot spots of the protests in Ibadan, declaring that his government would continue to do what is necessary to secure the lives and property of the residents of the state.

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Akure

In Ondo State, burning of more houses by protesters continued in several towns.
The targets of the hoodlums were political parties’ offices, campaign offices, private residences of politicians and public institutions.
In Akure, the Akeredolu’ Campaign Office, located near the Akure South Local Government Secretariat was affected and there was a report that the Ala Police Station in the state capital, was also set ablaze.

In Okitipupa, the house of the Executive Director, Niger Delta Power Holding Company, Mr. Ife Oyedele, was set ablaze.
It was also gathered that the Divisional Police Headquarters, Okitipupa, the office of Benin Electricity Distribution Company, the Prison and LG Secretariat were destroyed.
The residences of the Police Area Commander and that of the Divisional Police Officer (DPO) were also affected.

Okowa, Emmanuel, Obiano Impose Curfew

Following the violence in Uyo, Governor Emmanuel imposed a curfew from 9 p.m yesterday to 12 noon today.
The State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Ini Obong in a statement linked the curfew to the protest in the state capital.

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Delta State governor, Okowa, also declared a 48-hour curfew across the state to contain ongoing violent protests.
The governor, who had earlier supported the protest, said the peaceful protest had been hijacked by hoodlums.
Okowa, who addressed journalists at the Government House, Asaba said the curfew would begin 6 pm yesterday.

The presentation of the 2021 budget estimates by Okowa to the House of Assembly, earlier slated for yesterday was also postponed.
Hoodlums were alleged to have destroyed property around the Koka area of Benin-Asaba-Onitsha expressway.

It was further alleged that the operational office of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the multi-million naira beautification garden of the state government were also razed by the hoodlums.

Heavily armed soldiers also yesterday foiled attempts by suspected hoodlums to break into Warri Correctional Centre also known as Okere Prisons in Warri, Warri South Local Government Area of the state.

The hoodlums, WE learnt, stormed the prison facility about 11 am and forcefully entered the entrance but were resisted by the armed guard unit of the centre, who called for reinforcement from the military to ward off the intruders.
Soldiers, on arrival, engaged the hoodlums in exchange of gunshots before they fled the facility.

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Soldiers from 3 Battalion, Effurun and operatives of the Nigerian Navy Ship Delta (NNS Delta) in Warri have barricaded all the routes to the facility.
However, one of the warden officers was allegedly shot dead by the inmates in an attempt to force the gates of the facility open.

It was also reported that one of the inmates died while others sustained injuries.
Efforts to confirm the development from the Comptroller in charge of Warri Correctional Centre, Mr. Friday Movie proved abortive as he refused to respond to calls and text message at the time of filing this report.

The Nigeria Army also repelled angry youths who attempted to raze down Ebrumede Police Station in Uvwie Local Government Area of Delta State.
The soldiers were drafted in when the hoodlums invaded the station but were forced to retreat after the police fired teargas and gunshots to scare them.

Violence also spread in Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi in Anambra State yesterday.
A police officer was beheaded and burnt to ashes by suspected hoodlums in Nnewi.
The state police spokesperson, Mr. Haruna Mohammed, who confirmed this in a statement, said three others sustained various degrees of injuries.

He said five persons were attacked in Onitsha and taken to the hospital for medical attention where three have been confirmed dead while two others were receiving treatment.
He further disclosed the protesters attacked Nnewi Police Station, set it ablaze and vandalized patrol vehicles and other exhibits.

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Mohammed listed other police formations attacked to include Nnewi Area Command, 3-3 Division, Ogbunike/ Isiuwulu, Nnobi, and Itchy Divisions as well as peoples club police post.
Reacting to the developments, the state governor, Obiano, declared 24-hour curfew starting from 8 pm yesterday.

The governor also announced that the sum of N200 million had been mapped out for compensation of families and victims of disbanded SARS/police brutality, upon recommendation by the Judicial Panel of Inquiry.

 

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