Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Lagos state governor, has canceled the proposed Peace Walk following the release of the state government’s white paper on the Judicial Panel of Inquiry’s report which probed the EndSARS incident at the Lekki Toll Gate.
Mr Sanwo-Olu in a press statement made available to NEWS DIRECT said the walk was canceled due to the increased cases of the Omicron variant of Coronavirus in Lagos state.
The governor, in an address on November 30, 2021, had invited some known faces of the EndSARS protest in the state in October 2020 to a peace walk for “the healing of Lagos” later this month.
Sanwo-Olu said he is “constrained to stand down all preparations for the Walk for Peace” so as not to “endanger the life of any Lagosian” amid the outbreak of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
“Between Tuesday 30, November 2021 that I made my address and now, we have seen a significant rise in cases associated with the Omicron variant of this pandemic.
“Given this development, I am constrained to stand down all preparations for the Walk for Peace. I will not endanger the life of any Lagosian in my sincere search for peace. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the initiative received from far and near. The deluge of support is, however, indicative of one thing: our people know the strategic place of peace to our quest for development.”
Recall that in its report submitted on November 15, the panel said nine persons were killed at the Lekki tollgate, while several other protesters shot at, maimed, injured and assaulted.
The Lagos state government, in its white paper, however, countered the finding of the panel, saying there was no massacre at the Lekki tollgate.
GOVERNOR SANWO-OLU’S PRESS STATEMENT:
LET’S PIVOT TO WORK FOR PEACE
Since my last address to you, the good people of Lagos State on Tuesday 30, November 2021, during which I expressed a desire to lead a Walk for Peace, following the outcome of the work of the Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, I have been inundated with deep expressions of solidarity from various groups and people declaring their readiness to join me on the symbolic walk.
Indeed, I owe a special debt of gratitude to our youths and students, who reached out to either members of my team or directly to me, expressing their readiness to join me on the planned Walk for Peace. They include many of our Civil Society Leaders, business leaders within and outside of Corporate Lagos, religious leaders, members of the Diplomatic Community, entertainers, Market Associations, Trade Associations and Women Groups who have committed time and resources to preparing for the Peace Walk. I thank you all.
When the unseen enemy called Covid-19 began to ravage the world and indeed our nation, I assumed the role of the Incident Commander in our quest to protect the lives of our people. We subjected ourselves to the dictates of science. We chose to be guided not by our emotions, but expert opinions rooted in science. Between Tuesday 30, November 2021 that I made my address and now, we have seen a significant rise in cases associated with the Omicron variant of this pandemic.
Given this development, I am constrained to stand down all preparations for the Walk for Peace. I will not endanger the life of any Lagosian in my sincere search for peace. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the initiative received from far and near. The deluge of support is, however, indicative of one thing: our people know the strategic place of peace to our quest for development.
I look forward to engaging with you as WE TOGETHER WORK FOR PEACE!
God bless Lagos State.
Governor, Lagos State.
Thursday, December 9, 2021
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