Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday, stated that the recent EndSARS protest must be seen as a wakeup call for the government at all levels to do more for the younger people, saying they were demanding better opportunities and engagements.
He stressed an urgent need for government at all levels to prioritize youth development, empowerment, and mentoring.
Meanwhile, Counsel to the #EndSARS protesters, Mr. Adesina Ogunlana, yesterday requested the Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitutions for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters to summon the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, over the surveillance camera found by the minister during his visit to the Lekki Toll Gate.
Ogunlana, during the cross-examination of the Managing Director of the Lekki Concession Company, operator of the Lekki Toll Gate, Mr. Abayomi Omomuwa, stressed the need to summon Fashola as a means to further probe deep into the alleged shooting of protesters at the gate on October 20 by the military.
He told the head of the panel, Justice Doris Okuwobi (rtd) that Fashola, a former governor of the state, must appear before the sitting to explain the circumstances in which he found a camera at the gate five days after the shooting incident.
Ogunlana said the visit to the Lekki Toll Gate on October 25, where Fashola found a camera, suggests an intrusion into the evidence of the October 20 shootings.
He had asked Omomuwa if he was aware that on said date, Sanwo-Olu invited some persons to visit the tollgate, to which Omomuwa said he only read about the visit, as he was not at the scene during the visit, because he does not report to the Lagos State Government.
Ogunlana further asked Omomuwa where was and Omomuwa responded: “I don’t know.”
In a quick interaction, LCC Counsel, Rotimi Seriki, objected to Ogunlana’s question, saying, “there was no basis to ask the MD such question.”
But Ogunlana told Seriki that the issue of the camera found at the scene of the shooting was crucial to his case and inquired if the panel had issued a summon on Fashola.
Justice Okuwobi, however, told Ogunlana that he (Ogunlana) would have to follow the proper procedure if he wanted Fashola’s appearance before the panel.
Hinting that he would be requesting that Fashola be summoned, Ogunlana said: “I wouldn’t know if it is too early for me to apply for Fashola to appear before the panel to assist.”
Sanwo-Olu, speaking at the commissioning of the newly constructed 28-room Senator Bayo Osinowo Administrative Block at Agboyi Ketu Local Council Development (LCDA) secretariat on Agboyi Road, Alapere.
The governor noted that as the state prepares for a new fiscal year, adequate plans needed to be put in place to, more than the current year, to ensure the welfare of the young people, women, elderly and the physically challenged are catered for.
He said: “At the state level, we have made special provision for youth capacity development in the 2021 budget presented to the House of Assembly, in addition to the ongoing youth empowerment programmes, including the Graduate Internship Programme, under which 4,000 young graduates would be engaged and paid monthly stipend of N40, 000 for six months.
“Let me use this opportunity to commend the young people of Agboyi-Ketu LCDA for ensuring that public assets, especially the council secretariat, did not suffer destruction, vandalization or looting during the EndSARS protest, which was hijacked by hoodlums.”
He said it was within the constitutionally guaranteed right of all citizens to express their grievances through protest, but it is a criminal act to engage in willful destruction, vandalization and looting of public assets and private properties under any guise.