By Dipo Olowookere
Contrary to reports making the rounds, the Lagos State government has said it never sponsored any thug to attack residents of the state partaking in the widespread #EndSARS protest.
The Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Gbenga Omotoso, in a statement on Thursday, described the reports as “untrue and wicked.”
He said the “unverified reports” were the handiwork of “enemies of peace and orderliness [who want] to whip up sentiments against the government.”
According to him, the administration of Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu will never encourage any violent act that may put the lives and businesses of Lagosians at risk.
“We are strongly committed to ensuring that our youths, who have taken to the streets to air their views, are well protected,” he assured.
The Commissioner said the Governor has on different occasions done “everything possible to resolve the crisis by identifying with our youths in their efforts towards police reforms.”
“Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has been preaching peace. So has the Deputy Governor, who addressed the protesters last Friday.
“The Governor has addressed them twice – at the Lekki Toll Gate and at the House of Assembly. He even carried a placard and marched with the youths after assuring them that he felt their pains and that it was legitimate for them to protest.
“Besides, the Governor visited the President to tender their five-point demand. He ensured that all the protesters arrested by the police were released unconditionally,” Mr Omotoso said.
On the video making the rounds showing some armed thugs alighting from a bus belonging to the state government used to attack the protesters, the Commissioner the Lagos Bus Service Limited (LBSL) vehicle “in question was on its normal operation when it ran into a group of protesters.
“The passengers, who felt endangered, rushed out of the bus. They returned to continue their journey after the charging crowd had left.”
The state government appealed to residents of the metropolis to join hands to put “the crisis is put behind us as soon as possible.”
According to the statement, “This should be a sober time for us all as we struggle to reverse the negative effects of COVID-19 on our economic and social lives, even as the experts are warning that a second wave is likely if we shun the safety guidelines we have all agreed to embrace.”
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