By Kazeem Ugbodaga
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Thursday said his government now has no choice but to take every necessary step to restore law and order and to minimise the disruptions being caused by #EndSARS protest across the state.
He lamented that all law-abiding residents of Lagos State were experiencing disruptions occasioned by the protest.
The governor spoke at a news conference in Marina, Lagos, Southwest Nigeria on Thursday.
“Let me now directly address all protesters who have taken their message to the street to agitate for change and reform of the police. It is now time to ask you all, to acknowledge the progress being made and to respond in good faith.
“We are starting to record violent incidents as well as the breakdown of law and order. This week we have seen an
escalation in incidents arising from the protests. Reports of medical evacuations hindered by the blockage of key roads and the worsening traffic arising from the protests.
“Lagosians who are unable to go to their workplaces or earn a legitimate living because of the collateral impact of protest gatherings. We therefore cannot continue this way. What we need now, and ask for, is for you to sheath your swords, and give us a chance, as Federal and State Governments, to consolidate on these actions being promptly taken to address your concerns,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu said even as government affirmed the constitutional rights of all protesters to peacefully make their grievances known, it was also the duty as a government to ensure that the exercise of one set of rights by one group of people did not in any way constrain the rights of any other group of people.
“We now have no choice but to take every necessary step to restore law and order and to minimise the disruptions being experienced by all law-abiding residents of Lagos State,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu urged the protesters to also remember that COVID-19 was still very much with around, as the state has begun to record increases.
“We are still amidst a pandemic; we are not out of it yet. As at Wednesday the 14th of October, 2020, Lagos State had recorded a total of 20,394 confirmed cases of COVID-19. Of this number, 16,734 have recovered in community, 968 are currently active in community, and 207 deaths have sadly occurred.
“You might have noticed a sharp rise in the number of cases reported in the last two days, out of step with the numbers we have been daily recording in recent weeks.
“This is however a wake-up call to jolt us out of complacency. In the last six months we have made tremendous progress in the fight against COVID-19; do not let us, through carelessness or nonchalance, reverse this progress,” he said.