I was just able to watch Nima Elbagir’s latest report on the shooting and below are my thoughts.
As we strive to move forward and heal, we need to know that there were mistakes committed by state’s government in handling the issue. If it had taken a little step backward in responding after the shooting, it would have saved a lot of us headaches.
The CNN’s reporter claimed that when it attempted to share its findings with Lagos State government, it said it would wait for the panel’s final report.
This should have been the governor’s stance from the very beginning and would have saved him a lot.
He shouldn’t have rushed to make categorical statements on the shooting but an appeal.
He should have stated even before questions were being asked that he invited the army to disperse and not shoot at protesters.
He should have called for calm, without putting numbers on the casualties until after investigations and told Lagosians that they were right to protest.
Away from all these, the questions that continues to give me headache is
- Who advised the governor to send soldiers to the toll gate where the protest was peaceful and not where hooligans have taken over, killing the police and burning down police stations?
- Despite trust funds and Lagos budget for the security in the state, how on earth aren’t police commands in Lagos the best trained in Nigeria? There may be need for the government to also set up panel to investigate how these funds are being disbursed because even when hoodlums took over during lockdown, police were also nowhere to be found.
The executive governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, can still rectify this as a father of the state.
Here are my suggestions:
He should come out publicly and officially own up and apologise to Lagosians for inviting the army to Lekki Tollgate on Oct 20, 2020.
He should assure Lagosians that for those who lost limps and got shot, the best medical treatments will be truly and freely given to them. And for those who truly lost loved ones, these are heroes and would be immortalised while the family compensated.
In his apology, he should also not wail but tell Lagosians that all the public properties vandalised due to the uproar following #LekkiShooting would be restored, while owners of private properties compensated.
He should stay away from mentioning the words fake news and be seen as truly fighting against the prosecutions of the tagged leaders of the protests in his domain.
And finally, he should tell the people he’s leading that the deed has been done and we now need to heal and move forward as a state. We should let bygones be bygones and forge ahead as one strong entity to protect our micro-democracy and our lovely state. He should implore us to be more responsible going forward and know that an injury to one Lagosian (people, security agents, politicians and govt officials) is an injury to all.
This cant cost him re-election, rather it would endear him to the hearts of the people. Even if the powers that be in Lagos refuse him second term, he will still be loved by his people.
However, CNN didn’t claim to be at Lekki. The report was a forensic investigation using technology through Google earth coordinates, same that was used to expose same governments when they misinformed the public that gas cylinders caused a pipeline explosion that wasted lives of innocent Lagosians.
Eko o ni ba je o. #ProtectLagos #