Louis Ibah, Lukman Olabiyi, Romanus Okoye Judex Okoro, Calabar and Billy Graham Abel, Yola
A chieftain of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has called for the dismantling of the two toll gates in Lekki, Lagos State and the erection of a monument in their stead in remembrance of those who lost their lives and sustained injuries when the military shot at EndSARS protesters in the area.
George in a statement titled “Lagos State: The anger and rage” decried the attack on innocent protesters by the military and queried their deployment at night, a military tactic used by soldiers when the state was at war with an enemy nation.
“Let me advise that the two toll gates at Lekki should be dismantled entirely. The toll gates are now sacred grounds where innocent lives were cut short abruptly. At the Admiralty Circle Toll gate, specifically where bullets rained on that black Tuesday 20-10-2020, a monument should be erected as a permanent memorial to honour the young men and women who stood up in peaceful protests against the ills in our society.
“The protesters were lawyers and doctors. Many were unemployed. There were artistes and musicians. There were Yoruba, Hausa, Ibo and all ethnic tribes that make up the Nigerian federation. There were Muslims, Christians and many various faiths. They called themselves the Soro Soke generation. They have spoken out loud and clear. Yes, we have heard them. And their brave deeds can never be forgotten.”
The former military governor of the old Ondo State alleged that the high level of corruption in Lagos State, absence of basic social amenities, hunger and poverty had left majority of citizens angry.
“Our system is not working. Our ethos and norms have broken down. The structures of power are hindering merit and excellence. Lagos is gutted from within and without. For 21 years the state has perfected the crude system of cronyism, nepotistic fixation and cultish largeness.
“The system is contemptuous of merit or intelligence. The system is distrustful of accountability and the dictates of probity. It is all about blind acquisitions of wealth and a grovelling worship at the altar of a tin-god.All our infrastructures have collapsed. The roads are impassable. The schools are derelict, drunkenly leaning, broken and shattered. Our children sit under leaking roofs.This is why the youths are angry. They have no jobs. They are without hopes. They are without dreams. They are without any enabling empowerment from the Lagos government. They just waste. It is this very anomaly which is much pronounced in Lagos State than any other part of our nation that galvanised the ENDSARS protests,” he said.
George said the outrageous pension scheme for immediate former governors of the state should be scrapped and the prodigal allowances given to members of the state Assembly scrapped.
“There should be free education from primary to secondary school level in lagos state and free healthcare services must be given to the needy. All these can be easily funded from the outrageous allowances and pension schemes given to both serving and former public office holders,” he said.