Baring any last minute changes, the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, would today address residents across the state on steps being taken by his administration to amplify the youths’ call for police reformation and end to brutality and extra-judicial killings by Special Anti-Robbery Squad unit of Nigeria Police Force.
The address, it was gathered, was coming on the heels of social media reports that state government-sponsored hoodlums who was said to have highlighted from Lagos Bus Service Ltd. (LBSL) vehicle attacked and injured peaceful protesters in Alausa, Ikeja axis of Lagos state on Thursday.
The state’s Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said that it was surprising that some rumour peddlers would alleged that the state government which had identified with the protesters would make U-turn to sponsor thugs with aim of disrupting peaceful march of protesters in the state.
Debunking the allegations through a statement released to newsmen on Thursday, Omotoso said that the social media reports were false and contrived to bring disrepute to the Sanwo-Olu-led administration.
According to him, such wild allegations were obviously concocted by enemies of peace and orderliness to whip up sentiments against the government, which has been doing everything possible to resolve the crisis by identifying with our youths in their efforts towards police reforms.
He said contrary to the social media reports, Sanwo-Olu, alongside his deputy, Obafemi Hamzat, had engaged the protesters meaningfully and that as widely seen on traditional and new media, the governor also carried a placard and marched with the youths.
Not relenting on the youths’ plight, the commissioner said that the governor also visited President Muhammadu Buhari, to tender the protesters’ five-point demand and ensured that all protesters arrested by the police were released unconditionally.
“The enemies of progress, who are not happy that Lagos is not on fire, are the ones fuelling the infernal lies that the government was sponsoring thugs to attack our protesting youths. They have been posting on the social media pictures suggesting that a Lagos Bus Service Ltd. (LBSL) vehicle was conveying thugs.
“The bus 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.
“As a government, we will never encourage thuggery or any act of violence 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,” the statement said