Opinion

Lagos State #EndSARS Panel Report and Issues Arising

I read with utter disdain the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters. Without mincing words, the report is a serious indictment of the Lagos State government by a panel set up by the same government.

It is lugubrious that a government that swore to protect the lives and properties of the people could let loose its machinery to kill the citizens it willingly entered a social contract with. That the Lagos State governor (as contained in the report) could send an invitation to the Nigerian Army to come help feed some few monster-consuming Nigerians is embarrassing not to talk of serial denial from the government itself and some of their sadistic advocates.

Currently, the Global Terrorism Index rates the country world’s third most terrorised country because of activities of Boko Haram, ISWAP, Bandits and Fulani herdsmen. Ordinarily, a reasonable government would have put all machinery in place to ensure that the activities of these blood-sucking vampires subside, but reverse is the case as the government is complicit in all these.

However, considering the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on restitution for victims of SARS related abuses and other matters, it is safe to say that many of the killings going on across the nooks and crannies of the country are being sponsored by the government against its own people.

A recent report by the Global Rights Nigeria claimed that, in the first quarter of 2021, Nigeria lost 1,603 persons to violence; 1,774 were kidnapped. The report went further to show that the second quarter and third quarter had 3,133 and 2,287 persons killed in violence across the country. In all these, the government-sponsored violence was not mentioned, but I am convinced that all contradictions are gradually resolving itself. At least, we can now confidently say that the Lagos State government murdered 99 Nigerians at Lekki Tollgate in October, 2020.

Though, not that I am shocked at the revelation that rolled out of the panel, I am just disappointed that, although we practise constitutional democracy in the country, governments at all level continue to show their scant regard for human lives and the rule of law unabated.

Beyond the fact that the report of the panel is a judicial justification of the EndSARS protest, it has exonerated those of us that have continually expressed a counter opinion to what some sycophants refer to as a Southern President come 2023, streamlining the enormous challenges the country is facing headlong to appear as if it is just some Northern cabal oppressing the entire citizenry.

Nigerians must not allow themselves to be fooled by the diversionary tactics of the ruling class who suggest region and religion as criteria for choosing the next President because, the real issue is having the right structure in place and a competent man to do the job of governance, not an ethnic nominee. At least, the genocide at Lekki Tollgate was ordered and supervised by a ‘Southern’ Governor. It is therefore important that we cross our hearts from being swayed by the unintelligent emotional issues like ‘power rotation’ which does not serve the interests of the Nigerian people but that of some myopic politicians that wants to exploit the naivety of those suffering from the cataract of ethnicity.

The avalanche of issues we are confronted with show the fact that this government does not care to account for any Nigerian and that the lives of the Nigerian people are not important to the ruling elites. Leadership, as we have been taught, must go beyond policy statements to actual demonstration of will. Unfortunately, this will is missing in the Nigerian political scene. Or, how best does one explain the statement of the Lagos State Governor yesterday where he claimed that the State government would set a 4-member committee up to look into the report of the panel and come up with recommendations? This statement has further shown that the Lagos State Governor is not serious with governance and that he is in a state of grand confusion. The panel report has recommendations numbering up to 32. So, why set up another committee to bring recommendations?

In fact, at this rate, considering the fact that the Governor of Lagos State made the military invitation to Lekki Tollgate, the State House of Assembly ought to have begun impeachment process on the Governor. That is simple logic based on the facts on the ground and any person who loves to face reality should know this.

Kazeem Olalekan Israel (GANI) writes from Ibadan via kazeemolalekanisraelgcaf@yahoo.com

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