By Segun James
Members of the Progressives Governors’ Forum (PGF) who visited Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, yesterday have commended his leadership in the wake of the #EndSARS protests that resulted in the massive destruction of public and private properties in the state.
They also commiserated with him and Lagosians over the lives lost to the unnecessary destruction.
Speaking to newsmen during the visit at the Lagos House, Marina, Chairman of the forum and Kebbi State Governor, Senator Atiku Bagudu, commended Sanwo-Olu for demonstrating leadership during the protests.
The Progressives Governors Forum delegation comprised of Bagudu; Chairman of the APC Caretaker Committee and Yobe State Governor, Mai Mala Buni; Chairman, Northern Governors’ Forum and Plateau State Governor, Simon Lalong and Jigawa State Governor, Muhammed Badaru.
Bagudu said the APC governors were committed to good governance and making life comfortable for youths in Nigeria, adding that it was their desire to see young men and women in the country have fulfilling jobs and opportunities both locally and internationally.
“We want our young men and women to have fulfilling jobs and opportunities both locally and internationally. But this will take time with continuous engagement and dialogue,” he said.
The PGF chairman said they decided to visit Governor Sanwo-Olu to encourage him and his team and to further show solidarity with the people of Lagos State.
“We come to encourage our colleague and his team and to further show solidarity with people of Lagos that we are all in it together.
“This evening Governor Sanwo-Olu showed us some of the pictures of some of the devastating damages that were caused by the violence. And it is very clear that violence does not solve any problem; it compounds it.
“Today, Lagos has further taken a loss because of that violence that has attacked everything; police stations, cultural institutions, two palaces and public facilities, loss of lives and other incidents. It is now very clear that the wise people of Lagos and all of us have known better that yes, our young persons have the right to express their feelings. We have to dialogue with them. We have listened to them. But also as ambassadors of the family at different respective families and parents, we also have to appreciate that we are in it all together.
“You are not alone; we support them. We want to give them the support of a united strong country so that they can go into the world with pride. But they have seen how nobility of any course can be taken over by those who otherwise have agendas that are contrary to what they thought they are out to achieve.
“So, I believe that there is a lesson for all of us and as a country, we need to do more quickly. We are doing well but this is a course that we must do more. In the last six years, Nigeria has had one of the most devastating slow down in the economic activity because of the combination of commodity prices collapse, which is further aggravated by the Coronavirus pandemic in the country.
“But yet Nigerians response has led to a drop in the GDP by less than seven per cent, which is one of the best in Africa and indeed in the world. There are countries where slowdown in the economy activity has been close to 40 per cent per quarter with unemployment,” the governor stated.
Bagudu, while lauding Governor Sanwo-Olu’s leadership in Lagos State during the EndSARS protests, recalled that he stood by the youth and even went further to present their requests to Mr. President, adding: “He mobilised his team to respond as kindly, gently and energetically as possible.”
“He has remains committed till date. The panel (Judicial Panel of Enquiry) he set up is making progress and they are independent. The truth is coming out gradually; it is evolving.
“So we encourage him. We appreciate the people of Lagos and we are glad that when we came in today, we saw economic activities, the resilience of Lagosians skipping in. That is quite commendable and we believe that Lagos will get back its groove and mobilise the nation,” the governors said.