After Surulere Attack, Sanwo-Olu Rules out Participating in Guber Debate 

Segun James

Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu yesterday disclosed that he would no longer participate in any public function, especially governorship debate that would involve the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

Sanwo-Olu justified his resolve not to feature in any governorship that would involve the main opposition party on the recent attack that occurred in Surulere, leading to loss of lives and destruction of property.

He expressed his disapproval of the attack in a statement the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso released on his behalf yesterday.

In a swift response, however, Lagos PDP accused the All Progressives Congress (APC) of using thugs to attack supporters of its governorship candidate, Dr. Abdul-Azeez Adediran.

In its statement by information commissioner yesterday, Sanwo-Olu insisted that it was Adediran’s thugs that unleashed violence on residents of the area.

Consequently, the statement said the state would not tolerate being portrayed in a bad light.

The statement said although investigations are ongoing, the governor has insisted that he would not participate in any function alongside the PDP.

“The Lagos state government has noted the flood of comments sparked by the shocking video of a group of thugs shooting in broad daylight in Surulere,” he said.

“Security agencies are investigating the video, which has gone viral on social media. We believe they will fish out and prosecute the evil actors, who are believed to be henchmen of the opposition Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

“We condemn this savagery that has portrayed our state, the safest in Nigeria, in a bad light. That is not who we are; we are civilised and cultured.

“Following advice from competent sources, including elders and respectable Lagosians, we will henceforth shun any forum that may require us being together with PDP and its agents of violence.

“Consequently, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu regrets to announce that he will not be participating at The Platform Governorship Debate of January 29, 2023. 

“The governor holds Pastor Poju Oyemade and The Covenant Nation Church family in high esteem and cherishes future opportunities to engage the congregation and render accounts of his stewardship to them as integral parts of the Lagos electorate.

“We will never be found in the company of those to whom the lives of innocent Lagosians mean nothing. Mr Sanwo-Olu won’t share a podium with them.” In a statement by its Publicity Secretary, Mr. Seye Oladejo yesterday, Lagos APC condemned the Surulere attack, accusing the main opposition party of unleashing the reign of terror on innocent and law abiding citizens of the state.

Oladejo said the incident left in its wake several maimed victims and three people reportedly sent to their untimely death.

He said: “We condemn in strong terms the unwarranted and unprovoked resort to violence on the citizens of the state in the name of electioneering campaign.

“Lagos cherishes it’s enviable status as the safest state in the country  which has been as a result of long running  and painstaking investment in security through the provision of the wherewithal and incentives for security agencies.

“We view this attack as a ploy to instill fear in the hearts of voters as we count down to the elections.

“It is pathetic to note that a candidate seeking to govern the state could be seen actively promoting anarchy and violence to disrupt the peace of the citizens.

“It will be recalled that the suspect has been busy in the past days crying wolves in the media as he perfected his evil plans which manifested at his rally.

“While we can imagine the untold misery and  frustration that his faltering campaign might have visited on him, it ought not to result in the thirst for the blood of potential voters.

“We hereby call on the law enforcement agencies to thoroughly investigate the incident , bring the culprits to book and beef security across the state with the obvious desperation of the opposition PDP in order to forestall a reoccurrence.”

He, therefore, urged Lagosians “to remain calm and law abiding as the state government remains irrevocably committed to its onerous duty of ensuring the safety of lives and properties of all and sundry.”

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