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EndSARS: Nigeria Needs Healing, Says Osinbajo

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Vice President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo on Monday said Nigeria needs healing in the aftermath of the #EndSARS protests that caused massive destruction across the country.

 

Osinbajo stated this at the Consultative Forum on Rebuilding Lagos and Inauguration of the Board of Trustees of Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund, held in Alsusa, Ikeja, Lagos.

 

Dignitaries at the event include: Senate President, Ahmed Lawan who was represented by Senator, Solomon Olamilekan, representing Lagos West, Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, Governor of Central Bank, CBN, Godwin Emefiele and Deputy Chief of Staff to the vice president, Ade Ipaye, captains of industry, among others.

 

The Vice President, in his address stated, “Our state, like our nation, is in need of healing. We recognize that the balm for a wounded society is truth and justice.

 

“This is why Judicial Panels of Inquiry have been established all across the country. Their mandate is to investigate cases of police brutality against citizens, where necessary compensate victims.

 

“Specifically, in Lagos the mandate of the inquiry has been expanded to include a full investigation of the Lekki toll gate incidents. This process has begun and all federal agencies and the armed services are participating actively as Mr. President said and I quote ”We will also ensure that all those responsible for misconduct or wrongful acts are brought to justice.”

 

He continued: “We have been through a very difficult time but all our moral traditions instruct us that character is forged in hardship. The things that truly strengthen us are gained in seasons of adversity.

 

Harping on special attention to Lagos State, Osinbajo stated, “This is the State that leads by far in the collection of non-oil revenues. The bulk of VAT is generated here; of the 114 persons who pay self-assessed taxes of over N10 million, 112 of them live and work here in Lagos.’’

 

In his address, Sanwo-Olu said, “following the violent aftermath of the #EndSARS protests – we constituted, by Executive Order, a Lagos State Rebuild Trust Fund, to be run by an 8-member Committee. As a follow-up, a Bill will be sent to the State House of Assembly, to enshrine the Fund in the laws of the land, and give it the necessary backing to accomplish its mandate.  This is the very reason why we are gathered here today: To operationalize this Fund, by mobilizing resources from far and wide, for the singular purpose of rebuilding and restoring our dear City and State.

 

“We seek to restore the infrastructure that was destroyed, to revive the

energy and confidence of everyone who has been affected by these losses, to help restore the confidence of the people of Lagos in the infinite potentials of Lagos.

“But the State Government cannot do this alone. We need all the help

that we can get, which is why we have invited you all here, and are grateful that you have honoured our invitation.

 

“We require the assistance of the Federal Government, from both the Executive and Legislative branches.”

Sanwo-Olu, appealed to the National Assembly to take steps to set aside funds for the task of Rebuilding and Restoring Lagos in the 2021 Appropriation Bill being deliberated upon currently by the Assembly.

“This Fund does not necessarily have to be for Lagos alone, it can and should also take into consideration other states also impacted by therecent spate of violence.

 

“It is therefore necessary for the Federal Government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be expanded.

 

“There is need in the circumstances for the Federal Government to maintain a special defence and security arrangement in Lagos which will henceforth be designated a special area.

 

“These arrangements will be carefully worked out and written into the new constitution.”

“It will even be unfair to expect the State to bear this heavy burden on its own.”

“It is therefore necessary for the Federal Government to continue to sustain the substantial investment in the area. The port facilities and other economic activities in the Lagos area have to be expanded.

 

Earlier, Emefiele noted that the takeaway from the recent unrest in the country is that stakeholders in the public and private sector must address youth unemployment.

 

He stressed that key stakeholders in the Nigerian private sector under the auspices of Coalition Against COVID-19 (CACOVID) have brainstormed over ways to cushion the effect of the destruction from eroding confidence in the country’s economy.

 

He added that to support the government in enhancing the security of the country, CACOVID alliance have committed to the rehabilitation and rebuilding of all the 44 police stations that were damaged as a result of the unrest.

 

“If youth unemployment is left unchallenged, it can provide a breathing ground for our youths to engage in nefarious activities that could be harmful to the progress of our nation. Our youths have immense potential, energetic and if well handled can catapult our nation to the forefront of leading nation’s in the world.

 

“We must therefore seek to promote increasing policies that will equip our youths in the right skills that will support innovation, employment and wealth creation.

“I am pleased to note that the CACOVID alliance will over the next week be unveiling a blueprint that will detail our support that will positively affect households and businesses.

“This is in addition to the mention that will support the creation of millions of jobs for our youths over the next five years.

 

“Though many parts of the country were affected but we all know that Lagos was most devastated.”

 

Meanwhile, Lawan and Gbajabiamila assured the federal government’s assistance, not only to Lagos, but other affected states.

 

“Federal government will do all it can to support Lagos. Lagos shall rise again,” the lawmakers assured.

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