Babajide Sanwo-Olu, governor of Lagos, says he has personally reached out and provided for all the victims of the #EndSARS protest in the state. The governor spoke in a chat with Arise TV on Wednesday.
The #EndSARS protest took place in October 2020 when youths across the nation took to the streets to demand an end to police brutality.
The protest reached its crescendo on October 20 when officers of the Nigerian military shot at demonstrators at the Lekki tollgate in Lagos. The incident ignited riots which saw property and government infrastructure destroyed.
Two years on from the event, many youths, particularly on social media, are still holding the Sanwo-Olu-led administration responsible.
Addressing the issue, Sanwo-Olu said the youths must “do roleplay” and put themselves in his position to understand the situation.
The governor said he had no control because the state government does not have authority over the police and the military.
“Young people do not do roleplay and sit back to reflect on what happened. It was not a flash event. It built up for three weeks. I do not have control. I do not control the military or the police,” the governor said
“On the question of who ordered the [Lekki shooting], who ordered the police not to listen to me when I went to Magodo the other day? Who ordered the military out for our election last Saturday? It is not in my remit or space.
“All of the people — and I am saying this for the first time on national TV — that claimed that they were either injured or affected in one form or the other, I, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, have reached out to them and supported, given them jobs and empowerment and things for them to start right.
“And that is why you do not see anybody come out during this campaign period to say ‘I was an #EndSars victim and I lost something,’ because I have taken it up and I feel that is something for me as a father and a leader to do for them, and clear this air around it.”
In the aftermath of the #EndSARS protest, the Lagos government set up a judicial panel of inquiry and the body gave out N91 million in compensation to victims of police brutality.