Human Rights Writers Association of Nigeria, HURIWA, has described the Lagos State’s white paper from the outcomes of the year-long Lagos State commission of investigation on #ENDSARS protest as a “RUMPLED PAPER”, “WHITE LIES” and tissues of falsehoods and political gymnastics.
HURIWA said that the deliberate action of the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to play the role of a maverick by editing the heart and mind of the findings and recommendations of the panel shows that all the while the setting up of the investigation commission which gulped millions of taxpayers money was simply for political gimmicks and shadow chasing.
“The so-called White paper is a total package of half baked white lies which were actually manufactured to satisfy the political godfather and the man who singlehandedly railroaded the little known Mr. Jide Sanwo-Olu into office as Governor in 2019,” HURIWA said in a statement signed by its coordinator, Emmanuel Onwubiko on Tuesday.
“We had thought it was mere speculations that the owners of Lekki Toll Gate were connected to the former governor of Lagos State but with this brazen government’s magic performed by Governor SanwaOlu in the open, it is now clear that we were taken for a ride with the setting up of the Lagos panel whose members nevertheless discharged their mandates honourably to the chagrin and disapproval of the powers that be in Lagos state”.
HURIWA condemned the Lagos State Governor for allowing his political allegiance to the family of the owners of the concessioned Lekki Tollgate linked to the godfather of Lagos State, to taint and manipulate the well thought out recommendations and findings of the judicial panel.
HURIWA said it was laughable that the governor could pick and choose which of the findings of the panel to qualify as being politically correct or not.
The group also dismissed the actions of the Lagos State governor on the panel’s report as “government magic”, because according to the group, the Lagos State Sanwo-Olu was tutored to reject the fundamentals and kernel of the findings of the panel by the likes of Lai Mohamed and Festus Keyawo both of whom are APC politicians and ministers who had rejected the panel.
HURIWA said: “From the body language of the Lagos State governor and given the fact that the lawyers to the state government had since the report leaked to the press, attempted to rubbish the good works of the panel, it was crystal clear since two weeks ago that nothing good would emerge from the white paper drafting committee because the political godfather of Lagos has an ownership stake of the alleged crime scene being the Lekki Tollgate”.
The Lagos State Government had on Tuesday rejected the resolution of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters that no fewer than nine persons lost their lives when armed soldiers stormed the Lekki toll gate to disperse #EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020.
HURIWA regretted that the Lagos State governor had missed an opportunity of a lifetime to be recognised as a true hero of democracy but has chosen to play the well-known game of the political status quo which is anti-people and anti-progressive.