…Individuals, Corporate Bodies Inciting Destruction To Be Prosecuted, Pay Damages – State Govt
…CP Read Riot Acts To Opposing Groups
The Lagos State Government has issued a stern warning to various opposing groups planning to embark on protests at the Lekki Toll Plaza on Saturday, advising them to shelve the plan. It is not an auspicious moment for such action, the State Government told the groups planning opposing rallies.
The position of the State Government was made known at a joint press conference held at the Press Centre on Thursday by the Attorney General of Lagos, Mr. Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, and Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu.
The Government said it acknowledged the rights of the citizens to a lawful assembly and freedom to express their feelings as guaranteed by Section 39 and 40 of the Constitution, but it said the rights did not give any citizen the freedom to block highways and prevent other citizens from moving freely within the State.
Onigbanjo said the Government would not allow any group to push the State, once again, to the edge of carnage, strongly advising those organising the “Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” and “Defend Lagos” protests to desist from the planned action. He said the State Government’s respect for the citizens’ rights to protest should not be seen as a licence to break the laws, warning that any individual or corporate organisation that incites an action leading to the destruction of public and private properties would be prosecuted and be made to pay damages.
He said: “Attention of the State Government has been drawn to the planned protest scheduled for Saturday February 13, 2021 at the Lekki Toll Gate for and against the opening of the Admiralty Toll Gate. The State is aware of Sections 39 and 40 of the 1999 Constitution (as amended), which guarantees the rights to freedom of expression and peaceful assembly. However, such right does not permit the violation of the rights of other citizens in the State.
“While the State recognises the importance of exercising the rights to peaceful protests, the same cannot extend to blockage of roads or actions preventing other members of the public from enjoying their fundamental rights to move freely within the State. Any individual or corporate body that incites or condones any act leading to the destruction of public and private properties shall be prosecuted under the extant laws and in addition to any penalty the court might pronounce. Such person or body will be liable to compensate for any damage, which may arise as a result of the action or inaction of such person or body.”
The Attorney General also said the public health crisis occasioned by the spread of deadly variants of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) should discourage anyone attempting to assemble people for the planned protests, urging all groups to consider COVID-19 protocols that limit public gathering not to be more than 50 persons.
Onigbanjo, therefore, directed the State’s Police Command to stop opposing groups from holding rallies in Lekki and any other parts of Lagos.
Odumosu said the security intelligence gathered by the Police Command indicated the “Occupy Lekki Toll Gate” protest and planned counter rallies would degenerate into a breakdown of law and order, stressing that the police will not allow any group to carry out the action.
The police chief said adequate arrangements on the deployment of security forces had been put in place to stop any violent protest, gathering and procession in any part of Lagos, stressing that the Police Command would rise in protection of law-abiding residents from any form of the violence.
He said: “The Police Command has gathered credible intelligence that some hidden agents of destruction and shadow parties that orchestrated the last EndSARS violence have concluded plans to cause another mayhem in Lagos and spread the same to other parts of the country, tactically and spontaneously, like the recent violence.
“Premised on the available intelligence and due threat analyses carried out on the planned protest, the Police Command perceives such proposed protest as a calculated attempt to cause pandemonium and massive destruction of lives and properties under whatever guide; such will not be allowed to hold in Lagos.”
Odumosu appealed to the general public to advise their wards to ignore mobilisation for the protest and gathering in flouting the existing peace and security situation of the State. He said the police would resist the protest with necessary force, while respecting the rights of law-abiding citizens.
Omotoso said the steps taken by the State Government on the planned protest was not to take away the fundamental rights of the citizens, but to prevent re-enactment of the event that led to destruction of public and private assets last October.
The Commissioner sued for peace, urging the organisers of the planned protests and rallies to allow the Lagos Judicial Panel of Inquiry conclude its investigation on what transpired between the military and EndSARS protesters.
“We believe this kind of tension and anxiety being brought forward by the planned protest will not allow the panel to do a thorough job. If the authorities allow the protest and counter rallies to go on, there would be a breakdown of order and Lagos is not ripe for such action. It is on this premise that the State Government is appealing to all parties to thread with caution. Both sides have the right to express their feelings, but the time is wrong,” Omotoso said.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
FEBRUARY 11, 2021
SANWO-OLU MOURNS JAKANDE
Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has mourned the passing of the first Civilian Governor of the State, Alhaji Lateef Jakande.
Jakande, a renowned journalist and elder statesman, who governed Lagos State during the aborted Second Republic between 1979 and 1983, died on Thursday at the age of 91.
Governor Sanwo-Olu, in a condolence message signed by his Chief Press Secretary, Mr. Gboyega Akosile, on Thursday said the late Jakande will remain one of the best public office holders in the political history of Nigeria based on how he transformed Lagos State and Nigeria during his tenure as Honourable Minister of Works.
The Governor said Alhaji Jakande popularly referred to as ‘Baba Kekere’ brought a lot of development to Lagos State as governor between October 1,1979 and December 31, 1983 in line with the five cardinal programmes of the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN), founded by the late sage and former Premier of the Western Region, Chief Obafemi Awolowo.
The Governor also described the former Minister of Works as an epitome of honesty, dedication and selflessness, who used his elevated positions for the betterment of the people he served.
Governor Sanwo-Olu said the late Alhaji Jakande is one of the few Lagosians and Nigerian leaders that demystified politics by bringing governance closer to the people.
He said Jakande left with impeccable records in Lagos State and that is why he remains till date, a reference point for governors in Lagos and other parts of the country.
He said: “On behalf of the Government and people of Lagos State, I want to express my sincere and heartfelt condolences to the family, friends and associates of the late Alhaji Lateef Jakande as well as members of the progressive community.
“No doubt, the death of Alhaji Jakande is a colossal loss to Lagos State and Nigeria. He made lots of positive impact and contribution during his lifetime to the growth of our dear State by introducing housing and educational programmes that targeted the poor, building new neighbourhood primary and secondary schools and providing free education for all.”
“Baba Jakande within his four years in office established the Lagos State University. His government constructed over 30,000 housing units,which were of great value to the masses.
“Having distinguished himself as ‘Action Governor’, Alhaji Jakande was appointed Minister of Works in 1993 where he replicated his developmental programmes, by building thousands of housing units in different parts of Nigeria as Federal Low Cost Housing Estates.
The Governor added that the late Jakande’s selling point is not only in politics but journalism, his chosen profession.
“Alhaji Jakande also made remarkable contributions to the media industry as a respected journalist and media manager. He used the power of the press to influence positive changes in the country’s social and political landscape.”
The Governor reminded Lagosians that the best way to immortalise ‘LKJ’ as late Alhaji Jakande is popularly known, is to ensure that good governance the deceased advocated spreads to every facet of the Nigerian society.
CHIEF PRESS SECRETARY
FEBRUARY 11, 2021
N16.6B For RSU Upgrade: Bro Obuah Lauds Gov Wike
…Describes Gesture As Boost To Rivers Educational System
Bro Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator, Rivers State Waste Management Agency, (RIWAMA), says the N16.6 billion approved for the upgrade of the Rivers State University (RSU) will open the frontiers of the Ivory tower for the educational upliftment of the state.
The RIWAMA boss lauded the vision and bold step taken by Gov Nyesom Wike for the approval of the lump sum, describing it as a milestone.
With the approved fund, Bro Obuah noted, the State University is now well positioned functionally to establish the three campuses of the multi-campus institution in Emuoha, Ahoada and Etche respectively.
According to him, Gov Wike by this gesture has not only matched his words with action about the interest of his administration in education as a priority, but also launched the state educational system on the path of advancement in line with international standards for the benefit of Rivers people.
Bro Obuah expressed optimism that Gov Wike’s vision for the University will yield the expected results and enjoined all relevant authorities and stakeholders to queue into His Excellency’s programme for the overall development of the state, stressing that education is the master key for progress in other sectors of the economy.
The RIWAMA boss also appealed to Rivers youths to take advantage of the planned facilities and programmes to be put in place at the State University with the approved fund and go for studies like the Medical Sciences that will address the pressing needs of the state, country and society at large, stressing that Gov Wike has creditably played his own part by laying a solid foundation for them.
“What the Governor has done is an uncommon feat which we had been yearning for, for a very long time to no avail. Now that God has given us a leader that has the wisdom, interest and political will to ensure our state and our people join other advanced societies in technological advancement through quality education for our children here at home, we must not let the opportunity slip.
Our collective wish and prayer should be more wisdom, strength and life for His Excellency for more of what he’s been doing in all sectors of our state economy which have endeared him to many across the globe. I think the best appreciation to him is to queue into this vision and make best use of the opportunities for the benefit of our people,” Bro Obuah admonished.
Special Adviser on Media and Publicity to
Bro. Felix Obuah, Sole Administrator,
Rivers State Waste Management Agency, (RIWAMA).
RIWAMA Sole Administrator, Bro Felix Obuah Condoles With Nsirim Family
The Sole Administrator of Rivers State Waste Management Agency, (RIWAMA), Bro Felix Obuah has described late Mama Victoria Wejionwu Nsirim, the first wife of Nyenwe-Eli O.N. Nsirim, the Apiti of Rumueme, and Paramount Ruler of Rumueme Kingdom as a virtuous woman who lived a worthy and fulfilled life before her transition.
Bro Obuah made the remark when he paid a condolence visit to the Nsirim family to commiserate with them on the death of the matriarch of Rumueme Kingdom, and mother of Prince Timothy Nsirim, former executive chairman of Obio/Akpor Local Government Area, and now chairman Rivers State Road Maintenance and Rehabilitation Agency.
The RIWAMA boss said though late Mama Victoria Nsirim transited at the ripe age of 93, her demise is painful and has created a vacuum very difficult to fill in the lives of her beloved ones.
He enjoined the bereaved family to take solace in the good works and legacies of their late mother, describing the death of the matriarch as the final awakening rather than the final step.
Bro Obuah said the best that could be done in this circumstance for the deceased was to keep her memory alive by activating her good works and legacies for the benefit of posterity.
He prayed the good Lord to grant the entire Nsirim family the fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, and the soul of late Mama Victoria Nsirim peaceful rest.
In his response, Prince Timothy Nsirim on behalf of the bereaved family thanked the RIWAMA Sole Administrator, Bro Felix Obuah for the visit. Prince Nsirim described Bro Obuah as a big brother who has always identified with the family at times of need, and prayed God to also show him and his family love and concern.