Former Deputy National Chairman, South, of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, Chief Olabode George, has described the decision of the Lagos State governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu to impose a 24-hour curfew on the state as hasty and wrong.
George in a release he personally signed on Tuesday and titled, ‘Don’t Lock Down Lagos,’ said, “The decision to lock down Lagos with a 24 – hour curfew is rather hasty, hurried and wrong. This is not the time to provoke an already delicate issue. It is time to reflect. It is time for the peace of the round table .
“The issue on the ground is far beyond the narrow province of partisan concern. It is about the collective unity of our nation. It is about healing the festering sores planted by greed and the indifference of misplaced leadership.”
George advises President Muhammadu Buhari to galvanize all the necessary tools of statesmanship and elderly guidance to steer the angry youths towards a peaceful resolution of their legitimate grievances.
He added, “There is indeed massive unemployment in the land. There is a widening circle of hunger and deprivation. The children of the civilians, the children of the police, the children of our troops in the armed forces are all affected by these various national malaise. None is immune from the raging poverty affecting our land.
“This is not the issue of North or South dichotomy. It is not about partisan ideology. It is about Nigeria.
“And more specifically, about my state, which appears to be the epicenter of the protests; we must avoid brinksmanship. We must avoid the push towards chaos and bloodshed. I do not support any form of violence to rectify any perceived wrongs. No violence or the use of force on any side can be justified.”
Insisting that while the youths have the constitutional rights to demonstrate what they consider as unjust and unfair, the government too must maintain societal peace and harmony; George siad, “It is a delicate balancing act. But it can be done through prudence, through tact and through sobering resolve.
“Take Lagos State where one man plays the role of a supremo, while he has virtually appropriated the wealth of my state through AlphaBeta, the toll gates and all kinds of corrupt schemes and howling malfeasance, raking to his personal coffers trillions of naira every year; how will the Lagosian youths, who are unemployed or underemployed be happy when they see this kind of obscene wealth flaunted before them?
“Pray, if such funds corruptly diverted by an individual are put in appropriate empowerment programs to alleviate the sufferings of the youths, will there be any protesters on the streets of Lagos? I don’t think so. It is an outrageous anomaly such as this that is pushing our youths to the barricades. And the earlier we address this kind of cankerworm eating at the very root of our national growth, the better for all of us.
“Oto gẹ! Oto gẹ! Enough is Enough. No more Bullion Van Democracy.”