President Muhammadu Buhari has finally broken silence on the lekki shootings, as he pledged his support for the Judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government, to give justice to peaceful protesters who lost their lives.
As the Judicial Panel begins sitting on Monday, 26th October, expressed optimism that it will assist the nation get justice for the victims, including security men who were murdered and property owners whose assets were vandalized and looted.
According to a statement on Sunday, Garba Shehu Senior Special Assistant to the President(Media & Publicity), the President said he had all along avoided going into a debate about the Lekki Toll Gate incidents until all the facts are established.
The President appealed to the people all over the country to maintain peace and brotherhood as the machinery of the government and the wheel of justice turn against the perpetrators of murder, arson, stealing, rape, assault and malicious damage to public and private property.
The President further condemned ongoing Looting and vandalism in parts of the country saying it will hurt trade and investment growth.
He commended the decision of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to prosecute 229 suspects arrested by the police for allegedly using the #EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private property.
The statement read in part, “While the administration has, for its part, blocked so many means of looting public money in a war against corruption, it is the expectation that all civil authorities, community and religious leaders in the country must rise against the organized looting and plunder we are witnessing in parts of the country. Families must turn back children who bring home unaccounted goods, in the same way wives must ask their husbands to return looted items brought home.
“What is more, is that criminal actions as we have so far witnessed can weaken and erode the confidence of our people and that of foreign businesses in investing in the economy. Looting and vandalism will hurt trade and investment growth in our country, both large and small industries, as well as our hardworking people in the informal sectors of the economy.
“These incidents do not reflect well on any society. They are wrong and condemnable and should not be supported by reasonable members of the society.
“In line with this, President Buhari commends the decision of the Lagos State Ministry of Justice to prosecute 229 suspects arrested by the police for allegedly using the #EndSARS protest to destroy and loot public and private property.
“As mentioned in two successive statements on the issues, the President and his administration have taken note of the grievances of the people. “We have heard you loud and clear,” he said, and has shown a clear determination to take all necessary measures to address the complaints. The violence must stop.
“President Buhari also condemned hate messages and eviction notices to ethnic and religious groups asking Nigerians to take pride in the fact that our diverse people have been living with one another in harmony for ages. The right of all citizens to live and work in any part of the country is a constitutional right and will be defended by the government.”