Vandalism: Lagos Needs N1tn For Reconstruction – Gbajabiamila
Speaker of the House of Representatives, Femi Gbajabiamila, has on Sunday said Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, told him the state would need N1trn for reconstruction of properties vandalised by hoodlums following #EndSARS protests.
Gbajabiamila spoke while fielding questions from State House correspondents after a tour of some of the destroyed assets in Lagos state with some South-West governors and ministers on Sunday.
He expressed that the destruction caused by the protests was a very sad event that should not occur again in the history of Nigeria.
The Speaker said;
The House of Representatives will do all it can to compensate all those who suffered brutality, including policemen that lost their lives in the process.
However, we want to know what exactly happened at the Lekki Toll Gate. The judicial panel must reveal this. However, I want to encourage Nigerians to allow peace to reign.
I learnt from the governor of Lagos State that it will take N1trn to rebuild what had been lost and asked him what’s the budget size of the state, he said about N1trn. You can see we are moving backward.
Hence, we must consider the consequences of our actions before embarking on any venture. I therefore appeal to the youth to allow peace to reign henceforth. I still believe in the unity of Nigeria.
Speaking further, Gbajabiamila said;
I came in from Abuja today, not just to stand in solidarity with him, but by extension the people of Lagos State. These have been very difficult few days. It has even been more difficult for me in the last hour. Driving in from the airport and sitting with the governor to watch the documentary here put together, that evidences the carnage we all witnessed. It makes us all very sad.
This, certainly, is not the Lagos of our dream that we all talk about. And I know deep down, and I believe no matter how brave a face one puts to it, that even the protesters have their regrets that things went this far, because from my understanding and from what I’ve seen, both those who are pro-protest and those who are anti-protest, were all affected.
The Speaker said he did not wish the incident to take an ethnic dimension having heard a lot of conspiracy theories about it.
Let us shut our ears to those things. Let us focus as one people, whether you’re Igbo, whether you’re from the North, whether you’re from the South. This is the mantra that we have in the House of Representatives because if you talk about nation-building, we say it is a joint task.
On Tuesday, we talked in the House about compensation. I want to reiterate that the House will do all it can to make sure that everybody that has suffered from police violence – whether you’re from the North, from the East, from the West, because everybody in Nigeria has suffered from police violence, not just those of us from the Southwest. That will be applicable to all, including policemen that lost their lives in these unfortunate incidents.
Speaking on supporting the Governor to rebuild, the Speaker declared;
Your Excellency, we bring you good tidings and good wishes from Abuja. We stand with you. Whatever the House can do to help in rebuilding not just Lagos State but other states that have been affected as well from whatever part in Nigeria, the House will definitely join hands. Because we’re now in the situation of reconstruction.
He said the true situation of what happened in Lekki must be unraveled, stressing;
A judicial panel has been set up, and I hope those who say this is what happened will have the courage to go before the judicial panel and say this is what happened and give credible evidence. And if that was indeed what happened, then the law must take its course. But if that was not what happened, the law must also take its course. Either way, the law must take its course.