The Presidency has explained why President Muhammadu Buhari has not spoken on the Lekki Toll Gate killings of last week.
Garba Shehu, senior special assistant to the president on communications, said the commander-in-chief was waiting for all the facts about the shooting incident before speaking on it.
In a release yesterday, he said that the President had all along avoided going into a debate about the Lekki Toll Gate incidents until all the facts are established.
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 Judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government starts sitting on Monday. He said this would assist the nation to give justice to peaceful protesters, who lost their lives, security men who were murdered and property owners whose assets were vandalised and looted.
The President advises that “peace, brotherhood, and inter communal harmony are central to our ethos and urges Nigerians “not to turn against one another in hate.”
He said it was important that the police and other security agencies move everywhere to restore calm and normalcy as quickly as possible.
According to him, while his administration is working hard through many pragmatic ways to reduce the hardship of the millions of unemployed, poor citizens and those whose lives have been thrown into disarray by the harsh economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, resorting to widespread attacks and the organized looting and plundering of public and private property in many states are inimical to public good and stand condemned.
The statement said further: “A government that has launched a massive crackdown on corruption, brought in strong laws for a decisive battle against corruption, pursues loot recovery at home and abroad, and taken strong decisions against those who thought they were above the law, will not fold its arms when an otherwise legitimate and peaceful protest is turning into free-for-all vandalism and looting.
“While the administration has, for its part, blocked so many means of looting public money, 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.
“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.”
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,” he said.