Lekki Toll Gate Incident: Nigeria President gives reason for his Silence

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*Frowns at the Mass Looting in the country

The Nigerian President, Muhammadu Buhari after being condemned by various individuals in the country, he disclosed the reason for his silence regarding the shootings at Lekki toll gate on Tuesday, October 20.

According to a statement issued on Sunday by his Senior Special Assistant on Media, Garba Shehu, the President revealed that he avoided going into debate on the incident until all the facts were available.

He urged everyone in 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.

Buhari also condemned the widespread attacks and the organised looting and plundering of public and private property in many states, saying they are inimical to public good.

The President, who described the actions as witnessed so far as criminal, added that it could weaken and erode the confidence of the people and that of foreign businesses in investing in the economy.

Buhari stated, “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 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.”

The President opined that it was important that the police and other security agencies move everywhere to restore calm and normalcy as quickly as possible.

He stated that the judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos State Government, which is one of the more dozen states to do so, will start sitting on Monday. President Muhammadu Buhari pledged his full support and was optimistic that it will 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.