By Moses Akaigwe
The candidate of the National Rescue Movement (NRM) in the October 31, 2020 Lagos East Senatorial District bye-election, Mautin Akin Olukunle, has condemned the recent attack of unarmed protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos and other parts of the country, by armed uniformed men.
In a statement signed by the Director, Mautin Akin Olukunle Campaign Organisation, Ololade Ladigbolu, Olukunle called on all aggrieved youth and security agencies to sheathe their sword following the violent crackdown on protesters..
The statement added, “It is absurd and unreasonable on the part of any responsible authority vested with the management of the toll gate to feign ignorance of actions preceding the unwarranted shooting.
“These include the removal of the CCTV and power outage and/or flood light adorning the gate some hours before the commencement of the curfew earlier announced by the Lagos State Government. The attack on the peaceful protesters was unjustifiable.”
Deploring the use of deadly force, the NRM candidate argued that security operatives had the options of reasonable crowd control methods, but clearly refused to apply them, leading to the needless and tragic loss of innocent young lives.
He added, “It is also unfortunate that those that ordered the shooting and the governments at the federal and state levels in the enforcement of law and order had the option of applying some reasonable, non-lethal force, such as water cannons, tear gas and so many related but non-lethal, tested methods than the resort to gunning down innocent citizens in extra-judicial manner. ..
He expressed his sincere condolences to the bereaved families and prayed for the repose of souls of the departed and speedy recovery of all the injured persons in the attacks across the country.
Mautin Olukunle emerged the NRM candidate at a direct primary election witnessed by members of the party in Lagos East and Kosofe, in compliance with the guidelines issued by the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC).
Both Olukunle and Adetayo Adelaja, who emerged the party’s candidate for the vacant Kosofe Constituency II seat in the state house of assembly, were returned unopposed in the exercise.
With over 25 years of Media and Public Relations practice, the Lagos State-born Olukunle is the publisher of Transglob-A, an aviation/transport magazine based in Lagos.
He had worked as a journalist for 18 years in The Guardian and The Punch newspapers at different times before joining FAAN in 2007.
Olukunle, who is also a community leader and farmer, is committed to good and credible governance, socio-economic and political emancipation of the people, including the teeming youths in Lagos.
The NRM senatorial candidate is a 1990 graduate of Philosophy/English, from the Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye, and also holds a Master of Science degree in Transport Studies, from the same university in 2002.
He has attended many international conferences on journalism, security, aviation and transport in different parts of the world, including Africa, United States and Europe, and is a member of the Nigeria Union of Journalists and an associate member of the Nigerian Institute of Public Relations, among others.
Adetayo Adelaja holds a degree in Economics also from the Ogun State University, now Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye
He had worked with some multi-national companies shortly after his national youth service before he joined The Guardian Newspaper as a correspondent in 2000. In 2005, he was invited by The Sun Newspaper to start its sport newspaper – SoccerStar – as a senior correspondent.
In 2011, Adelaja joined the Nigerian Compass as the Head of Tourism, Travel and Hospitality. He joined the National Mirror as a Deputy Editor and headed its Special Investigations Unit in 2014.
In 2015, he was invited alongside a team of media veterans to assist in reviving the Daily Times of Nigeria. He held the position of Online Editor of the newspaper. Two years after, he moved to the Leadership Newspaper, Abuja.
The seats for the Lagos East, comprising Epe, Ibeju-Lekki, Ikorodu, Kosofe and Somolu local governments, and Kosofe Constituency became vacant following the demise of Senator Bayo Oshinowo and Hon. Tunde Buraimoh, in June and July, 2020 respectively.