The focus of discourse in Lagos and across the 36 states of the Nigerian Federation have been centered on the recent ENDSARS protests and the wanton destruction of lives and properties that followed after the peaceful protest was hijacked by miscreant and unscrupulous elements.
To many Lagosians today, with better understanding of the events of November 20, 2020 and some new facts emanating from the judicial panel of inquiry, it has become clear that the amiable and dutiful governor of Lagos, Babajide Sanwo Olu, cannot be held responsible for the unwarranted killings of protesting unarmed youths at Lekki with whom he strongly identified with and was also sympathetic towards.
Following this sad event ,the Lagos State Government, its people and the rest of the nation have continued to count their losses, and casting a glance back at the various events that led to the unfortunate situation hoping to learn from them as we all make that giant and important step to rebuilding from the ruins.
In all of these the exemplary leadership , sense of duty and commitment as envinced by Governor Babajide Sanwo Olu is commendable.
It takes a real leader with strength of character, strong vision and genuine concern, selfless service and a strong commitment to doing the needful, to survive this present stormy weather.
If there is anything that Babajide Sanwo Olu should be praised and highly commended for, it is his ability and strong will to always identifying with the people and the great show of humility that accompanied his personality all through the period of the protest to the Post ENDSARS period.
Even when Political merchants and miscreants tried changing the narrative against him to pitch the people he swore to protect, defend and advance their course for good against him, he never lost his cool as he kept a clear head in focusing on the real issues of governance which was not just identifying with them, but also ensuring that he led them through this period with the right kind of focus and devotion.
Recalling the words of Chairman of the Progressive Governor’s Forum, Senator Atiku Bagudu who is also the Kebbi State Governor when the Forum sent a delegation to Lagos State to commiserate with the Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the people of Lagos State, he stated,” We encourage our brother and commend him for the Leadership he demonstrated visiting all the hospitals. He was with the youths; he presented their requests to Mr President. He mobilized his team to respond as kindly and energetically as possible. We must appreciate him.
He has remained committed till date. The Panel (Judicial Panel of Enquiry) he set up is making progress and they are independent. The truth is coming out gradually; it is evolving. So we appreciate the people of Lagos and we are glad that when we came in today, we saw economic activities, the resilience of Lagosians moving in. that is quite commendable and we believe that Lagos will get back its groove and mobilize the nation”
The words and submission of the Progressive Governor’s Forum is not just words said to identify with their colleague or fellow governor, it is an acknowledgment of the good job well done by Governor Sanwo-Olu, it is a testament of his sagacity and unique personality to govern not just as a leader, but also as a servant to the people and of the people. Those words are a clear indication of the rebuilding efforts kick started by the Governor coming to fruition.
Lagos State is a state whose importance and significance is indeed vital and essential to the overall growth of the Nigerian nation, this is one of the few states where we have all citizens of various states in Nigeria present. To see Lagos fall or crumble is to see the whole of Nigeria fall, while we look forward to rebuilding Lagos, we must appreciate and give the well deserving accolades to the man who has committed to heralding this great development, Sanwolu deserves to be commended.
Femi Adeniyi writes from Abuja.