Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has shelved the Lagos peace walk planned for December 2021.
The governor, in an address on November 30, 2021, had invited some known faces of the EndSARS protest in the state in October 2020 to a peace walk for “the healing of Lagos” later this month.
Specifically, the governor had invited Folarin Falana (Falz), Debo Adebayo (Mr. Marcaroni), Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya (Segalink), Adedotun (Just Detoun), Seun Kuti, Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu and Commander of Rapid Response Squad (RRS), CSP Yinka Egbeyemi and others to join him in the “historic march for our dear Lagos.”
But Falz, Mr Macaroni, the younger Kuti, amongst some arrowheads of the protest, had rejected the invitation, saying there must be justice for EndSARS victims before peace.
In contrast, some youths including the President of the Student Union Government, Lagos State University, Oladipupo Badmus, declared solidarity with the governor, saying the students’ body would walk with the governor.
Subsequently, in a press statement on Thursday, November 9, 2021, Sanwo-Olu said he is “constrained to stand down all preparations for the Walk for Peace” so as not to “endanger the life of any Lagosian” amid the outbreak of the Omicron COVID-19 variant.
He said, “Between Tuesday 30, November 2021 that I made my address and now, we have seen a significant rise in cases associated with the Omicron variant of this pandemic.
Given this development, I am constrained to stand down all preparations for the Walk for Peace. I will not endanger the life of any Lagosian in my sincere search for peace. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the initiative received from far and near. The deluge of support is, however, indicative of one thing: our people know the strategic place of peace to our quest for development.”
The Sanwo-Olu government, which released its White Paper on the report submitted by the EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry on November 30, 2021, has also come under fire for rejecting the Justice Doris Okuwobi-led panel report that nine persons died when soldiers opened fire at the Lekki toll gate on October 20, 2020, which was a focal gathering point of young demonstrators protesting police brutality and extrajudicial killings.