#EndSARS: Destruction In Lagos National Tragedy, Major Economic Setback For Nigeria – Osinbajo
Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has described the destruction that trailed the #EndSARS protests in Lagos as a “national tragedy and a major economic setback for the nation”.
He stated this Monday during the Rebuild Lagos: Dialogue and Partnership event organised by the Lagos State Government to inaugurate the Eight-Member Board of Trustees of Rebuild Lagos Trust Fund held at Ikeja.
However, the vice president said there was a need to rebuild the trust between the government and the governed in the aftermath of the protest.
Osinbajo said that there was the need for government at all levels to rebuild the lost confidence with the people so as to forestall a repeat of the destruction witnessed in the country in the aftermath of EndSARS protest.
He said that never should the carnage witnessed in Lagos be allowed to repeat itself.
The vice president described the destruction as a national tragedy and a major setback for the country, adding that the bulk of income from non-oil products the country was getting came from Lagos State.
“Never in the history of our nation has this former capital city, and our nation’s commercial nerve centre experienced such mindless acts of violence and the enormity of destruction that occurred.
“Perhaps, it is worth emphasising that the destruction and disruption of life and work in Lagos is a national tragedy and a major economic setback for the nation, even as we face the most difficult economic challenges in our generation caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
“We have seen how the noblest causes, such as the EndSARS protests designed to call attention to a serious malignant problem of brutality and extrajudicial killings, can be subverted, leading to the exact opposite of its objectives; chaos murder, looting and arson.
“So, we saw what can happen when the restraints of law and order are loosed and anarchy is given free rein.
“These trying times offer an invaluable learning opportunity, a teachable moment, and it is the lessons we draw from this period that will shape our path going forward,´´ he said.
Osinbajo urged the private sector to collaborate with the Lagos State Government to rebuild the state.
“It is now time to rebuild. It is time for the painful and costly task of reconstruction and rehabilitation.
“It is now time for the private sector, our international friends and partners, and all who love this city to make their contributions to the rebuilding and reconstruction effort. When Lagos works, it works for all.
“But it is clear that the task of reconstruction goes beyond physical infrastructure or brick and mortar.
“There is a moral, social and ethical reconstruction to be undertaken as well. We must rebuild trust between the government and the governed; the vast majority of who are young persons, rebuild trust between law enforcement agents and the communities that they are meant to serve.
“We certainly cannot afford to alienate our young people who constitute the majority of our society and bear the burden of enterprise, resourcefulness and innovation required to propel our economy into the future.
“For their sake and ours, we need broad-based and inclusive prosperity that creates opportunities on a scale commensurate with the aspirations of our population,” he said.
Osinbajo said that beyond restoring what had been lost, the task before all was nothing short of the reformulation of the social contract.