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Sanwo-Olu Suspends Proposed Walk for Peace Over COVID-19

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By Aduragbemi Omiyale

Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has announced the suspension of the proposed Walk for Peace slated for this month, citing the COVID-19 scare as the reason for his action.

On Tuesday, November 30, 2021, the Governor addressed the state over the report submitted to him by the Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS-Related Abuses and Other Matters headed by a retired justice, Mrs Dorcas Okuwobi.

During his speech, Mr Sanwo-Olu reached out to some persons, including Falz, Mr Macaroni, Seun Kuti and others for a peace walk, which was rejected by a majority of the persons mentioned.

They claimed the walk was needless when efforts have not been shown to ensure victims get justice. They submitted that there can never be peace when there is no justice.

However, a few days after his speech, some students of the Lagos State University (LASU), Ojo, promised to walk with the Governor and one of the persons mentioned in his address, Mr Segun Awosanya, otherwise known as Segalink, said he would be part of the peace walk if he is around.

On Thursday, December 9, 2021, Mr Sanwo-Olu, in a statement, said due to the threat posed by the new variant of COVID-19 called Omicron, he has decided to step down all preparations for the walk.

The Governor explained that in his sincere search for peace, “I will not endanger the life of any Lagosian” and based on “expert opinions rooted in science,” he agreed to shelve the event.

However, he expressed satisfaction with the “outpouring of support the initiative received from far and near,” saying it was “indicative of one thing: our people know the strategic place of peace to our quest for development.”

Below is the full statement.

Since my last address to you, the good people of Lagos State on Tuesday 30, November 2021, during which I expressed a desire to lead a Walk for Peace, following the outcome of the work of the Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, I have been inundated with deep expressions of solidarity from various groups and people declaring their readiness to join me on the symbolic walk.

Indeed, I owe a special debt of gratitude to our youths and students, who reached out to either member of my team or directly to me, expressing their readiness to join me on the planned Walk for Peace. They include many of our Civil Society Leaders, business leaders within and outside of Corporate Lagos, religious leaders, members of the Diplomatic Community, entertainers, Market Associations, Trade Associations and Women Groups who have committed time and resources to prepare for the Peace Walk. I thank you all.

When the unseen enemy called Covid-19 began to ravage the world and indeed our nation, I assumed the role of the Incident Commander in our quest to protect the lives of our people. We subjected ourselves to the dictates of science. We chose to be guided not by our emotions, but by expert opinions rooted in science. 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.

I look forward to engaging with you as WE TOGETHER WORK FOR PEACE!

God bless Lagos State.

Babajide Sanwo-Olu

Governor, Lagos State.

Thursday, December 9, 2021

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