Withdraw The Military From Lagos Immediately. Fashola Tells President Jonathan

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It was a surprise to many Lagosians who woke up this morning seeing the Military all over the streets mounting roadblocks.

Another shocker was when they learnt that the Military were of the mission to stop any form of protest in the state, especially at Gani Fawehinmi Freedom Park, Ojota. The park had before now hosted the protest in Lagos which recorded over a million people on Friday without any breakdown of law and order.

In a broadcast today, the Governor of Lagos State frowned at the deployment of men of the Nigerian Army to infringe on the constitutional rights of harmeless Nigerians doing their constitional duties. He therefore called on President Jonathan to immediately withdraw the Military from Lagos State.

Below is a text of his speech today.

Dear Lagosians,

For the past few days, I have monitored the developments related to the public protest against the increase in the pump price of petrol.

During that period, I have at the invitation of my colleagues in the Governor’s Forum responded to an invitation from the Presidency.

My role since last Monday till date has been to find a ground of compromise that stabilizes the polity, protects our democracy and prevent any loss of lives.

Inspite of these efforts, we were not wholly successful in preventing the loss of the life of a young Nigerian, AdemolaAderinto who was sadly shot.

I am truly saddened by that ugly development. While I condole with his family, I pledge the commitment of our Government to bring the alleged perpetrator to justice.

I have decided to address you today in view of the very disquieting developments that occurred overnight especially the deployment of soldiers across Lagos.

I have the highest respect for members of our military, especially because they have made a contract with all of us that they will willingly lay down their lives whenever it becomes necessary to do so, in order to protect us.

This covenant is instructive, because soldiers did not sign up to stop us from expressing our grievance about things that we are displeased about.

It is not disputable that the citizens who have gathered in several parts of Lagos like Falomo, Ikorodu and Ojota to mention a few have largely conducted themselves peacefully, singing and dancing while they expressed their displeasure at the way that we have taken decisions that affect them.

That in my view should not offend those of us in Government. The majority of these people who represent diverse interests have not broken any law. If they have, it is my opinion that in a constitutional democracy, it is the police that hasthe responsibility for restoring law and order if civil protests threatens the breach of the peace.

This is not justification for sending out soldiers to a gathering of unarmed citizens. Every one of us, or at least majority of us who hold public office danced and sang before these same people when we were seeking their votes.

Why should we feel irritated when they sing and dance in protest against what we have done?

For me this is not a matter for the military. The sooner we rethink and rescind this decision the better and stronger our democracy will be.

If anything, this is a most welcome transformation of our democracy in the sense that it provokes a discussion of economic policies and this inevitably may result in political debate.

I therefore urge the reconsideration of the decision to deploy soldiers and implore the President and Commander-in-Chief to direct their withdrawal from our streets, I must also emphasize that the rights of free speech and protest is not absolute. They impose the duty not to break the law, breach the peace, endanger human life or destroy property whether public or private.

They also impose the duty to respect the rights of others not to support our protest and indeed to support what we oppose. At the end of the day, it is a contest of ideas in which the most persuasive will get the endorsement of the majority of the people we serve.

I am convinced that our democracy is mature enough to accommodate this. We must do our best to ensure that it does.

God bless you all.

BabatundeRajiFashola, SAN
Governor of Lagos State

Monday, January 16, 2012

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Mr Goodluck Ekwensi | 1/16/2012 10:15:47 AM

Governor Fashola is ACN governor of lagos state his party and western region are powers hehind this strike and protests,they are presidential election loosers and they are still angry about it but who cares,he can talk to the soldiers by him self abi him de fear beating? i said it that the striker will be tired and they do and go back to work.
Me and Jonathan de laugh una like IBB @70.

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EddyB | 1/16/2012 10:37:29 AM

Don’t 4get u can become president of dis great nation in future and so shall d same envy comes ur way.Y can’t u pple accept defeat and allow Mr president 2 finish his tenure of presidency peacefully.If i may ask,has d soldier kill,maim or beat any lagosians?Maybe ur evil intentions has failed u dat is y u get so bitter nd upset.Pls mind ur business and leave d president alone.

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Ola | 1/16/2012 10:46:01 AM

When LASU SUG and students were protesting over the increase in school fees,what did u do?U monted the school gates with armour tanks and mopos.Pls make sure ur hands are clean before u start pointing accusing fingers.

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Ola | 1/16/2012 10:47:22 AM

When LASU SUG and students were protesting over the increase in school fees,what did u do?U monted the school gates with armour tanks and mopos.Pls make sure ur hands are clean before u start pointing accusing fingers.

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goro | 1/16/2012 10:48:15 AM

fashola will love u are the nest president,,,,,,,Jonathan dey cras

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Brymo | 1/16/2012 10:49:14 AM

The almighty God will always bless you for saying the truth from the blood sucka called him self president bad luck Jonathan ……..God will never forgive him for the people spend there life after putting him on sit of presidency …….this is what he use to pay them back shot asight ””” fcuking human beans

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Idjoey | 1/16/2012 10:53:21 AM

I have never insulted anyone with my comment but I think u deserve a slap on ur fat face. The s****d President knew what he was gon do and he knew it won’t b accepted by lagosians so he hurriedly deployed soldiers to Lagos to stop d people from protesting. Goodluck Jonathan is d lowest of low. D weakest president Nigeria has ever had. A very f*****h man undeserving of the position he’s in now. A big balck goat who’s being controlled by Anenih. The fact that u support his deployment of soldiers to Lagos shows you’re a big black goat too. This is democ***y where people have d freedom of movement, speech and association. What d hell is his problem. Is he gon be a totalitarian in a democratic govt? U are sick for saying Fashola should go and talk to d soldiers himself. r*****h.

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Gazy | 1/16/2012 10:54:14 AM

RT@ Mr Badluck Ekwensi..i guess this is the dumbest comment av seen online ever”’how could you say Fashola is angry.as a matter of fact FASHOLA stands a better man over ur filthy,doggy president.he is just a messanger,he can’t make and take decisions on his own.i guess a man not competent of standing on his words shouldn’t be made president……..i will advise you to sit and re-think mr.Badluck EKwesi.people like you should be flogged in the ass.

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