Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has on Thursday issued a statement about why he shelved the peace walk that was supposed to hold to a month because of the escalation of the deadly Omicron variant of the COVID-19 that has recorded 6 cases so far.
“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!”
Sanwo-Olu had previously announced to stage a peace walk this December to commemorate the END SARS protest where he said during a briefing at Alausa Ikeja that he will be leading the movement himself to bring peace to the land.
The Governor had named and invited some people in the likes of rapper Folarin Falana (aka)Falz and Debo Adedayo (aka) Mr, Macroni to join him while the peaceful demonstration lasted. Though some were reportedly said to have not honoured the invitation for reasons best known to them.
Sanwo Olu continued to demonstrate support for the END SARS movement especially when he invited civil society groups and several organizations to accompany him as well.
One lawyer, Uthman and Member of the Body of Benchers in Lagos, Chief ‘Kunle Uthman thought it necessary to withdraw the movement and advised Sanwo Olu against continuing with the movement.
The lawyer had considered the peace walk movement as not ideal for now following the emergence of the Omicron variant of the COVID-19
According to an open letter to the Governor on Sunday captioned ‘Re: Peace Walk And COVID-19 Pandemic Communal Spread’, Uthman asked of the relevance of the move saying: “What is the purpose, intention and reason for a Government (anywhere) to gather in one place tens of thousands of people at this time of COVID-19 pandemic?”
With Sanwo Olu who considers the implications of his actions and also listens to the voice of the people when necessary, he now shelved the plan for the peace walk.