Gov. Nasir El- Rufai of Kaduna State on Thursday visited Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State to commiserate with him and the residents of the state over the mayhem that followed the EndSARS protests.
El-Rufai, while speaking at Lagos House, Marina, decried the level of the destruction of public and private property in the state, describing it as “pure evil´´.
He said that Sanwo-Olu did all that needed to be done to prevent the recent youth protest against police brutality from degenerating to violence.
The Kaduna governor, however, said that those who thrive in violence infiltrated the protest to achieve their agenda of wreaking a large-scale destruction on public assets and infrastructure in Lagos.
El-Rufai said that Lagos, which accounted for one-third of the national GDP, “does not deserve to suffer such pain”.
According to him, the young people who carried out the violence intentionally engaged in an act of “self-destruction´´, as the repercussion of the action will be felt by them.
“I have spent the time to see some of the pictures of the destruction done on public properties in Lagos and I nearly shed tears.
“Anyone who cares about development and progress will cry after seeing what has been done to public facilities and people’s investments that provided jobs to youths.
“While expressing anger on police brutality may be right, destroying public properties, which will have to be rebuilt using money that is needed to invest in other public infrastructure, under the guise of protest is nothing but self-destruction.
“The Government of Lagos and the Federal Government will have to re-invest scarce resources that could have been used for other things to rebuild the vandalised facilities.
“I want to assure you that we will support you getting Lagos back on track.
“We will do whatever support Lagos needs from us to get back better,´´ he said.
El-Rufai said that the youth protest against the police was not out of order, but it was wrong for the protesters to call for disbandment of the entire police force because of the action of a few bad eggs.
He sympathised with the police and those who lost loved ones in Lagos in the wake of the violence.
The governor said that the Federal Government must not allow wanton destruction of public assets to happen again.
Responding, Sanwo-Olu said that Lagos had started to look forward and engage in new partnerships toward restoring the lost assets.
The Lagos governor vowed to make the state uncomfortable for those who had the intention to destroy the state’s economy and heritage.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government remained committed to getting justice for those who were brutalised by the disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police.
He thanked El-Rufai for the extension of support toward rebuilding the state, welcoming all forms of assistance that could be rendered to keep businesses flourishing.
Sanwo-Olu said that the state government was doing what it could to support those whose businesses were destroyed, and create an ambience for commercial activities to get back stronger.