Following the violence that erupted on Friday in some parts of Lagos State over naira scarcity, the State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Saturday urged residents to resist the opportunists who wished to take advantage of the crisis to foment trouble.
The Governor also appealed to the financial services value chain (POS Agents/Operators); as well as petrol station attendants who have taken the current challenges to extort hard working Lagosians, saying they should be their brothers’ and sisters’ keeper and do everything to lessening the hardship
In a state broadcast at the State House, Marina, Sanwo-Olu disclosed that the State Goverment is in discussion with private transport operators not to hike fares at this point of time.
Sanwo-Olu decaled, “This address is necessary in view of the ongoing situation in the country, regarding the change of currency notes and the attendant hardships being faced by ordinary Lagosians.
“This is a heartfelt call to you, as your Governor, to please remain calm at this time, and avoid all forms of violence, arson and rioting. Even in the face of the difficulties and frustrations being faced by all, violence and destruction should not and will never be the answer.
“We have noticed with dismay the rampant incidents surrounding some of the players in the financial services value chain (POS Agents/Operators); as well as petrol station attendants who have taken the current challenges to mean an opportunity to extort hard working and law abiding Lagosians with extortionate service charges on funds withdrawal and sale of PMS.
“Let me appeal to those involved in such behavior to desist from such sharp practices. It is especially in difficult times like these that we all need to be our brothers’ and sisters’ keeper and do everything we can to contribute to lessening the hardships faced by our fellow Lagosians. This is not the period to sacrifice empathy, compassion, and humanity on the altar of profit making.
“To my good people of Lagos, please resist the opportunists who seek to take advantage of the anger and frustration that you all are feeling to hijack the situation and foment trouble.
“We know that there are unscrupulous persons who want to sow seeds of violence and discord by their very utterances and actions, all with the view of robbing you of the chance to cast your votes in the February 25 Presidential and National Assembly elections. Do not allow them to use you to achieve their evil intentions.
“There is no justification whatsoever for attacking public or private property. The law enforcement agents have received clear instructions to take full control and ensure zero tolerance for any and all acts of arson, violence and destruction.”
He therefore appealed to Lagosians, saying “I enjoin all law-abiding Lagosians to carry out their lawful activities without fear.”
He added, “As a government that fully understands the challenges that you are faced with, with regards to access to cash, we are working very hard to provide palliative measures to lessen the burdens being faced.
“As part of these measures, I have already approved an immediate reduction in transportation charges for public�owned transport, across the Lagos State public transport system: our buses, ferries and taxis.
“We are also equally in discussion with private transport operators not to hike fares at this point of time, given the difficult circumstances in which many Lagosians find themselves.
“We have also since commenced the distribution of food packs, to the most vulnerable citizens, the people most impacted by this disruption in the supply of cash. We will continue to highlight more vulnerable groups within our distribution channels who would benefit from the palliatives s we scale up the rollout of these palliatives, we ask for your continued patience and understanding. Remain calm and go about your lawful activities and duties.
“The Lagos State Government under my watch will continue to stand by, with and for the ordinary people of Lagos.
“Let me, at this juncture, also thank the Police and other security agencies/operatives that have been working round the clock to maintain the peace, law and order in our State – we owe you a debt of gratitude.”