The People’s Democratic Party (PDP) has described the arrest, humiliation and trial of #Occupylekkitollgate protesters yesterday, as a sad reminder of what Nigerians went through in the hands of military dictators.
The Lagos PDP, has called for the immediate cancellation of their trial and lamented that the irony of the Lekki, Lagos show of shame was that, prominent personalities in the APC government, especially those in Lagos State were once human rights and pro-democracy activists.
In a reaction to the sad and painful occurrence through a press release on Sunday morning, the Lagos State Chairman of the PDP, Engr Adedeji Doherty, said “ Lagosians will never believe that a time will come in the State when citizen’s rights to peaceful protests will be muscled by a supposed democratic government”.
He reiterated it was an irony that a government that is pampering terrorists could send policemen armed to the teeth against civilians who only expressed their displeasure over a government decision.
Engr Doherty said “ the National Leader of the APC should recall that their right to protest or freely congregate against the Goodluck Jonathan administration in 2015 at the Freedom Park in ikeja was not crushed with the Federal might when the PDP was in power.
Consequently, the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu/ APC/Sanwo Olu led administration should realize that Power is transient.
The party said it was now clear that all that matters to the APC government of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, was the billions of Naira being generated at the Lekki Toll Gate, and not the welfare of the people.
The PDP asked why resumption of collection of tolls at the Lekki Toll Gate will be more important to a government than the lives of those allegedly killed by soldiers during the last EndSARS protest.
It also demanded explanations as to whether or not it was part of the mandate of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution, set up to investigate cases of police brutality in the State, to order the commencement of operations at the toll plaza.
“When did it become the duty of a judicial panel of inquiry to order the resumption of collection of tolls at a Toll Gate, which was shut down owing to alleged killing of protesting youths whose only offence is that they demanded that SARS policemen should stop killing them?
“Isn’t it now crystal clear that all that matters to the APC and Governor Sanwo-Olu led government, is the “blood money” they are getting from the toll gate, with which they have been filling the insatiable appetite of their Lagos for money.
“Lagosians must therefore rise to put an end to this Shylock and autocratic government that won’t mind even turning the blood of the people to “blood money”.
The PDP Chairman has asked that the Lagos State Government and most especially the Members of the House of Assembly from , Lagos Island, Eti-Osa, Ibeju-Lekki and Epe LGAs to open up a public hearing or Referendum on the reopening of this controversial tollgate to show the world that Democracy is really the order of the day in Lagos State , instead of trying to crush a peaceful protest without presenting any kind of alternative medium of diplomacy as it concerns the tollgate issue.
“As for those who were arrested among the protesters, we wish to tell them to remain strong, committed and resolute in their quest for a Nigeria where government does the right thing and citizens are allowed to ventilate their grievances against government freely,” the PDP said.