An exclusive report by SaharaReporters claims that the Government of Lagos State has disbursed N450 million to higher institutions in the state for the peace walk announced by the state governor.
A government source told SaharaReporters on Friday that the state government paid the money to solicit the support of young Lagosians for the 'peace walk', to ensure the governor does not walk alone.
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor disbursed the money to universities, polytechnics and colleges of education in the state for the peace walk, which is likely to be held on Monday, SaharaReporters learnt.
"Lagos State Government has disbursed N450 million to higher institutions for peace walk, which will likely be held on Monday.
"Universities, polytechnics and colleges of education are the beneficiaries," the top source said.
On Tuesday, Sanwo-Olu had revealed plans to organise a peace walk in December 2021, in commemoration of the #EndSARS movement.
Sanwo-Olu, during a press briefing at the Government House in Alausa, Ikeja on Tuesday said he will be leading the peace walk to herald the healing of the land.
This comes after the state government in its White Paper on a report by the #EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry on General Police Brutality Cases and Lekki Incident Investigation, accepted only 11 out of the 32 recommendations made by the panel.
The panel concluded that the Nigerian Army and police shot and killed peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, the epicentre of the demonstrations against police brutality, on October 20, 2020.
But the government in the White Paper flayed some claims in the report, maintaining that it was full of discrepancies, irregularities and inaccuracies with claims of deaths of victims.
Sanwo-Olu had further extended an open invitation to youths, civil society groups, journalists, students and other stakeholders to join him in the peace walk.
However, some of his invitees have already rejected the invitation with some youths in the state declaring that the state governor will walk alone.
It should be noted that students of the Lagos State University (LASU) have expressed their readiness to participate in the ‘Lagos Peace Walk,’ proposed by Sanwo-Olu.
This was made known on Thursday by the Students' Union Government (SUG) President of the school, Oladipupo Uthman Badmus, during the sitting of the Students Representatives Council, the legislative arms of the SUG.
The sitting was the first council session to be held at the newly built students’ Arcade in the school, which was inaugurated by Sanwo-Olu on Thursday.
“Mr. Governor, sir, it is what you signed up for but we are indebted to you. Be rest assured, whenever you walk, we will walk with you. We will be by your side. Whenever you run, we will run with you to the end,” Badmus assured on behalf of LASU students.
However, it is not clear if the union executives were motivated by money or the newly inaugurated project in their school.
Also, rights activist and member of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry, Segun Awosanya yesterday said he would join Sanwo-Olu in the proposed peace walk.
When SaharaReporters contacted the State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, he declined to comment on the matter.