#EndSARS Report: Ogbeni Lanre Banjo calls for protection of panel members - AMEBO ONLINE NEWSPAPER


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#EndSARS Report: Ogbeni Lanre Banjo calls for protection of panel members

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Ogun State former gubernatorial candidate, Ogbeni Lanre Banjo, has sharply denounced the reaction of the Minister of Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and the Federal Government to the report of the EndSARS panel in Lagos State.

Ogbeni Banjo denounced the position of the Minister in a statement he made available to newsmen on Wednesday.

In the aftermath of the #End SARS protests, the Federal Government directed State Governments to set up panels of enquiry with a view to finding solutions to the agitations that arose from the protests.

The Lagos State government set up a panel as directed by the Federal Government.

The panel was headed by eminent retired Iudge of the Lagos State Judiciary, Justice Doris T. Okuwobi, with other eminent lawyers, including Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa (SAN), as members.

The panel has since submitted its report to the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Ogbeni Banjo specially commended every member of the Judicial Panel of Inquiry for discharging their duties fearlessly and in the interest of the masses.

He also expressed joy that the panel gave everyone a fair hearing, adding: “It is indeed a thorough exercise, one of the best reports ever produced in the history of Nigeria.

“The essence of establishing the panel is to find solutions to the grievances that led to the #End SARS protests by our children that elders agree to be the leaders of tomorrow.

“As leaders of tomorrow, they do not only have a stake in the nation called Nigeria, they must be raised and bred in an environment where truth is encouraged and lies discouraged.

“Our children have spoken the panel members have heard them and they have also spoken by the production of the report of the panel.

“The onus is on the Lagos State Government to study the recommendations of the panel and issue a White Paper report on it to facilitate the implementation of the recommendations made by the panel.

“Lagos State must prove that it is not a push over of the Federal Government and it is a federating unit.

“Anything short of that or any antic or attempt to circumvent the panel’s report will be courting troubles.

“The Lagos State Government must realise that the members of the panel do not have police escort that would protect them from the wrath of the masses should they ignore the truth and do the government’s bidding.

“The face of the truth is wide open and the eyes of truth is very bright.

“Doing the government’s bidding is also not building a just society and a nation.

“What led to the protests and its effects is feelings of lack of justice by citizens, it is criminal to exacerbate it by attacking the members of the panel and witnesses.

“It is incumbent on the Lagos State Government to accept the report of the panel, having freely appointed the members of the panel without any intimidation or interference by the youth that championed the #End SARS protests.

“After all, the State Government in appointing members of the panel was sure that they were men and women of good character and integrity that will undertake the assignment with all sense of sincerity, courage, frankness and without fear or favour.

“Unless it was the intention of the government to hoodwink the public by putting men and women of impeccable characters and integrity on the panel and then expect them to act like robots, there should be no attack on any of the panelists and witnesses.”

Ogbeni Banjo therefore denounced any form of attack on Adegborowa and Kamsiyochukwu Ibe.

He added: “We must realize that there are wounds already in the hearts of many Nigerians.

“So, the Nigerian government should make sure nothing happens to any member of the judicial panel of inquiry, because ever since the submission of the panel’s report these individuals have been receiving all manner of threats.

“Their lives and that of their family members must be protected.

“It’s important because these ones have shown to the rest of the world that Nigeria still have people of integrity.

“Further casualties might discourage Nigerians from being upright.

“This might deepen corruption and dim hope. It is instructive to learn from the US government which a young Palestinian accused of killing his father, who worked as an agent of CIA.

“Because a deep wound was inflicted in the heart of the young man, who was around four years when his father was killed, he grew up to read the story, hatched a plan to revenge and applied for the US visa.

“Where others with pure mind would be refused visas, he was granted.

“He worked hard, and saved to procure guns and stationed himself at the corner of CIA’s office in Chain Bridge, Virginia.

“Early in the morning, while staff were making turns into the road that leads into the office, he snuffed lives out of many workers of the Agency.

“It may take many years, but this is what excruciating wounds in hearts do.

“The judgment of the panel should therefore be respected so that in the future when men and women of honour and integrity are called upon to render this sort of service to the nation, they will be willing to render their civil services.

“Conscious efforts must be made by the Lagos State government to avoid a situation that will give an impression that people assembled by governments for State or national assignments cannot say the truth to power.

“This panel members, having said the truth to power must not be vilified because they refused to be puppets of the government or compromised.

“Everything possible must therefore be done by the Lagos State government to hasten the issuance of a White Paper on the panel’s report thereby assuring the citizens of the sincerity of the government to assuage the cries of the people.

“After all, democracy is about government of the people, for the people by the people.

“The interest of the people must therefore be paramount and protected.

“Let the Lagos State Government issue the White Paper without delay.

“A White Paper that will uphold the truth, justice and genuine reconciliation would begin to heal the nation.”

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