- Bola Tinubu reveals the major reason he didn’t invite soldiers to stop protesters from destroying TVC and The Nation
- He also said his political opponents were responsible
The National Leader of the ruling All Progressive Congress Asiwaju Bola Tinubu on Sunday disclosed that he had no financial interest in Lekki toll gate which was set ablaze by hoodlums hiding under the #EndSars protest.
The former governor of Lagos State stated this in a statement entitled, “The #EndSARS protests; a fundamental lesson in democratic governance”.
While the EndSars protest was ongoing, hoodlums hijacked the peaceful protest and looted shops, destroyed private and government properties across the commercial city.
Some of the properties touched include businesses Tinubu has financial interest. Television Continental and The Nation newspaper, both of which have been linked to him were destroyed.
At the Lekki toll gate, there were shootings by unknown soldiers to disperse protesters leading to loss of lives.
In his statement, Tinubu, popularly called Jagaban of Bogu clarified that he doesn’t make money from the Lekki toll gate plaza.
“There is no rationale that can adequately explain why I would order soldiers to repel peaceful protesters from the toll gate where I have no financial interest, yet, choose to do nothing to protect my investments in the Nation and TVC.”
He said, “On the other hand, I am, indeed, a promoter and financial investor in the Nation newspaper and TVC. It was widely known and circulated through social media that certain malevolent elements were going to take advantage of the situation to attack the Nation newspaper facilities and TVC in Lagos.
Why I didn’t invite soldiers to stop protesters
Speaking on why he didn’t invite security operatives while The Nation and TVC were being attacked, the former senator said he feared lives might be lost if police or soldiers were invited.
He said, “The attackers came. Both facilities were significantly damaged. Although equipped with prior notice of the imminent trespass, I did not call anyone to seek or request for the army or police to deploy let alone attack, kill, or injure those who razed and vandalized these properties. I did not want any bloodshed.
“There is a deeper truth involved here. Burned buildings and damaged equipment can be rebuilt or replaced. There is no adequate substitute for the loss of even a single human life.
“I am not one to encourage violence. I abhor it. Thus, I did nothing that might endanger lives, even the lives of those who destroyed my properties.
Holds political opponent responsible
Tinubu who didn’t mention any name specifically, however, noted that the attacks were well-coordinated by those he described as a political opponent.
“These elements, mostly hirelings of my political opponents, wreaked their havoc and destroyed those buildings and facilities and I thank God that the employees of these two media institutions managed to escape largely unharmed.
Meanwhile, Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said victims would be compensated while arsonists would be made to face the full wrath of the law.