Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos has cancelled the walk “meant to symbolise healing of the state” following the violence that trailed the EndSARS protests last year.
The walk had generated controversy after some of the celebrities and activists invited to join the governor rejected the invitation publicly.
- EndSARS: Sanwo-Olu Invites Falz, Mr. Macaroni, Seun Kuti For Peace Walk
- Falz, Mr. Macaroni reject Sanwo-Olu’s peace walk invite
Among the celebrities the governor invited were Folarin Falana (Falz), Debo Adebayo (Mr. Marcaroni), Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya (Segalinks), and Seun Kuti.
While Falz and Mr Macaroni said they would not be at the walk of the alleged injustice meted out to EndSARS protesters, Farotimi said he would not “walk with murderers”.
However, the governor received support from students of Lagos State University (LASU) and different groups and individuals in the state.
But at a briefing on Thursday, Sanwo-Olu announced that the walk will no longer go on as planned because of COVID.
“Since my last address to you, the good people of Lagos State on Tuesday 30, November 2021, during which I expressed a desire to lead a Walk for Peace, following the outcome of the work of the Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters, I have been inundated with deep expressions of solidarity from various groups and people declaring their readiness to join me on the symbolic walk.
“Indeed, I owe a special debt of gratitude to our youths and students, who reached out to either members of my team or directly to me, expressing their readiness to join me on the planned Walk for Peace. They include many of our Civil Society Leaders, business leaders within and outside of Corporate Lagos, religious leaders, members of the Diplomatic Community, entertainers, Market Associations, Trade Associations and Women Groups who have committed time and resources to preparing for the Peace Walk. I thank you all.
“When the unseen enemy called Covid-19 began to ravage the world and indeed our nation, I assumed the role of the Incident Commander in our quest to protect the lives of our people. We subjected ourselves to the dictates of science. We chose to be guided not by our emotions, but expert opinions rooted in science. Between Tuesday 30, November 2021 that I made my address and now, we have seen a significant rise in cases associated with the Omicron variant of this pandemic.
“Given this development, I am constrained to stand down all preparations for the Walk for Peace. I will not endanger the life of any Lagosian in my sincere search for peace. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring of support the initiative received from far and near. The deluge of support is, however, indicative of one thing: our people know the strategic place of peace to our quest for development.
“I look forward to engaging with you as WE TOGETHER WORK FOR PEACE!”