Former Deputy National Chairman of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Chief Olabode George, has called for the dismantling of the toll gates at Lekki and Ikoyi.
George made the call on Monday at a press conference which took place at his office in Ikoyi and attended by party chieftains and members.
He pointed out that the country had “turned that frightening corner where all conscionable men and women must now choose to stand with the righteous or withdraw into the dark corridor of cowardly little men; unspoken, quiet, huddled in undignified silence.”
Chief George, while making the demand, among others, said the choice of Lekki Toll Gate as the epicentre of these legitimate protests was very symbolic about the massive aberrations in the state, declaring that Lagos was gutted from within and outside.
He, however, urged that a monument be erected at the Admiralty Circle Toll Gate specifically “to honour the young men and women who stood up in peaceful protests against the ills in our society.”
Chief George, who is also the Atona Oodua of the Source, in his speech titled: ‘Lagos State: The anger and the rage,’ also made six demands, among which were “The outrageous pension scheme for immediate former governors of Lagos State should be scrapped. The prodigal allowances given to members of the Lagos State Assembly should also be scrapped. There should be free education from primary to secondary school level in Lagos State.”
According to George, all the demands were the “irreducible minimum acceptable to placate the angry, restless youths in order to restore peace, fairness and equity in our state.”
On the toll gates, George said they should be dismantled as they were now sacred grounds where people were shot, adding that monument should be erected in honour of the young men and women who stood up in peaceful protests against the ills in society.
“At the Admiralty Circle Toll Gate specifically where bullets rained on that black Tuesday, a monument should be erected to honour the young men and women who stood up in peaceful protests against the ills in our society.”
George, while noting the general observation that when Lagos sneezes the rest of the nation catches cold, lamented that the seeds of degeneration sowed in Lagos are now sprouting across the country.
Speaking further, the PDP chieftain said questions should be asked on who ordered that the lights be switched off before the soldiers came as well as the alleged removal of all the cameras from the toll gate.
He also demanded that answers should be sought to who aided and abetted the shooting of peaceful protesters and the greatest interest behind the continuation of the two toll gates.
As a way of fulfilling the demands of the youths, George said there should commence what he termed a Marshal Plan aimed at creating huge public work programmes to absorb the unemployed, recalling that such plan was employed by former US President Harry S. Truman to put his nation and Europe back to work through massive public work projects after the devastation of World War II.