National leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC) Bola Tinubu has said that although he had prior knowledge hoodlums would attack TVC and Nation newspaper, he did not call on the police or army to clamp down on them.
Tinubu stated this in a release on Sunday, addressing allegations he ordered the reported deployment of soldiers against peaceful protesters at Lekki on October 20.
“This allegation is a complete and terrible lie. I did not order this or any assault against anybody. I would never want such a vile thing to happen nor did I have any prior knowledge about this sad event,” he said.
Tinubu added: “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.
“The attackers came. Both facilities were significantly damaged. Although equipped with prior notice of the imminent trespass, I did not call any one 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.
“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.”
The former Lagos governor also denied owning the Lekki toll gate concession.
“At bottom, the toll gate is a public asset. Given what has happened, I would like to propose to government that the toll gate be left closed for an indefinite period. If it is reopened, revenues should be donated to the confirmed victims of the Lekki attack as well as to other identifiable victims of police brutality in Lagos,” he said.
“Let government use the money to compensate and take care of those who have lost life or limb in the struggle for all citizens to go about the quiet, peaceful enjoyment of life without fear of undue harassment at this or that checkpoint.”
Tinubu called on the #EndSARS protesters to give the government time to implement their demands, adding that goodwill has been shown with the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).