The Lagos Governorship Candidate of the Labour Party, Gbadebo Rhodes Vivour yesterday kicked against the opinion in some quarters that the party’s presidential rally slated for October 1 has a correlation with the ENDSARS movement of 2020.
Speaking in Lagos yesterday, Rhodes-Vivour described such a view as mischief emanating from the quarters of the oppositions and their supporters, adding that such shouldn’t be given any serious attention.
Rhodes-Vivour stressed that there is no tie or correlation with the movement, as the rally would be held on October 1 and not October 20 that the ENDSARS movement held in 2020.
He said: “This is not a protest, it is a rally and most political parties will be doing rallies because campaign season has started. It is a rally, it is a peaceful walk, showing solidarity with the Obi-Datti movement. It is October 1st and not October 20th, and in addition has no ties or correlation with the EndSARS movement.
“We must also correct the narrative that the EndSARS movement started out as a form of destruction of properties. That was not the case. For over a week, young people were gathering, airing their grievances, picking up and cleaning the surroundings that they were, showing exemplary leadership in the way they managed the situation but unfortunately when the military got involved, violence erupted. There was a repercussion and people that were not even initially part of that movement proceeded violently that resulted in some of the things we saw.
“That was the by-product of violence that the military brought to Lekki Toll gate, so let us not confuse these two things. We are engaging in a rally, a walk of solidarity that is peaceful, that the good people of Lagos are going to engage in, in four different locations on Saturday, October 1st.”
Rhodes-Vivour said Lagosians are looking forward to security presence at the rally which is being organised for the Presidential candidate of the party, Peter Obi tomorrow.
He urged the people to come out and exercise their civic rights, assuring them that there would be no case of intimidation.
The LP guber candidate said the state’s Commissioner of Police, Abiodun Alabi has assured that the police would provide adequate protection for the people, adding that the rally has been made easy for people such that they could decide to be in different locations. He said the rally would take place in Lekki, Ikeja, Surulere and FESTAC.
“If you live in Ikeja, it is not necessary to make the long journey to Surulere if you don’t want to, if you live in Ojo, there’s no need to make a trip to Surulere if you don’t want to, you can go to Amuwo- Odofin, or if you are in Surulere or Lagos Central as a whole, you can go to the National Stadium. The idea is to be as efficient as possible and allow people to participate without straining themselves too much. We have coordinators in each of these four locations and everything will be organised in each of these locations.
“I encourage the people to come out. Nobody needs to be afraid. Lagos State is our state. Nobody can intimidate us. We are going to be protected by the security apparatus that has been mandated not just by the judge but also by the conversations we have had and the commitment we have gotten from the Commissioner of Police, it is going to be a peaceful rally for the good people of Lagos and everybody is welcome to join us on Saturday, October 1.”
The LP guber candidate added that contrary to the opinion of some that there wouldn’t be rallies in some states in the Eastern part of the country, the party has a calendar for Obi’s presidential rally to hold in every state across the country.
“There are rallies programmed for every state across Nigeria and it’s just a matter of time. Lagos state chose to do theirs on October 1 and other states have theirs. Lagos State is the home base of Obidients because the rally is not about tribe or ethnicity or where the people are from. It’s about an idea whose time has come. Lagos state has always been one of the cosmopolitan states in Nigeria, a place where you have high intellect and that allows for cross-fertilisation of ideas. People in Lagos aspire to excellence and knowledge so new ideas can easily take off in Lagos and that’s why we call it the home base of the Obidient movement.”
He added that Obi’s followers are not intimidated by the schemes of the ruling party to try to intimidate or dissuade their cause, noting that the people would stand their ground to ensure that rights and freedom are not challenged.
“We know that the stock in trade of the ruling party in Lagos is suppression and intimidation, they will do everything they can to prevent people from exercising their democratic rights and freedom of expression. It’s what they do but we are prepared for it and we were very grateful to the court for standing on the side of justice and we intend to get on with it. The court was are just a distraction and distractions cannot stop the movement.”