Nigerian Afrobeat singer Seun Kuti has distanced himself from the proposed ‘walk of peace’ by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu had advocated for a peace walk while disagreeing with the recommendations by the Panel of inquiry he had set up to probe the killings during the Lekki Shootings.
For the peace walk, the Governor had invited not only Nigerians but celebrities including the music star and other youths to join a ‘Walk for Peace’ in December to herald the healing of the land.
But during an interview with Channels TV, the music star rubbished the proposed walk, insisting that justice must prevail over the lives lost during the protest that rocked the nation in 2020.
“I am for justice. If you know me you know I am just a normal guy that wants things to happen the way they should happen. I’m not one of those that do things for popularity or for people to like me or to gain access to anybody,” he said.
“I don’t need to walk with the governor before there is peace in Lagos. There has been peace in Lagos for years that nobody had to walk for it. It is the thing that we need to sort. And to sort it now, only justice can do that. And we all know that there is no place in the world without justice.”
When asked if he would join the walk of peace, the music star advised the governor to bring justice by doing the right thing.
“The governor should walk the walk he is talking about by bringing about justice. The governor is not an embodiment of justice, Seun Kuti is not an embodiment of justice, Falz is not an embodiment of justice, Mr Macaroni is not an embodiment of justice also,” he added.
Seun is not the only celebrity who turned down the Governors invitation, Nigerian entertainer, Debo Adedayo, popularly known as Mr Macaroni, also asked the Lagos State Government to begin its call for peace by first ensuring justice through the implementation of the recommendations of the #EndSARS panel.
Adedayo said this on Tuesday hours after Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had called him and several other youths to join a ‘Walk for Peace’ in December to herald the healing of the land.
“Now that the panel has presented their report, the next line of action should be for the government to implement the recommendations of the panel,” the skit maker said in an interview on Channels TV’s Politics Today.
“Anything contrary to that takes us back to square one. Where there is so much distrust. It is part of the problems that led us to where we are today. So, it’s not about a walk of peace, you won’t find me there because we are not at war.
“What we are saying is that the government should come to terms with the people. People have died, lives have been lost, people have been beaten, dehumanised and I’m also a living testimony so I’m shocked that you are calling me for a walk now.”
He, however, explained that he is willing to rescind his decision once the right steps are followed to ensure justice.
Governor Sanwo-Olu had during a briefing earlier in the day said he would lead the peace walk in order to herald the healing of the land in the face of the misinformation and misunderstanding following the recent leak of a report by the Judicial Panel of Enquiry on the #EndSARS debacle.
“Our state deserves true healing after the disturbances that trailed last year’s protests against police brutality. It is only the sustenance of harmony that can guarantee the realisation of aspirations of all residents,” Sanwo-Olu said.
“The state is currently faced with the hard choice of restoring harmony or doing itself great harm. I appeal to Lagosians to reject those fueling anarchy and suspicion, clinging to the unsubstantiated belief that carries no weight of verifiable evidence and choosing emotion over hard facts.
“Our administration is ready to facilitate better communication between the youths and the state’s security machinery to resolve issues before they become intractable.
“To quicken recovery and engender a better understanding, I will lead ‘A Walk for Peace’ in December to herald the healing of the land.
“I have extended an open invitation to the youths, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, students and the media, as well as other stakeholders to join me in this peace walk”.