A Lagos State lawmaker Thursday said the violence and looting that trailed the protest against police brutality was perpetrated by those ‘high on drugs’.
Mojisola Alli-Macauley’s comments were among those of other state lawmakers that slammed the youth and social media for the violence.
For more than two-weeks, Lagos was at the centre of a nationwide protest against police brutality in Nigeria. Violence and looting became rampant after soldiers opened fire on unarmed protesters at Lekki Toll Plaza in Lagos.
Amnesty International said at least 12 persons were killed at Alausa and Lekki on Tuesday, October 20. But the Nigerian Army denied that its men opened fire at the protesters.
“They (Nigerian youths) are high on drugs all the time, most of them. They go to social media to do all sorts of things,” Alli-Mojisola, a lawmaker representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1 said. “I don’t know why youths will come out and misbehave.”
“I schooled in the UK and I saw a lot of young people who were not employed but they didn’t become hoodlums. Why can’t we look inwards and look for solutions to our problems?” she asked.
The lawmaker argued that an unemployed graduate could get a job in the informal sector instead of complaining about joblessness.
“Why can’t the young people look within themselves, look for their talents? Even if you are a graduate, what stops you from being a designer or a professional tile man and make a brand of it? There is no excuse for being a hoodlum,” she said.
The lawmaker’s claim of schooling in the UK, however, can be debatable.
Mojisola’s profile on her website – mamaamuwo.com said she is a graduate of History and International Relations from the Lagos State University and currently a 400level student of Law at the University of Lagos.
Her profile said she has vast experience in Media, Journalism and Marketing having held several leadership positions in top Media outfit. She was a pioneer staff of MITV/Starfm and was also the Senior Marketing Executive at TVC Communications.
Only the website of the Lagos State House of Assembly mentioned her one-year stint at the Open University Milton Keynes in the UK from 2002-2003. It is unclear if the lawmaker graduated from the school.
A lawmaker representing Surulere 1 Constituency in the Lagos State House of Assembly, Desmond Elliot also called for a restriction in the use of social media during Thursday’s plenary session.
Elliot called on celebrities, social media influencers and motivational speakers to use their platforms to “stop the hatred” against public officeholders.
The lawmaker said social media would lead to the destruction of Nigerian in five years if they are not regulated.
“All of these are making the narratives that we are seeing today. Except we’re joking with ourselves. Social media, though good, has its negative impacts,” Elliot said in a viral video of the plenary session
“When I went through the comment, I could not believe it Mr Speaker. The curses, th.e abuses from children. And I ask myself ‘Is this Nigeria? What is going on?’ Children cursing?” Elliot told Lagos State House of Assembly Speaker Mudasiru Obasa, “Mr Speaker, in the next five years, Nigerian is gone if we don’t start now.”
The speaker Obasa said no one should hide under the guise of unemployment to justify looting of people’s businesses in Lagos State.