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Lagos State Approves Mass Burial of #EndSARS Protesters, Amidst Lingering Controversy

July 23, 2023

 

 

 

 

 

In a recent development, Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has given the green light for the mass burial of 103 protesters who lost their lives during the October 2020 #EndSARS protests against police brutality. The decision, coming almost three years after initial denials by the state government, has sparked controversy and calls for accountability.

The Approval and Funeral Arrangements:

Governor Sanwo-Olu’s administration has approved the burial of the 103 victims through a private firm, Messrs Tos Funeral Ltd, at a cost of N61,285,000. The public procurement agency granted “No Objection” to the contract, as revealed in a letter dated July 19 and seen by the Peoples Gazette.

A Painful Reminder of Past Denials:

The move to bury the victims serves as a stark reminder of the state government’s previous denial of the brutal killings. Despite evidence of unarmed protesters being gunned down by joint forces of the Nigerian Army and police while waving the national flag and singing the national anthem at the Lekki toll gate, the government had initially refuted the incident.

Government’s Response:

When questioned about how this new development reflects on the past denials, Chief Press Secretary to Governor Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile, indicated that the government would issue a response soon. This response comes amidst growing scrutiny and criticism from the public and human rights organizations.

Panel of Inquiry and White Paper:

The Lagos State’s judicial panel of inquiry described the incident as a massacre and rejected the government’s denial. However, Governor Sanwo-Olu issued a white paper affirming his denial of the panel’s findings, which further fueled public outrage.

Evidence and Controversy:

Several pieces of evidence, including videos and testimonies, have surfaced, confirming the involvement of the Nigerian Army and police in the violent crackdown on peaceful protesters. The government’s decision to appoint the former Army chief, Turkur Buratai, as a diplomatic envoy to Benin Republic, has raised suspicions of an attempt to shield him from international prosecution.

Army’s Actions and Cover-Up Allegations:

The judicial panel revealed that the army hindered medical assistance to injured protesters and tampered with evidence by removing corpses and cleaning up the crime scene. These actions have raised serious questions about the government’s commitment to truth and justice.

Seeking Closure Amid Suppression:

Families who lost their loved ones during the protests are still struggling to find closure, as the government continues to suppress the truth and maintain its denial of the events.

The situation surrounding the #EndSARS protests in Lagos remains contentious, with the decision to approve the mass burial adding another layer of complexity to the ongoing controversy. The public eagerly awaits the government’s official response to the widespread demand for accountability and justice.

 

Source: Peoples Gazette

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