#EndSARS report: Civil Society decries ongoing structural injustice in Nigeria
The Civil Society Voices, a body of civil society groups, has decried the repression of dissent emanating from the EndSARS tragedy since the leaked report of the panel was made public.
In a press briefing held on Thursday, November 25 in Lagos State, the body condemned the bullishness and hostility of government officials over the release of the report.
According to Zokora Ibeh, from the Spaces for Change group,”the body language of the Lagos State government, as well as the unwholesome bullishness and hostility of government officials over the release of the report speaks volumes about the possible fate of the white paper awaiting release by the government.”
Ibeh in her speech stated that one would think that the leaked report of the panel was enough to induce a lot of soul searching by the government and its officials on the abysmal state of affairs in the country, with a view to charting positively new paths of engagements with Nigerians, especially, the youths.
But the opposite was the case, especially in lagos state, which she said has become the epicenter of the struggle against the structural injustice in the country, as well as the centre of the repression of dissent emanating from the tragedy.
Achike Chude, the deputy chairman, Joint Action Front in his speech reiterated that the attack on Lekki Tollgate victims who testified at panel must not go unpunished.
“We condemn most vehemently, the violent, bloody attack on Kamson Ibe, which took place in the evening of Sunday, November 21, 2021. We also note the treat of assassination against the persons of Olu Adegboruwa, Wiseman Kunle among others.
“Government officials are not more Nigerians than us, nor are they more patriotic. Those who attacked Kamsi and others must be brought to book.
“We are not going to run away from the government and its officials, because Nigeria belongs to all of us.
“Sanwo-Olu has to prove that he is innocent of the attacks,” he said.
Akinbode Oluwafemi, the executive director, Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) explained that the credibility of the president of Nigeria is at stake over the matter.
He frown at the total dismissive response of Lai Muhammed, the minister of information to the Lagos State panel report, this he said is typical of his well-known combative position of see no evil, hear no evil, and speak no evil, especially when it comes to the tragic events of October 20, 2020.
Oluwafemi stressed that it is time to let government functionaries like Lai Muhammed know they are not more patriotic than any other Nigerian, nor do they love the country more.
“Lai Muhammed is distorting facts, and misinforming people. He is a threat to democracy.
“Lai Muhammed claimed there were no families identifying with the dead, but we know their families are out there but cannot just come out for fear.
“History teaches us that there can be massacre without the bodies of those killed seen. Asking for the relatives of those killed at the Lekki Tollgate massacre is irrelevant. Lai Muhammed should stop attacking our democracy, he said.
Hassan Soweto from the Youth Rights maintained that there is a great need for a revolution to end the struggle.
“We need to end the system which is channeled to brutality and capitalism,” he stated.
Among the demands of the group are thorough investigations into the attack of Kamson Ibeh, as well as the threats on Dabiri Oluwa and others. Immediate prosecution of individuals indicted for human rights abuses and murder pre-October 20, 2020.
Besides, that all those involved in the sordid and criminal events of October 20, be punished in accordance with the law. That there be adequate compensation for all victims of #EndSARS protests. That the commercialization of the Lekki Tollgate which was the motivation for the mayhem by the army and police be stopped permanently.
The group applauded and commended the efforts of the panel in carrying out their duties professionally.
The media brief was endorsed by the following organizations; Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA), Joint Action Front, Justice Development and Peace Commission, Genesis Organisation for Protection of Rights, Spaces4Change, Great Nigeria Movement, Socio-Economic Rights and Accountability Project (SERAP), Project for Human Development, Catholic Youth Organisation of Nigeria, Mafoluku Electricity Consumers Forum, Help Initiative for Social Justice and Humanitarian Development, Youths Rights Campaign, Centre for Dignity, and Peace and Development Project.