The Osun State chapter of the Committee for the Defence of Human Rights (CDHR) is urging both local and international human rights organizations to seek justice for the victims of the 2020 Lekki Tollgate #EndSARS shooting, as Nigerians mark the third anniversary of the protests.
In a joint statement by Emmanuel Olowu and Bamitale Olufadeju, who serve as Chairman and Secretary, respectively, of the Osun CDHR, they have also called upon the Federal Government to institute the practice of lowering the Nigerian flag to half-mast on October 20th every year in remembrance of those who lost their lives during the protests.
The statement highlights the fact that it has been three years since the Lekki #EndSARS shooting, and the memory of the victims appears to be fading from the consciousness of the Nigerian public. Furthermore, there has been no substantial effort to preserve the historical record of this pivotal event.
The statement underscores the significance of a letter dated July 19, 2023, from the Lagos State Government with the reference number LA/PPA/NOOBJ/VOI_22, 213, which was directed to the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health. This letter, titled "LETTER OF NO OBJECTION, MASS BURIAL FOR 103, THE YEAR 2020 ENDSARS VICTIMS," confirms that the Nigerian military was responsible for the shooting and killing of peaceful protesters.
The Osun CDHR asserts that this letter effectively indicts the Lagos State Government, the Nigerian Military Force, and the Nigerian Government. They express their belief that it is unreasonable for a government that is entrusted with the protection of its citizens' lives and property to first deny that EndSARS protesters were killed, only to later admit to the discovery of 103 dead bodies across Lagos State between the 19th and 27th of October 2020. It is noted that an enormous sum of ₦61,285,000.00 was allocated for their mass burial.
The Osun CDHR uses this platform to call upon both local and international human rights organizations to demand justice for the victims. Additionally, they call upon the Nigerian government to make it a yearly tradition to lower the national flag in memory of the lives lost during the tragic events of the #EndSARS protests.