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#ENDSARS Panel Report: CHRICED Condemns Government Attempt To Cover Up Truth And Dodge Accountability

• Commends Panel Members For Courage To Speak Truth To Power

The Resource Centre for Human Rights & Civic Education (CHRICED) has been closely following the intense public debate generated by the release of the report of the Judicial Panel, which was set up by the Lagos State Government in the aftermath of the #ENDSARS protests in October 2020.                                                                                                                                   

CHRICED firstly salutes the men and women of integrity who sat on the panel to investigate, not only the egregious violations of citizens rights by the nation’s security forces, but also the specific incident of the shooting of peaceful protesters at the Lekki Toll Gate. Notwithstanding the outright lies, obfuscation and misinformation being peddled to discredit the report at the federal and state government levels, CHRICED commends the courage, determination and resilience of the men and women who spoke truth to the powers that be, by restating the truth we all know: the security forces turned the guns and bullets that should have been used to protect innocent citizens, against the very people who they have a sacred responsibility to protect.

CHRICED salutes the consistent and committed comrades like Barrister Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa SAN, who stood firm alongside other members of the panel to deliver a report, which reflects the facts of the callous and criminal killings perpetrated by security forces at the Lekki Toll Gate. These men and women of courage have demonstrated that there are still many Nigerians who care about the truth, value the dignity of the human being, and are staunchly prepared to fight for the human rights and dignity of their fellow country men and women. Unfortunately, instead of owning up to the truth, apologise, and follow the path of true restitution, top functionaries of Lagos State and the Federal Government have launched a virulent, wasteful and indefensible campaign to discredit the findings of the Judicial Panel. 

CHRICED unequivocally condemns these irresponsible acts, which are capable of inflaming further passions and obstructing the course of justice, without which there can never be true reconciliation and closure on the dastardly shootings, which claimed the lives of peaceful and harmless protesters. Similarly, CHRICED joins other well-meaning civil society organizations in strongly condemning the attempt by the Lagos State Government to dilute the truth and dodge accountability through the issuance of a patently illegal White Paper, which has the objective of watering down the core findings and recommendations of the Judicial Panel. It amounts to further trampling on the dead, and dancing on their graves for Lagos State officials to strike down the report of an independent panel because its findings do not tally with their preconceived outcomes.

Consequently, CHRICED is of the view that the so-called Walk for Peace being proposed by the Lagos State government is a provocative exercise meant to heap further pains and misery on those who were either killed or injured by the security forces during the #ENDSARS protests. We therefore commend the clear-headed and ever conscious youth of Lagos State who have declined to participate in this ill-conceived and insensitive walk as proposed by the government. As for some spineless youth, particularly the leadership of the Lagos State University Students Union, who have come out to sycophantically declare they would participate in the walk, they should understand that they are writing an ignominious history for themselves.

On a final note, the sordid and condemnable reaction of the ruling elite in Lagos state and at the Federal level to the findings of the #ENDSARS Panel holds many lessons for the youth of Nigeria. It is clear that the current political class as constituted by the two major parties have no interest in the protection and promotion of the welfare, human rights and dignity of the youth. If there was any doubt about the fact that the current crop of politicians do not really care about the lives, livelihoods and fortunes of the youth, the government’s negative, callous and insensitive posture to the report of the #ENDSARS panel clears all such doubts. It is therefore up to the youth across Nigeria to be the change they want to see. The 2023 electoral process is yet another opportunity for the youth to participate and bring about the fundamental changes they want to see in the polity and governance of the country.

Long live the Federal Republic of Nigeria 
Signed: Comrade Dr. Ibrahim M. ZikirullahiExecutive Director

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