By Agbonkhese Oboh
The Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa, CAPPA, has described the Lagos State Government White Paper on the report of the Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters as an insult to the dead and the sensibilities of victims of the Lekki Tollgate shooting of October 20 2020.
CAPPA also criticised Governor Babajide Sanwolu’s ‘Peace Walk’, insisting that the event can be likened to dancing on the blood of victims of the Lekki shooting that have been denied justice one year after the incident.
CAPPA drew these conclusions following Tuesday’s release of the 41-page white paper.
In the report, the Lagos State government accepted 11 out of 32 recommendations made by the panel, rejected one outright, agreed on six with modifications, while 14, which it said fell outside its powers, would be forwarded to the Federal Government for consideration.
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- LISTED: EndSARS panel’s 32 recommendations and Lagos govt’s response
It also rejected claims that nine people died at the Lekki toll plaza.
In a statement issued in Lagos, CAPPA said the white paper report and Governor Babajide Sanwolu’s remarks at a televised briefing in Alausa, brush aside the most important recommendations of the report that have to do with the killing of innocent EndSARS agitators and the need to bring the perpetrators to book.
The statement by Philip Jakpor, CAPPA’s Director of Programmes, quoted the rights group Executive Director, Akinbode Oluwafemi: “The whitepaper report is not only disappointing, but also exposes how far the Lagos government and its federal collaborators will go to deny a known truth.
“But Nigerians are not deceived.”
Oluwafemi said that like the blood of Abel, which continued to cry to heaven until Cain’s sin was discovered, the blood of the innocent youths murdered in their prime by the Nigerian police and army for standing against oppression and intimidation, will not rest.
“The panel report mentioned names of the dead and victims that Sanwo-Olu did not even acknowledge.
“Last week Kamsiochukwu was attacked with matchetes and Dabira Oluwa threatened by so-called unknown persons. Some of the panelists have also be threatened.
“Shockingly, Sanwo-Olu turned a golden moment into a joke by proposing a Peace Walk to mark his own commemoration of the shameful events of last year.
“We refuse such a march. The real date we mark the fallen victims of the state’s mishandling of a peaceful protest is October 20, 2020.
“We align with the recommendations of the panel and reiterate our demands that criminal prosecution should be instituted against individuals found to have committed the massacre that happened on October 20, 2020, at the Lekki Tollgate in Lagos.
“Until the federal and Lagos state governments find the courage to own up to their failures and the murders during the EndSARS protests, genuine peace and justice will be elusive.
“No so-called peace walk will erase the events that happened on October 20, 2020,” Oluwafemi insisted.