*Launches book on #Endsars one year after
One year after the protests tagged #Endsars that gripped the country last year, the Corporate Accountability and Public Participation Africa (CAPPA) has presented to the public a documentation of some of the victims of the event.
Speaking at the presentation of a book and film documentary LIES AND THE HAIL OF BULLETS (#ENDSARS THE STORY OF THE LEKKI SHOOTINGS BY SURVIVORS), the Executive Director of CAPPA, Mr. Akinbode Oluwafemi said the commemoration of the day was “unpleasant but unavoidable one year remembrance of the Lekki Toll gate shootings.”
On December 13, 2020, youths across the country had gathered at various strategic locations to protest police brutalities and call for the scrapping of the police unit known as Special Armed Robbery Squad, set up to deal with armed robbery cases, which the youths said have abandoned their specified duties but are focused on brutalizing citizens.
In Lagos on October 20, 2020 the Nigeria Army had opened fire on protesters at the toll gate and killed some of the protesters. However, there were denials and counter accusations that no lives were lost during the melee.
Oluwafemi said CAPPA decided to document the stories of the survivors to let the world know the truth of that day. He said, “From the intial denial about the shootings, the debate escalated to who authorized the army to invade the venue and whether there were shootings o not. There are still no answers. The need to shed light on the thick of darkness of October 20, 2020 informed the report.”
He called on government to heed the call of the youths. Commenting on how the police handled the anniversary protests to commemorate the event in Lagos, he said, “Events of yesterday (October 20, 2021) are gory affirmation that the government has not learnt any lessons. Yet, the Nigerian youths have spoken, government must listen. Enough is enough. There must be end to police brutality in Nigeria. Nigerians are all demanding just and accountable government.”
Oluwafemi emphasized that democracy thrives on tolerating dissenting voices and frowned at attempts by the government to erode people’s rights to basic freedom as citizens.
“The police are for the citizens not a regime protection force, or an elite protection force. We join the call for justice for all SARS victims, justice for all victims of #ENDSARS protesters including the driver that was assaulted and brutalized yesterday.”
Also speaking, Chude Achike of the Joint Action Front said the protests by the youths last year and its anniversary was “A wake up call for all. They’ve called them lazy youths and now they are acting. CAPPA has helped to document what happened on that October 20, 2020. Hopefully, posterity will bring justice to the victims.”
Some of the victims who were present at the presentation recounted their ordeals during the protest and said the government was only trying to cover up the truth of their tyranny on that day.