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Six inconsistencies showing Lagos govt may have lied in planned mass burial of 103 #EndSARS victims



The hard dying ghost of the 2020 #EndSARS protests was again stirred by a memo by an agency of the Lagos State Government that sought to seek permission and approval of funds for the mass burial of 103 purported victims of the violence that rocked the state that year.

Though the memo was meant to be an internal inter-agency one, its leakage to the public has brought up memories of the unfortunate wave of violence and arson that trailed the protests during and after.

For many, the planned mass burial of the dead victims, which is believed to be a secret plan, is an attestation to the fact that both the state government and the security agencies lied when they said there were no casualties on that fateful night of October 20, 2020 when soldiers were drafted to disperse protesters who had gathered to defy the state government’s declaration of a curfew.

Reacting to the allegation of cover-up, the state Ministry of Health, in a statement, said the dead, being planned for burial, were not from the Lekki toll gate but from the violence that erupted in different parts of the state in the aftermath of the protests.

According to the state government, these dead bodies were picked from different parts of the state, including Ikorodu, those from Ikoyi Prison break, Iyana Ipaja and other areas of Lagos, excluding in totality, the Lekki Toll Gate, where many young Nigerians, who took part in the protests, believe there was a massacre.

There are, however, noticeable inconsistencies in the account of the state government when past pronouncements, denials and official positions are taken into account.

Ripples Nigeria examines some of the noticeable inconsistencies that tend to give away the Lagos State Government as lying about the entire scenario.

1.Though the state government is planning to conduct a mass burial for the dead victims, it has failed to convincingly disclosed how, when and where they died.
It is believed that the state’s claims that these individuals were picked up dead in different areas of the state, government should, for probity and clarity sake, give as much information to clear the doubts of those who think somethings are been hidden.

2. From the statement of the Ministry of Health, the state government claimed that some of the dead victims are from the Ikoyi Prison break. What stops the state government from collaborating with the authorities of the prison to give details of inmates affected and their exact number? This would have cleared a lot of doubts in the minds of the people!
More so, the prison authorities would have records and pictures of inmates who allegedly escaped from its facilities.

3. Why did the Lagos State Government handle the planned mass burial as a secret affair without an official announcement if there is truly nothing to hide in the identities of the dead, where and how they died?

It would have been expected that the state government would have made an official announcement of the planned mass burial to alert the public and give those with objections, especially those who may have their relatives among the dead and do not want mass burial another chance to make claims before it is done.

READ ALSO:Amnesty challenges Lagos govt to publish coroner’s report, identities of 103 #EndSARS victims

The secrecy, with which this was done, no doubt suggests that there is something fishing somewhere or that government truly has something to hide from the public.

4. There seems to be a conflict between the number of dead victims planned for mass burial and the number initially accepted by the state government.

And that seems to be the greatest inconsistency!

Officials of the state government had in time past claimed that 51 civilians and 18 security agents lost their lives in the wave of unprecedented violence in the state. However, a list making the rounds as emanating from the judicial panel set up by the state to conduct an inquiry into the 2020 #EndSARS protests and its aftermath, claimed that 99 people died.

It is, however, curious that the state government is planning mass burial for 103 dead persons presumed to have died as a result of the #EndSARS violence. Where did the difference between what officials of the government agreed to, the difference between what the judicial panel reported and the 103 being planned for mass burial come from?

Could it be that the difference actually came from the Lekki Toll Gate alleged massacre? Only the state government can provide credible answers to this!

5. In it’s statement debunking insinuations of cover up on the planned mass burial, the Lagos State Government appealed “to social media rumour mongers to please allow the hapless families of the unclaimed loved ones a deserved closure”.

The question is, what families is the state government talking about? Especially when the same Lagos government claimed no one came forward to claim any of the corpses.

6. Even more curious about this ‘hapless families’ and how government can engage in double speak, are claims that despite calling families to come for DNA tests, the Lagos State government frustrated those who showed up and never carried out the tests.

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