Thursday, May 23, 2024

Lagos Suspends Planned Mass Burial For #Endsars Victims

The Lagos State Government says it has suspended its planned mass burial of the 103 corpses recovered in the wake of the October 2020 #EndSARS protest.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the planned mass burial had been suspended, following the controversy generated by the announcement in July.

In a leaked memo dated July 19, 2023, the state government had said it would conduct a mass burial for the 103 corpses.

This raised dust among human rights campaigners, civil society organizations as well as the general populace, many of which took to social media to express their anger.

A human rights organisation, Amnesty International, and a group under the aegis of the Coalition of #EndSARS Protesters and Supporters had demanded that the state government should suspend the planned mass burial.

In addition to the suspension demand, Amnesty International had asked the government to “also carry out transparent coroner inquest and autopsies on the 103 #EndSARS victims.”

In its reaction, the state government through the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Gboyega Akosile, said that the government would “conform to global best practices” in carrying out the mass burial.

When asked for an update on the matter on Monday, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy said the planned mass burial “remains suspended to give people ample time to identify their relatives that may be among the corpses.”

“It is to allow more time for identification as suggested when it was disclosed that the government was planning a mass burial for them,” Omotoso said.

He stated further that “up till now, nobody has shown up to identify any of the corpses. But the government has decided to give people more time.”

He added that the planned burial would “be carried out soon, but because of the controversies around that time, it was suspended. People now have the time and ample opportunity to verify if their relatives are amongst the 103 bodies

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