End Killing of Youth! End Police and Military Brutality!
WE CALL FOR AN IMMEDIATE END TO KILLING OF YOUTH AND POLICE AND MILITARY BRUTALITY, AND FOR BRINGING TO BOOK THE PERPETRATORS OF THE LEKKI MASSACRE.
WE ALSO CALL ON ALL CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATIONS TO EQUALLY CONDEMN AND JOIN YRC IN THE DEMAND FOR JUSTICE AND ADEQUATE COMPENSATION FOR THE VICTIMS OF THOSE WHO LOST THEIR LIVES DURING THE LEKKI MASSACRE.
We of the Youth Rights Campaign (YRC) reiterate our call for justice for the victims of #LekkiMassacre, now that it has been confirmed by forensic experts that it was the Nigerian Army that perpetrated the attack on protesters. Even before this evidence, there were already loads of evidence all pointing at men of the Nigerian army as the perpetrators of the gruesome attack on innocent protesters on October 20, 2020 at Lekki tollgate. As a result, this new revelation only vindicates our earlier stance that the Nigerian army and the Nigerian government must be held responsible for the attack on protesters. We hereby demand immediate arrest and prosecution of all those directly and remotely responsible for the October 20 2020 killing otherwise known as the Lekki massacre.
We also demand an end to police and state brutality, especially on protesters, which has since been repeated on protesting polytechnic students in Kaduna, young protesters on June 12 democracy day and on several occasions where the poor and working masses have had the cause to demand and protest for their legitimate right. In some of these protests, even the pressmen and women were not spared from the police harassment. We urge Nigerian youth to begin a campaign for justice to ensure those who meted atrocities on innocent protesters do not go scot-free.
It did not come as a surprise to us in the YRC when forensic experts at the #EndSARS Panel confirmed that the bullets used for the Massacre at Lekki Toll Gate came from the Nigerian Army. Despite the denials of the Nigerian Army following the massacre of #EndSARS protesters on October 20, 2020, at the popular Lekki Toll Gate, it has been made obvious that the government used the Army on civilians in a supposedly ‘civilian’ dispensation. Despite the limitations of the Nigerian constitution, this is not only unconstitutional but also an indictment on the Buhari regime that has almost become a full-fledged civilian dictatorship where the constitution is no longer obeyed.
We will recall that the Nigerian Army first stated that they were not at the scene, before later claiming that they were at the scene but did not fire any shots. It was at this Lagos State Panel of Judicial Inquiry that they later by November 2020 confessed that they were at the scene with both blank and live rounds, and at a point shot live rounds. No inquirer will take their word for it given the continual changes in their story, and the outright lies. This can only mean that the state is lying to us on the number of victims of the massacre.
Since January this year, the Nigerian Army have disregarded summons for investigation by the panel at least three times. It is obviously beyond the control of this #EndSARS panel to hold the Nigerian Army responsible given how the panel has been disregarded, disrespected and lied to by the Army since the probe into the Lekki Massacre started.
For us in the YRC, we believe that an independent panel of inquiry comprising democratically elected youth representatives, workers’ representatives, representatives of the communities and representatives of youth organisations and movements, is more than necessary at this point in time to ensure that the real truth of what happened on October 20 2020 is exposed to the world and justice is served. About eleven months after the Lekki Massacre, it is sad that Justice is yet to be done for the victims of this brutality by the state. This is not surprising and what it further goes to prove is that the brutality of the police and army against workers, youth, and poor Nigerians is not an aberration, rather it is something approved of by the capitalist state. Otherwise, why has justice not been served for 11 months the panels have been sitting? In the final analysis, the police just like the army are instruments of class oppression.
The only way forward is for the Nigerian youths and workers must to go back to the arena of struggle by building a vigorous pan-Nigerian mass movement to campaign against police and state brutality and also all anti-poor capitalist policies of the Buhari government and the anti-poor governments in all the 36 states and the FCT. While it is correct to fight as much as possible against al attacks on democratic rights and for police reforms, the radical youth must however recognize that police and state brutality will only fully come to an end when class oppression and exploitation, inequality, mass unemployment etc. end. In other words, only the revolutionary overthrow of capitalism and the socialist transformation of Nigeria can permit the equitable economic and social conditions for a new and different kind of “policing” devoid of brutality and oppression to emerge in Nigeria.