The recent threats of the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr Hakeem Odumosu against citizens’ commemoration of the first-year anniversary of the #EndSARS rebellion is shameful, but not surprising. Over a hundred Nigerians were killed in cold blood by the repressive regime for simply demanding an end to police brutality. Many more were maimed, and probably hundreds are still being illegally held in detention across the country, a year after.
These are heroes of justice and democracy. As the country’s national anthem says: “the labour of our heroes past, shall never be in vain”. The least that we can do is to honour them. And that is why several organizations and activists that played active roles in last October’s protests are organizing a befitting memorial for the fallen, demanding release for those still in incarceration, calling for due compensation for all victims, and reiterating our unshaken resolve to have police brutality stopped.
There will be a series of activities jointly organized or with concerted efforts from this Friday to the end of the month. The highlight of these will be 20/10. A day that has entered the book of infamy, with the name of the regime written with the blood of unarmed citizens. It is a day that Nigerians and the world will never forget.
We urge everybody in the country and anywhere in the world with a sense of justice to be in black as we remember our martyrs. Do also join activities that will take place across the country on this day of remembrance and action.
All activities in this period of solemn remembrance, reflection and reiteration of our demands will be peaceful. We thus urge all well-meaning people to join in calling on the police and security services to respect our freedom of association and the solemnity of a national memorial for the #EndSARS martyrs.
Nothing will deter us. Onward forward to a better Nigeria.