ENDSARS United announces a count down to the 3rd anniversary of the Lekki massacre and the commemoration of the EndSARS uprising, a poignant tribute to the nationwide peaceful protests in Nigeria in October 2020. These protests, born of an unyielding demand to end police brutality, injustice, and rampant governance failures, were tragically thwarted by the Nigerian government, resulting in the grievous loss of our fellow compatriots.
EndSARS emerged as a clarion call to action by Nigeria’s “Soro Soke Generation,” heralding a new era of unwavering determination. The EndSARS Movement , was forged as resistance to the ceaseless suffering endured by youths due to relentless killings, arbitrary arrests, unjust detentions, and unrelenting abuses.
The EndSARS protests of October 2020 shook Nigeria to its foundations. We, the impassioned voices of a generation, demanded an immediate end to police brutality, the comprehensive overhaul of the Nigerian police force and full enthronement of social justice.
The government’s violent crackdown on protests was met with resounding global condemnation. Security forces deployed live ammunition and tear gas against peaceful protesters, resulting in the loss of lives, injuries and trauma across the country. Tragically, the Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos, now known as ‘EndSARS Tollgate’, bore witness to over 150 casualties on October 20, 2020. What commenced as a local outcry resonated universally, uniting the Nigerian people including activists and youths from diverse backgrounds, transcending barriers.
Today, we solemnly honour the indomitable heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice at the EndSARS Toll Gate in Lekki and across the country. ENDSARS United stands steadfast in its unwavering demand for justice for victims of police brutality, freedom for EndSARS activists and innocent victims who are still in prison, and honouring the dead including those whose bodies were recently revealed to have been scheduled for a mass burial. We lament that the demands of the protests, for which so many lost their lives, remain unmet and that our country is in an even worse state than it was in 2020. However, we remain resolute and determined that the lives of all those lost will not be in vain! On this sombre three-year anniversary, we make the following demands:
- Release All Political Prisoners: We demand Governor Sanwo-Olu to immediately release all detainees linked to the ENDSARS protests and expunge all charges against them.
- Accountability and Compensation: We demand full transparency regarding the 103 bodies scheduled for mass burial, advocate for compensation to the grieving families, including dignified burials.
- Permanent Memorial at Lekki tollgate: We demand the transformation of the Lekki tollgate into an everlasting memorial, devoid of toll charges, with an official acknowledgment of the tragic event
4. Release of all judicial Inquiry Reports: States must immediately divulge the findings of their investigations into the tragic incidents, ensuring unwavering transparency and accountability.
5. Prosecution: We demand accountability for the murderers of innocent and unarmed protesters. We realize many of these criminals are still in government, and we insist on justice prevailing and the unyielding prosecution of all those responsible for the heinous crimes.
“We Will Never Forget,” and we will remember our heroes who sacrificed their lives for this noble cause.
ENDSARS UNITED, representing numerous civil society groups worldwide, will observe the #Endsars3YearMemorial with a week of action from October 15th to 20th, 2023 with the theme: #FreeTheLiving #HonorTheDead. We call on all EndSARS organizers around the country and the world to also plan and work towards actions alongside us.
Sunday, October 15th, 2023: Church service
Monday, October 16th, 2023: Endsars United Twitter space
Tuesday, October 17th, 2023: Online Symposium
Friday, October 20th, 2023: memorial activities at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos; Abuja; London; Montreal and other cities in Nigeria and across the world.
Despite all the challenges we are facing as young people, we declare that Nigeria belongs to us, and it is our solemn responsibility to reclaim and rectify it for the benefit of future generations. The 2023 general elections have offered no promise of a brighter future. The aftermath of events, characterised by untold hardship, especially against the working class majority of whom are youths, due to subsidy removal, the free fall of the naira, the commercialisation of education, and the unwarranted increase in fees in our tertiary institutions, reinforces our stance against these elements of bad governance that aim to oppress our people. We also call on the government to increase the living wage of the police force as part of its reforms, benefiting not only the police but all Nigerian citizens.
We implore the oppressed Nigerian public to unite with the ENDSARS Movement, supporting our unwavering quest for justice on behalf of all victims of police brutality in Nigeria. The movement beseeches the government to release political prisoners, hold all officers accountable for human rights abuses, dismantle the SARS unit in favour of a unit answerable to the people, and institute reforms promoting transparency and accountability within the Nigerian police force.
Together, we can forge a Nigeria where every life is cherished, and justice steadfastly prevails.