The Lagos State Government has issued a statement to clarify and counter the false claims circulating on social media on a mass burial plan for #EndSARS victims of 2020
The statement was released on July 23, 2023 by Dr Olusegun Ogboye, the Permanent Secretary Ministry of Health, in response to the misleading and sensationalized interpretation of a letter from the Lagos State Government Public Procurement Agency (PPA).
The letter, titled: Letter of No Objection – Mass Burial for the 103, the Year 2020 ENDSARS victims, was wrongly used by some unscrupulous elements to misinform and cause public unrest against the Lagos State Government.
The statement aims to set the records straight and inform the public of the true facts and context of the PPA letter.
The Truth About the PPA Letter
According to the statement, the PPA letter was not referring to any mass burial plan for victims of the Lekki Toll Gate incident, as being alleged by some social media users.
Rather, it was referring to a routine procedure to decongest the state-owned morgues that have a large number of unclaimed bodies from various incidents that occurred during and after the #EndSARS protests in different parts of Lagos.
The statement explained that:
– The year 2020 #EndSARS crisis resulted in casualties in many areas of Lagos such as Fagba, Ketu, Ikorodu, Orile, Ajegunle, Abule-Egba, Ikeja, Ojota, Ekoro, Ogba, Isolo and Ajah. It also involved a jailbreak at Ikoyi Prison. The 103 casualties mentioned in the document were from these incidents and **not** from Lekki Toll-gate.
– The Lagos State Environmental Health Unit (SEHMU) picked up these bodies and deposited them in state-owned morgues for identification purposes.
– The office of the Chief Coroner invited members of the public who had lost loved ones or whose relatives had been declared missing between 19th and 27th October 2020 from these clashes to contact the department of Pathology and Forensic Medicine of the Lagos State University Teaching Hospital (LASUTH) to help with identification of these casualties. Relatives were to undergo DNA tests for identification purposes.
– However, after almost three years, none of these bodies have been claimed by any relative or next of kin. This has led to congestion of the morgues and the need to decongest them following very careful medical and legal guidelines.
The Lagos State Government’s Commitment to Peace and Justice
The statement also reiterated the Lagos State Government’s commitment to peace and justice for all victims of violence and human rights violations.
It stated that:
– The Lagos State Government has not and will not engage in any cover-up or mass burial of any victim of the #EndSARS protests or any other incident.
– The Lagos State Government has fully cooperated with the Judicial Panel of Inquiry and Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses in Lagos State and Lekki Toll Gate Incident set up by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to investigate all allegations of human rights abuses and police brutality during and after the #EndSARS protests.
– The Lagos State Government has also supported all efforts to provide relief and compensation to all verified victims of violence and human rights violations through various initiatives such as [mention some initiatives].
– The Lagos State Government respects the right of citizens to peaceful protest and expression of grievances, but condemns any attempt to disrupt public order and security through violence, misinformation, or incitement.
The Appeal to the Public
The statement concluded by appealing to the public to:
– Disregard any fake news or misinformation about a mass burial plan for victims of the #EndSARS protests or any other incident.
– Verify any information from official and credible sources before sharing or acting on it.
– Report any suspicious or malicious activities or publications that may threaten public peace and security to relevant authorities.
– Support the Lagos State Government’s efforts to maintain law and order and ensure justice for all.
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