‘Why Lekki incident deserves a separate panel’ | Dailytrust

‘Why Lekki incident deserves a separate panel’

“The economic attacks on the poor masses and youth is likely to increase”...

FILE PHOTO: EndSARS protesters at Lekki in Lagos
FILE PHOTO: EndSARS protesters at Lekki in Lagos

The Coalition for Revolution (CORE), a group of civil society organizations has said the terms of reference on the October 20, 2020 shooting of #EndSARS protesters in Lekki Lagos should be removed from the Judicial Panel on Police Brutality.

The coalition at a press conference in Lagos on Friday also adopted a 12-point charter for total liberation of Nigeria.

The demands of the coalition include free and qualitative healthcare, education and housing for all; living wages and decent work; an economy that works for the people; an effective and democratic end to insecurity, among others.

Co-Convener of the coalition, Comrade Gbenga Komolafe who briefed newsmen said the #EndSARS protest was not about looting and said the incidents of violence recorded during the protests nationwide were instigated by thugs affiliated to politicians across the country.

Speaking on the panel set up nationwide, one of the participants, Sanyaolu Juwon of the Take It Back Movement, said a new panel independent of the Judicial Panel on Police Brutality and Restitution should be set up.

The convener of the #RevolutionNow movement, Omoyele Sowore who participated in the press conference virtually said the judicial panels set up across the states are inconsequential because the panels do not have power to enforce anything.

He also supported the demand for a separate panel for the Lekki shooting.

Sowore said, “The state judicial commission has no power to enforce anything as it affects the military. They can only make recommendations, they can’t even invite the military.”

Speaking further on the 12-point charter of the coalition, Komolafe who is the General Secretary of Federation of Informal Workers Organization of Nigeria (FIWON), decried the poverty level and unemployment in the country which he said has further fueled the #EndSARS movement.

“CORE realizes that hunger, unemployment, police brutality, generalized insecurity, oppression of women, environmental spoliation and the spread of ethnic ideologies are not disjointed or arbitrary phenomena.

“They are interconnected manifestations of a system which puts the wealth and concerns of a few people, one per centers, the elite over and above the interests of the poor masses, working class people and youth,” he said.

The coalition also called for empowerment of youths, social justice, equity and liberty.

He said, “The #EndSARS protests, like most revolts, started spontaneously. The contest of this spark included several elements. Many youths have faced the brutality of SARS directly, or knew someone or the other who had been oppressed, tortured, or killed by the police. There was also mass anger against increasing cost of living, unemployment, and hopelessness.

“The economic attacks on the poor masses and youth is likely to increase. The elites want to make us bear the brunt of the social and economic crisis which has been heightened by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

He condemned the alleged hoarding of COVID-19 palliatives by state governments, saying the statement by governors that the palliatives were being kept for the second wave of the pandemic was insensitive.

Komolafe said the reality is that many people would have died of hunger before the second wave envisaged by the governors.

He lamented that during the COVID-19 pandemic, 70 percent of Nigerians in the informal sector could not do anything to eke a living without anybody showing concerns for their plights.

“We demand for an economy that works for all Nigerians and not for a tiny few,” he added.