We are now aware that the report of the Lagos State Judicial Panel of Inquiry on Restitution for Victims of SARS Related Abuses and Other Matters has vindicated the position that there was a premeditated planned and executed massacre at Lekki Tollgate and across Lagos on 20th October 2020, and this was carried out by soldiers and the police who were ordered to kill unarmed citizens waving the country’s flag and singing its national anthem.

 #EndSARS mass movement that started in early October 2021 initially called for reforms in the police, for citizen-friendly police service, for the right of the rank and file to a Police Union so that they can on a legal footing demand for improved working conditions and end their constant outburst of violence and gun terror on youths and working masses. End the illegal extortion, detention, and prejudicial killing and murder of innocent citizens.

But soon the #EndSARS protest grew over the days to a gigantic mass movement with all of the features of General Strike; official work stoppage, close of schools, stalls, and markets shut and boldly challenging the ruling elites on their failure at governance all of these past decades.

This independent initiative of the working-class youths exhibiting all of the potential to become an insurrection against the ruling elites, with workers still in a fighting mood and angry with the leadership of the NLC and TUC for the called off a general strike in late September 2020 before it took off, created shiver in the spine of the ruling elites dreading a quality growth of the protest into a full insurrection if the working masses were to join in it, such an alliance would directly raise the question of power. The only way to preserve their rule was to unleash their repressive apparatus and drown the #EndSARS movement in blood.

All this has been confirmed by the Report of the Panel as it correctly labeled the killing as a “massacre.” The report went further to state the number of the dead as 9 but the figure is higher as many families with missing sons, daughters, brothers, or sisters were scared to come out and give testimony before the Panel, but the presentation of 96 dead bodies by a forensic pathologist labeled as victims of the #EndSARS protest is a further confirmation that a massacre took place.

We can safely conclude that the military indeed the Buhari regime is guilty as charged of deliberately shooting and killing innocent citizens, for exercising their democratic right to call for the police to be reformed and to be less repressive on the working masses. This is not a question merely offering an apology,  Buhari as the Chief in Command of the military is guilty and must step down from office immediately, for allowing soldiers under his watch to unleash violence affecting massacre on innocent citizens.

We think the governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-olu, should be honourable enough to also step aside from office, given the revelation that he invited the military. We reject every attempt to make this an incident of another’s “Unknown Soldiers”. We call for a public constituted inquiry made of representatives of Trade Unions, NBA, workers, and youth to specifically examine the role of the military and police in the massacre, their degree of involvement and the necessary disciplinary measure to be taken against all those involved in the incident, not excluding all those involved in tampering with the evidence, after the massacre to hide from public view that a massacre had occurred be also questioned and prosecuted.

The Governor will attempt to repair his broken political image through elaborate ceremonies to issue cheques to injured protesters as recommended by the Panel. This could coincide with the release of the White Paper, which will certainly attempt to whitewash the involvement of the governor and give him a clean bill and play him out as one in full empathy with the family of the victims.
The #EndSARS movement must be prepared to challenge such a White Paper that whitewashes the Lagos State Government and accessories such as the Lekki Concession Company, already indicted by the Panel of Inquiry, and the role of the governor in all this.
Overall, the unity of youths and workers is needed going forward to ultimately forge a genuine mass working people’s political alternative to pushing for political power. Without taking over the reins of power, we will remain subject to the band of ruining capitalist ruling elite, who would continue to hold on to power by all means and even affect a future massacre on the working masses, who cannot be relied upon to effect the necessary change that would improve the wellbeing of the working masses.