A select few of EndSARS campaigners including Folarin Falana aka Falz and Debo Adebayo aka Mr. Marcaroni have rejected the invite by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to a peace walk for “the healing of Lagos” in December, TopNaija reports.
End SARS is a decentralised social movement, and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses.
Sanwo-Olu in a speech on Tuesday on the Lekki shootings of October 20, 2020, said, “In December, I will be leading A WALK FOR PEACE to herald the healing of our land. Let me use this occasion to extend an open invitation to our youths, members of the diplomatic corps, civil society groups, students and the media as well as other stakeholders to join me.”
Specifically, the governor invited Falana, Adebayo, Dele Farotimi, Temitope Majekodunmi, Segun Awosanya (Segalink), Adedotun (Just Detoun), Seun Kuti; Commissioner of Police, Hakeem Odumosu; and Commander of Rapid Response Squad CSP Yinka Egbeyemi and others to join him in the “historic march for our dear Lagos.”
Sanwo-Olu also said his government would release its White Paper on the report submitted by the EndSARS Judicial Panel of Inquiry on November 15, 2021.
He said, “As an administration, we are determined that the next steps that will be taken in this process of coming to terms with the events of October 2020, must bring closure to a painful episode in the history of our state, with the release of the White Paper later today.”
A youth protester, who was also invited by the governor for a walk, Awosanya, lauded Sanwo-Olu for his “leadership”.
@segalink tweeted, “@jidesanwoolu has shown leadership with this matured response and we hope the WhitePaper will mirror his sentiment. We all want closure, Justice and healing for our society. The experience of 20th October 2020 must never be repeated.”
But reacting, the younger Falana, who tweeted via @falzthebahdguy, described the peace walk as a “joke”, insisting that justice must be served for all victims of police brutality.
Also, Adebayo, who tweeted via @mrmacaronii, said he was not ready for any walk, adding that the last “walk” he had, he was stripped naked and dehumanised.
“I humbly decline the Invitation of Mr Governor. The Government itself set up a panel. The panel has made recommendations. I believe that genuine peacemaking will begin by first implementing the recommendations of the panel. Then, we can begin to trust the government.
“Finally, I’m not at war with anyone. Not with the government, police or politicians. All we are asking is that our leaders place value on our lives as citizens and lead us with love, fairness, truth and justice, to enable all Nigerians live a better life in peace and unity,” he wrote.
The comedian was arrested by the police in February 2021 for protesting against the reopening of the Lekki toll gate, a focal gathering of young campaigners protesting against police brutality and extrajudicial killings in October 2020.
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