Human rights activist, Dabiraoluwa Adeyinka, has said that the current administration of government in Nigeria should compensate the survivors of the Lekki Toll Gate shooting that took place on the 20th of October 2020, and that the government should apologize to the victims, as well as punish the perpetrators of the shooting.
On Friday, the anniversary of the Lekki Toll Gate shooting, the foremost EndSars protester spoke with ARISE NEWS anchors in an interview, where she said that justice will not have been served until answers are provided as to who ordered the shooting on that day.
Adeyinka said, “The bone of contention is until these questions are answered, who ordered the shooting? We now have a new regime, they should be able to give us a soft landing to say who are the people? Who ordered the shooting? These are citizens that were killed. I was there, I almost got killed. So, if I had died, nobody will be speaking for me, that means that’s my end, that’s my parents’ loss.”
She continued by saying, “We will continue to remember until justice is served, and we expect that this new administration will even attend to this matter, because according to the state, we have like 103 bodies that are awaiting mass burial.”
Adeyinka then asked that the victims of the shooting be compensated as she said, “The panel recommended and acknowledged that there was a massacre. The panel also recommended that all the survivors should be compensated. Now, there was a reaching out from the governor, that was not the panel’s recommendation, all these should be acknowledged.
“Some people can no longer live a normal life, they have been amputated for life. So, 2 million, 1 million cannot fix their future. So, what we are saying is let this new administration attend to this and really fix the reformation of the Nigerian police so that we know that our effort is not, and we really count and matter. Not until when they want to go for another election, then they will start reaching out to us.”
“Justice for me will be that we have a government that recognizes that Nigerian citizens were killed and were maltreated on the 20th of October 2020, and an official apology, it’s not even the money, like, a sincere apology… Then the perpetrators should be made to answer questions,” she said.
She said that she started noting some change when President Buhari’s administration was coming to a close, however, she has not noted any change in the past four months.
Adeyinka, speaking on Nigerian politics and how she tried to push for policies for the youth, said, “I pushed to the much that I can, but I also found out that really, in the politics of Nigeria of today, the youths really don’t count. It’s not even about the youths, we don’t really matter, because we stated a lot of obvious and it was treated with negligence.”
When she was asked her opinion of the amount of young people that were serving in this government, she said, “I know a lot of youths that were part of EndSars, but for some reason, they are now in this cabinet. How did they get there? What was the selection?” She then said that she felt that their acceptance of joining the cabinet was a betrayal to the other protesters, saying that she herself would not take a position if she was offered one.
Adeyinka then said that even though the government had said that the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) has been disbanded, she does not agree with what was said due to a recent personal experience where she and a colleague were “violently” stopped by alleged plain clothed police officers.
“There is some progress,” she said, “but not significant enough for us to be rest assured that truly, police is our friend.”
“We also asked for police reform, that was the main goal for us. If the police force can be reformed and their barracks are well put in place, and they feel accepted by, you know, the government, probably they will treat us better.”