The Lagos State Government has disclosed plans to build a “peace park” in the state in commemoration of the October 2020 peaceful protests against police brutality and human rights violations.
This was contained in the White Paper released by the state government on Tuesday on the report submitted to it by the #EndSARS judicial panel of inquiry that probed the Lekki toll gate incident of October 20, 2020.
Also, the government stated that it would make October 20 of every year a toll-free day at the Lekki Toll Gate as recommended by the panel.
The panel recommendation reads, “The panel recommends that October 20th of every year, the day is made a toll free day at the Lekki Toll Gate as long as the toll gate exists.”
The government noted, “In the spirit of healing and reconciliation, the Lagos State Government accepts the recommendation.”
The state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, earlier on Tuesday during a press conference, promised that the White Paper would be released in the day.
Also, the government, in reaction to a recommendation by the panel to make the Lekki Toll Plaza to be made a memorial site for the EndSARS protest by renaming to "ENDSARS TOLLGATE", stated that it will instead designate a park in the state and name it 'peace park' to serve as a reminder to the citizens of Lagos State of the peaceful protest all over the state against human rights abuses.
However, the governor dismissed the panel’s report that nine persons were killed at the toll gate when soldiers and the police shot at peaceful protesters.
Sanwo-Olu described the conclusion of the panel that nine persons were shot dead as “assumptions and speculations.”
The government only accepted 11 out of the 32 recommendations by the panel.
It also accepted six modifications and rejected one.
The White Paper also noted that 14 of the recommendations are beyond the powers of the state government.
It, however, noted that such recommendations would be forwarded to the Nigerian Government for consideration.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian government led by President Muhammadu Buhari had earlier dismissed the report, calling it "fake news" and "tales by moonlight".
During a press conference earlier on Tuesday at the Government House, Sanwo-Olu had said, “It is with a great sense of responsibility that I address you today on the reactions that have trailed the release of the Lagos EndSARS panel report submitted to me about two weeks ago and now it has played out in public discourse since then.
“We owe it to you, the people of Lagos to constantly speak and engage with you in easy times, we'll never shy away from making our case while also ensuring that we listen to you.
“We as an administration are determined that the next steps that we'll be taking in this process of coming to terms with the event 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.
“This in my view is a moment that beckons to us to define who and what we are, to be a centre of excellence, we must be a centre of truth, to be a prosperous city, we must establish ourselves as a peaceful entity and to achieve the greater Lagos of our dreams, we must learn to live in harmony.”
Two Monday's ago, the panel submitted the report to the Lagos State Government, in which it clearly found that the Nigerian Army and police fired live bullets at peaceful protesters at the Lekki Tollgate last year.
The submission of the panel that there was indeed a massacre has since attracted the outrage of Nigerians and the international community who called for the prosecution of the offending officers.