Lagos suspends planned mass burial for victims of #EndSARS
The Lagos State Government has officially announced the suspension of its planned mass burial for the 103 corpses that were recovered in the aftermath of the October 2020 #EndSARS protest.
This decision comes after significant controversy surrounding the original announcement made in July.
The Lagos State Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Gbenga Omotoso, said the government decided to suspend the mass burial due to the uproar that ensued following the leaked memo dated July 19, 2023, in which the state government had initially declared its intention to conduct the mass burial.
This announcement had provoked strong reactions from human rights activists and civil society organisations.
Both Amnesty International and the Coalition of #EndSARS Protesters and Supporters had called for the suspension of the planned mass burial.
Amnesty International went further, demanding that the government should also conduct transparent coroner inquests and autopsies on the 103 #EndSARS victims.
In response to these demands, Gboyega Akosile, the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, said that the governor has assured that his government would adhere to global best practices in carrying out the mass burial.
Providing an update on the matter, Commissioner Omotoso explained, “The planned mass burial remains suspended to give people ample time to identify their relatives that may be among the corpses.
“It is to allow more time for identification, as suggested when it was disclosed that the government was planning a mass burial for them.”
He further elaborated that, “Up till now, nobody has shown up to identify any of the corpses. But the government has decided to give people more time.”
Omotoso assured that the planned burial would eventually take place, but it had been temporarily halted due to the controversies surrounding it.
The extended period is aimed at providing people with a greater opportunity to determine if their relatives are among the deceased.
The Lagos State Government said that its suspension is to allow families to have ample time to identify their loved ones among the recovered corpses and to ensure that the burial is conducted in accordance with international standards.