The Cambridge University Dictionary definition of “massacre,” “nonsense”–Adesina Ogunlana
The judicial panel of inquiry set up by the Lagos state government, Nigeria, and headed by a retired judge, Doris Okuwobi, has successfully submitted its reports and the white paper has been released by the Lagos state government. It is worthy of mention that the judicial panel of inquiries into the alleged human rights abuses of the disbanded special anti robbery squad of the federal government of Nigeria called SARS was inaugurated and saddled with the responsibility of investigating the various human rights abuses as well as making recommendations on deserved compensations for the victims. Added to the earlier stated responsibilities of the panel was the unraveling of the violence and the purported massacre on October 20, 2020 by men and officers of the Nigerian army who allegedly came to the site and shot sporadically at the innocent and unarmed youths who were sitting down, holding the national flag, and chanting the national anthem.
As the investigation went on and even before it was concluded, the Lagos state government had paid more than 400 million naira as compensation to victims and members of their families. Then came the report of the panel on both segments of the assignment, where that of the alleged massacre at the Lekki gate was the most compelling. Interpreting the modifications that were specifically made to the alleged massacre as well as the alleged number of bodies that was to be recovered, two attorneys, one senior advocate of Nigeria and counsel to the End SARS protestors, Mr.Adesina Ogunlana, SAN. He is also the ex-chairman President of NBA (Nigerian Bar Association) Ikeja Branch, Nigeria. There is also a co-discussant who also is a legal practitioner.
While the word “massacre” seemed to have been watered down in the context of what the counsel to the End SARS protestors believed iand held onto in regard to its importance, the counsel Mr. Adesina Ogunlana quickly responded to the anchor of the program called Sunrise Mr. Ayo Makinde by describing his offered definition of “massacre” from the Cambridge University Dictionary as “nonsense.”
Do any violent acts have to meet the requirement of the Cambridge University”s Dictionary definition of “massacre” before it becomes a crime and injustice to humanity? That is just where we missed it. The presence of the army at the site is unconstitutional and illegal. Shooting of guns, whether at the unarmed protesting youths directly or into the air to scare, both concepts are dangerous and a potential cause of death. So the matter, where there is dignity for human lives should not even be allowed to degenerate into a controversy over the meaning of what should be morally understood and accepted as wrong.
The Lekki shootings, at least no one can deny that phrase, even though how the bullets were fired remains a controversial issue, whether directly or indirectly, are manslaughter and a crime against humanity. There is no gainsaying the fact that if justice cannot be served at home then the next resort will be the international court of justice. From massacre to killings, one life lost is more in value than the whole world in the sight of God, and so should it be with men. A call for peace without justice is noise. Let’s give peace a chance by making available an atmosphere that engenders fairness, equity and justice.
“The probability that we may fail in the struggle ought not to deter us from the support of a cause that we believe to be just.’–Abraham Lincoln speech, 1839
It is a wise thing for the young men and women to bear their burdens at youth.
Samuel ‘Tunji Adeyanju