Nigerians mobilize against police violence.
For the past few weeks, Nigerian youth have been mobilized against police violence. In search of justice, they have launched the hashtag “EndSARS” to demand the dissolution of the special unit for the repression of robberies and hold-ups.
Who are the Sars? What did they do?
.SARS is a special unit for the repression of robbery and robbery (homicides, kidnappings, thefts…) in Nigeria.
Exasperated and tired by this unjust violence, Nigerians have launched the hashtag “EndSARS” calling for the end of this special unit that does not respect human rights. The popular protest was born on social networks after the broadcasting of a video showing alleged SARS agents killing a man in Ughelli in Delta State (South).
Many Nigerians accused the unit of police violence and disrespect for citizens’ rights through racketeering, illegal arrests, torture, and murder.
Some messages on twitter
The hashtag #endsars is a huge success on twitter with more than 1.3 million tweets.
We can’t go on pretending day by day….we can’t be a slave in our father land..it’s time to make things right..so many life have be taken by sars..let’s end dis once and for all #endstars and #endpolicebustarity……may our heroes that lost there life rest in perfect peace pic.twitter.com/EAlkYk1xHA
— Bettygold (@creamybettygold) October 16, 2020
Better to die fighting for freedom then be a prisoner all the days of your life. #endstars in Nigeria no turning back the fundamental human right of the people must be respected
— Ogbenjuwa Alechenu (@OgbenjuwaAlech1) October 16, 2020
— #EndSWATand#policebrutality 🇳🇬 🇳🇬 (@gabice_Biz) October 16, 2020
#endsars is a movement against the impunity and corruption in Nigerian.#ENDSTARS is a wake-up call to our leaders who are wasting away the resources of this country.#EndSARS is a delivery- the delivery of a new Nigeria.
— Hunkuten Sewanu (@HunkutenSewanu) October 18, 2020
Enough is enough! We are united and stand in solidarity as one Nigeria. This is a chance to redefine our future and we join the call for the Nigerian government to act now to create a country that we all can be proud of. ✊🏿✊🏾✊🏽🇳🇬 #sorosoke #endsars #endpolicebrutality #endSWAT pic.twitter.com/cu48ik4W4C
— Jidenna (@Jidenna) October 19, 2020
Protests erupt in Nigeria
After the social networks, the young people decided to go and demonstrate their indignation in the streets of several large cities in Nigeria. These protests took place in Lagos and Abuja and in surrounding provinces. They marched to the door of the house of the vice-governor of Lagos.
Other people chose to block traffic on major highways and the international airport by holding up signs that read “No justice, no peace”.
Many middle-class youth feel that they have been victims of police violence for no apparent reason. If you are well-dressed, wear dreadlocks or tattoos, you are likely to be stopped by the Nigerian police.
— Raven (@Raven99937831) October 17, 2020
Wizkid, Davido: Nigerian celebrities support the movement
Many celebrities such as Davido, Wizkid, Yemi Alade shared messages of support for the #Endsars movement on social networks.
Wizkid challenged President Muhammadu Buhari on Twitter.
“Old Man! Police/SARS kill young Nigerians every day! Do something about it! »
— Wizkid (@wizkidayo) October 18, 2020
They have started hiring thugs to pose as protesters!!! E no go work!!! #EndSARS
— Davido (@davido) October 19, 2020
— ✊🏾 yemialade (@yemialadee) October 19, 2020
Nigerian President’s Reactions
Following these protests, the Nigerian president initiated the dissolution with “immediate effect” of the special unit.
President Muhammadu Buhari said :
“We regret the death of this young man from Oyo State during these demonstrations.”
In addition, he called for an investigation into the circumstances of the death.
What do you think?