Nigerians take to the streets in mass protests against controversial police unit accused of brutality
CNB News – Thousands of Nigerians, Activists and top rated celebrities amongst numerous have organized mass protests across major cities in the country Friday to protest against police brutality after a video of a man allegedly being killed by police went viral.
Anger has been brewing on social media after the video of the alleged killing in the southern Delta state, which authorities denied was real.
On Thursday, a protest was led in Lagos Island by Folarin Falana, a lawyer and singer, and Runtown, an artist known by that stage name.
They were also joined by Nigeria’s biggest female performer, Tiwa Savage.
Falana, who is popularly known as Falz, said it was important for him to march because there have been “too many numerous incidents of harassment, extortion and police brutality,” in the country. He added that he, too, had been a victim of harassment at the hands of the Nigerian police.
— Bop Daddy (@falzthebahdguy) October 7, 2020
Runtown already made himself ready for the protest against the police brutality in a tweet posted on the 4th of October when the #Endsars issue became a major trend on the cyberspace. Moment after he made the announcement he received massive response from his colleagues.
This has gone long enough and now we MUST take action! I'll be leading a protest to #ENDSARS on Thursday, October 8th 2020.
They MUST listen to us, they MUST make/effect REAL and VISIBLE changes! Empty promises won't work this time!!!
— Runtown (@iRuntown) October 4, 2020
INTO THE NIGHT PROTEST
Overnight protests were also held in other areas of the states, Lagos mainland Thursday outside the Lagos State Assembly as organizers carried placards and knelt down, chanting ‘End SARS.’
— 👑✨IYAWO THICKER BODY✨👑 (@IyawoThickaBody) October 9, 2020
Videos from the protesters shared on Twitter Thursday night showed police officers forcefully dispersing the protesters, dismantling their sleeping tents, turning off the street lights and making verbal threats.
Nigeria’s police force had responded to the public outcry last Sunday by banning the unit from carrying out any stop-and-search activities. as well as other tactical police units, are now prohibited from “carrying out routine patrols and other conventional low-risk. duties — stop and search duties, checkpoints, mounting of roadblocks, traffic checks, etc — with immediate effect,” Nigeria police chief Mohammed Adamu said on Sunday in a statement.Voices and complaints on the issues of unprofessional conducts by some SARS operatives have been heard very loudly and clearly,” the statement read.
IGP BANS FSARS, OTHER POLICE TACTICAL SQUADS FROM ROUTINE PATROLS
– As Police Arrest 2 FSARS Operatives, 1 Civilian Accomplice in Lagos State
The Inspector-General of Police, IGP M.A Adamu, NPM, mni has banned the personnel of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) and
— Nigeria Police Force (@PoliceNG) October 4, 2020
How a social media movement against police brutality prompted Nigerian government to act
Feyikemi Abudu was among the protesters outside the Lagos State Assembly in Ikeja on Friday. She told said their demands were presented to the assembly, which held an emergency session Friday to listen to their demands.
“There are many demands, but the main one is to scrap SARS, not to reform it but to completely end it. Another demand is compensation for victims of SARS brutality, both alive and dead. We also want a committee that will investigate and look into the present and past grievances around SARS brutality, ” Abudu said.