Nigerian youths have continuously returned to the streets to protest against police brutality since the movement kicked off online on the 3 October 2020. The protesters are demanding an end to police brutality in Nigeria while still actively living through these brutal experiences daily.
The death rates keep piling up as young Nigerians; a combination of mostly gen Z and millennials troop out in numbers daily to oppose the oppressive and extremely corrupt Nigerian government.
Nigerian police killing more young people
The Special Anti Robbery Squad has had a long history of crossing Nigerian families, actively kidnapping citizens and defrauding families that show up for their missing wards. They have oppressed and attacked musicians, creatives, technopreneurs, entrepreneurs and recently the feminist coalition, a gender equality group that has organised itself against an extremely patriarchal Nigerian society.
This has been a memo of the police unit in a bid to extort young Nigerians but the youths have had enough of it so the #EndSars protest began again.
There has been an increasing record of deaths including a man stuck in traffic who had gotten down to observe what the cause of the obstruction was.
On the night of Friday 16 October 2020, protesters organized a candle night ceremony across the nation for the souls lost to the #EndSars protest.
Why the #EndSars protest has no end in sight
The #EndSars protests have so far grown in influence despite the presidential order to dissolve the unit. For a good number of reasons, the protesters will continue to reorganize themselves if their demand for police brutality to end is only seen on paper but no credible actions are taken.
Here are some reasons why I think the #EndSars protests won't end anytime soon:
- The protesters do not trust that the Nigerian government will take any actionable steps since they have continuously claimed to have dissolved the unit in the past.
- There have been more than 15 deaths and arrests of peaceful protesters as Nigerian lawyers have claimed that they often find more detainees at police stations without prior knowledge of their arrest.
- The gruesome stories and evidence Nigerians have of SARS operatives have created a need for an overall investigation of the unit. There is a possibility that this will solve a lot of missing person mysteries that has plagued the nation.
- Hired thugs keep turning out at protest location nationwide putting further distrust between the protesters and the Government.
- The protesters see this as an opportunity to restructure its extremely corrupt and inefficient government.
- The #EndSars protesters have refused to appoint or allow a leader to be forced on them thereby evading the possibility of the government dictating the terms of the negotiations.
- The organising circle that has morphed out of the #EndSars protest has managed to keep its funding operational with a deft switch to Bitcoin when the Central Bank Of Nigeria started targeting individual accounts including the Feminist coalition.
- The international audience has shown support and solidarity with Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey tweeting in support of the movement, the anonymous hacker group has also recently declared the Nigerian government a target due to its oppressive actions.
- The peaceful protesters do not want to return to its past of police brutality so they are pushing for overall police reforms and restructuring of the country.
The protests have continued and is on its 17th day as at the time of publishing. However, the government has refused to relent in its determination to break the movement.
A recent jailbreak in Benin has caused commotion leading the governor declaring a 24 hour curfew in the state. Other protest hotspots are getting constantly attacked by random thugs and the destruction and vandalisation of properties has begun.
Unfortunately police brutality is a common tragedy for Nigerians or residents of Nigeria, the crimes of the police unit has affected Nigerian lives beyond reasonable numbers. Individuals have shared personal stories and accused the unit of extortion, rape, and the death of their loved ones.
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