Many Nigerians have continued to proclaim #EndSars slogans on streets across the country, insisting on the scrapping of an infamous police unit.
The unit at the centre of the storm, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, was founded in 1992 to combat cases of armed robbery, kidnapping, and other violent crimes. But SARS, instead, over time, has gained notoriety for its reckless intimidation of innocent civilians through puerile profiling and wanton abuse of power.
Calls for the unit’s disbandment dates as far back as 2017; while the Federal Government and police chiefs have made several pledges to implement reform, reports of SARS’ brutal activities against civilians have not abated.
The current wave of protest can be traced to October 3, after another report of extra-judicial killing in Delta State (the police have denied any killing took place).
It sparked fresh concerns and anger. Fuelled by this, and the outpouring of tales of traumatic experiences at the hands of officials of the unit, many Nigerians have held protests in many states, including Lagos, the Federal Capital Territory, Kaduna, Osun, Edo, and Imo.
The protests continued on Saturday as participants dismissed the ban on SARS patrol, announced on Sunday last week, by the Inspector-General of Police Mohammed Adamu and the statement by President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday asking the IGP to address the excesses of erring officials and “ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people.”
Protesting Nigerians say similar promises in the past yielded no change; they want SARS scrapped.
Read on for updates about the latest developments from and around the protests.
19:01 – Music Disc Jockey and Internet Celebrity, DJ Cuppy, says she has flown in from Dubai to Lagos to join the #EndSars protest.
18:30 – Big Brother Nigeria 2020 winner, Laycon, has been tweeting in support of the #EndSars movement.
18:23 – Okay, some ‘peaceful’ news here. Lagos state government spokesman, Gawat Jubril, says some protesters were allowed to join police vehicles after getting weary from walking.
18:21 – Amnesty International is reporting that the Nigerian police has killed a protester in Ogbomosho, Oyo state.
18:20 – It appears religious organisations are now choosing to pledge support for the #EndSars movement.
18:16 – Activist Omoyele Sowore, says protesters will camp at the Police Headquarters in Abuja tonight.
Burna Boy Pitches In
Afrobeats-sensation, Burna Boy has also joined the #EndSars movement.
He issued a statement on Saturday announcing the birth of a project which he called PROJECTPROTECT, an initiative set up to provide financial, medical, and legal resources during and after #ENDSARS protests.
‘We’re Scared To Visit Home’: Nigerian Players, Arsenal’s Ian Wright, AS Roma Back #EndSARS
Nigerian players, Arsenal legend, Ian Wright and Italian side, AS Roma, have thrown their weight behind the #EndSARProtests, demanding an end to brutality, extra-judicial killings and extortion by officials of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).
Leicester City’s Wilfred Ndidi, Leon Balogun; Moses Simon; Henry Onyekuru, Super Eagles captain, Ahmed Musa, Shehu Abdullahi; John Ogu; and Henry Onyekuru, took to their Twitter handles, on Friday and Saturday, backing calls to #EndSARS.