CELEBRITY ICONS JOIN NIGERIAN PROTEST OVER POLICE BRUTALITY

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There has been a growing list of big names in the entertainment industry who are calling out police brutality in Nigeria. The oil-rich country in West Africa has lost many lives and others have sustained injuries.

The protest comes shortly following ongoing public outcry. The majority of the Nigerian population has experienced kidnappings, harassment as well as extortion by the Police Unit famously known as The Anti Robbery Squad.

The big names from the entertainment industry included the professional football players, the Big Rio Ferdinand Actor John Boyega, and Tremaine Aldon Neverson who have offered their aid to the ailing Nigerian security. In other instances, many netizens took to the streets in an organized protest calling for the resignation of officers who are not in accordance with the rule of law.

Much of the online protest comes from the youth. The majority of the users created the hashtag #ENDSARRS which directed their anger positively towards ending police brutality in all its forms. In other instances, American-based celebrity and singer Kirk Franklin attracted the world after he published a photo of one Nigerian protestor and quoted “In over 20 years Nigeria stood with me, and now I stand with you,#endSarrsNow.”

Similarly, citizens of Nigeria around the world have participated in organized protests in solidarity with families back at home. Those in urban and rural centers who were affected most through the officer’s vices have been the most active. The protests were reported in countries like the United States of America and England. In England, Fakhriyyah Hashim protestors and citizens of Nigeria based in London launched an appeal to the migrant community to offer physical, mutual, and financial support to the Nigerians to advance the protests. To add to the list of countries protesting, protests have also been witnessed in Germany and Canada though not as large.

Local celebrities including Oluwatosin Ajibade famously known as Mr. Eazi and Wizkid Ayodeji Balogun who is an Afrobeat star joined protestors in London where they showed their anger and the disappointing at the Head of State led by Muhammadu Buhari. “None of us is safe.” Stated Mr. Eazi.  

The protestors both internally and globally seem to be seeking justice for those whose rights had been infringed by police units. This is a protest for the dignity of the Nigerian life as hashtags #endspolicebrutality #wedeservegoodgovernance #endSarrs trended the better part of the day. Protesters also pointed fingers at the Government saying it is not enough to move the SARRS officers to other places, they strongly echoed, “What we want is for the unit to end and investigations to be carried out on the conduct of SARRS”.

Reports from a section of the members of the public feel the Government of Nigeria should carry out training sessions on how to engage with citizens to minimize the police brutality they inflict on the innocent lives of the Nigerian population.

Meanwhile, the Government led by President Muhammadu Buhari said he will honor his promise to disband SARRS if it is the only step feasible to begin security reforms, as well said those found culpable shall be convicted.

Meanwhile good news for human rights activists and the general public following a move made by the Inspector general of police. Mohammed Abubakar announced that the unit will be disbanded and officers sent home.

ogundevincent@gmail.com# Vincent reports

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