By ovibel media
Ends SARS Protest started in Ughelli,an Urhobo city in Delta State,SOUTH-SOUTH Nigeria,after an alleged pushing of a young man from moving car by a SARS officer.A commercial driver posted the incident on social media,which triggered the already burning hatred and outcry of Nigerians calling on the government to ban SARS operation
On the night of 20 October 2020, at about 6:50 p.m., members of the Nigerian Army opened fire on peaceful End SARS protesters at the Lekki toll gate in Lagos State, Nigeria. Amnesty International stated that at least 12 protesters were killed during the shooting.A day after the incident, on 21 October, the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-olu, initially denied reports of any loss of lives, but later admitted in an interview with a CNN journalist that “only two persons were killed”.
The Nigerian Army initially denied involvement in the shooting,but later stated that it had deployed soldiers to the toll gate on the orders of the governor of Lagos State.A month after the shooting, following a CNN documentary on the shooting, the Nigerian Army admitted to the Lagos Judiciary panel of inquiry into the shooting that it had deployed its personnel to the toll gate with both live and blank bullets.
The Nigerian Army has been known to open fire and kill unarmed civilians in previous incidents, most notably in a 2018 attack on Shiite Muslims who were protesting against the jailing of a cleric in which 45 Nigerians were killed.Since the country’s return to civilian rule in 1999, soldiers have killed unarmed civilians in several incidents including: Odi, Zaki Biam,Baga, Zaria,and Abonema.
End SARS is a decentralised social movement and series of mass protests against police brutality in Nigeria. The slogan calls for the disbanding of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a notorious unit of the Nigerian Police with a long record of abuses. The protests which takes its name from the slogan started in 2017 as a Twitter campaign using the hashtag #ENDSARS to demand the disbanding of the unit by the Nigerian government. After experiencing a revitalisation in October 2020 following more revelations of the abuses of the unit, mass demonstrations occurred throughout the major cities of Nigeria, accompanied by vociferous outrage on social media platforms. About 28 million tweets bearing the hashtag have been accumulated on Twitter alone. Solidarity protests and demonstrations by Nigerians in diaspora and sympathizers occurred in many major cities of the world. The protests is notable for its patronage by a demographic that is made of entirely young Nigerians.
In 2016, a human rights activist, Segun Awosanya popularly known as Segalink started EndSARS campaign on social media prompting police authority to announce reform of the police unit but nothing was achieved at the time.In 2018, Nigerian rapper Michael Ugochukwu Stephens, known by his stage name Ruggedman, joined the campaign to end police brutality releasing a single titled, “Is Police Your Friend?”
They shared stories and video evidence of how members of SARS were engaged in kidnapping, murder, theft, rape, torture, unlawful arrests, humiliation, unlawful detention, extrajudicial killings, and extortion in Nigeria.SARS officers have been alleged to profile youths based on fashion choices, mount illegal road blocks and searches, conduct unwarranted temperature checks, arrest without warrant, rape women, and extort young Nigerians for driving luxury cars and using expensive electronics.
The Nigerian president announced that he would scrap the police unit (SARS) and directed state Governors to constitute a Judicial Panel of Inquiry to decide on cases of killings and brutality by officers of the defunct SARS so punishment can be meted on rogue officers. However, the protesters have refused all entreaties to suspend the protests and nominate youth Representatives into the Judicial Panel and called the government’s bluff.
Within a few days of renewed protests, some claimed victory when, on Sunday, 11 October 2020, the Nigerian Police Force announced it would be dissolving SARS.However, many noted similar promises had been made in recent years, and that the government planned to reassign and review SARS officers to medical centers rather than remove them entirely.The Lekki toll gate shooting promptly ended the protest movement.
May the souls of all compatriots who loss their lives rest in peace
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