Nigerian Youths Troop Out On #EndSARS Protest, Demand Disbandment Of “Rogue Section”
. Nigerian youths in some states of the Federation defied the night as they staged a peaceful protest against Police brutality. Protesting on the headline tag #EndSARS, the youths in Lagos slept in front of the Lagos State House of Assembly to continue their protest on Friday morning.
In recent weeks, Nigerians have called out the excesses of Police and SARS operatives in the country, after a series of extra-judicial killings and wanton punishments of innocent citizens in the country. The Police have reacted to the protests saying they will hold a reform while the Nigerian government recently announced some moves to check the excesses of the Police.
A Timeline of Brutality
Police in Nigeria have done little or nothing to earn a very terrible tag. Year on year, there are reported cases of Police brutality and extra-judicial killing in addition to wanton arrests, murder and destruction of lives and properties. On many occasions, the Police have reacted to the issues but they’ve been mere papering over the cracks. Just recently, a young man was killed in Port Harcourt, while an innocent woman was shot in the mouth in Lagos. In Kwara State, youths marched to the Government House to protest the impunity of the Police. Taxpayers have complained and are showing a reluctance to keep having SARS in the country. In Abuja, some groups of Nigerians also went to the Police Headquarters to see the Inspector General of Police but were not allowed to see the IG.
A Policeman shot a young man in Delta State and citizens' revolt has also led to retaliatory attacks on the Policeman who head killed in the process.
It’s been rounds of a mixture of peaceful and violent protests in the country so far according to checks by Accountable Nigeria, and these are coming on the heels of four different promises to reform SARS in the last four years.
The Nigerian government is losing control of its own agency and a citizen revolt is least of what is needed to keep the country tranquil.
Reform or Total Disbandment
While some Nigerians have called for the disbandment of SARS operatives, a very few have called for the reform of the Police itself in allusion to the New Police Act of 2020, recently signed by the President, Muhammadu Buhari. A section of the country still believes SARS has a role to play, however must be reviewed and have its bad eggs ridden. This is because they’ve done a lot to reduce the level of robbery in the country but in the face of a destruction of lives of young Nigerians, many are of the opinion that it is pointless reviewing, hence the need to #EndSARS. Accountable Nigeria has taken a cursory look and is monitoring very keenly, the progress made on the Police Act and the protests against SARS in the country. Nigerians are not to be killed but protected and the rise in protests is a pointer to the fact that citizens will reject any of such inanities displayed by security operatives in the country.