People within the world’s largest Black nation have taken to the streets to demand one thing of their police: Stop killing us.
Nigerians are protesting since the past 10 days against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a unit of the Nigerian federal police , after a video emerged of officers allegedly killing a person . Soon the hashtag #EndSars, because the unit is understood , began trending internationally. Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari, a former military dictator, announced that SARS will be disbanded, but that promise has not been enough to quell the anger. Nigerians still protest.
Nigeria’s movement comes as protests demanding the protection of Black lives continue within the us . At their core, the protests carry an equivalent message: a rustic that permits state security agents to kill and abuse people with impunity isn’t a mature democracy. And, as within the us , this is often not the primary time Nigerians have risen up against police brutality.
Amnesty International documented a minimum of 82 cases of torture, extrajudicial killings, extortion and rape by SARS between January 2017 and should 2020. Arrests and cases are rarely investigated. Despite the very fact that Nigeria criminalized torture in 2017, no SARS officer has been convicted.
After a video circulated of SARS officers fleeing the scene after killing a person , Nigerians took to social media to share their stories of abusive encounters with the police. some time past the federal promised all manner of reforms and investigations. But protest organizers were clear about what they wanted: SARS needed to be abolished.
In 2016, the planet Internal Security and Police Index rated Nigeria’s police forces because the worst within the world. consistent with recent polls, Nigerians place the bulk of the blame on police and government for top rates of human rights violations. For the last 25 years, the government’s response to involves reform has been a running joke on the continent. rather than providing better training and disciplining units guilty of abuses, successive Nigerian governments have instead responded with useless committees and panels. In 2006, President Olusegun Obasanjo found out the Danmadami police reform committee. Then, in 2008, President Umaru Musa Yar’Adua’s Presidential Committee on the Reform of the Nigerian Police was found out to research the implementation of previous recommendations. In 2012, after reports that the terrorist organization Boko Haram had infiltrated the police , President Goodluck Jonathan fired the military officer of police. He then proceeded to, you guessed it, found out a yet one more committee to reorganize the police .
And as abuses and impunity persist, Nigeria’s democracy has been dying within the darkness of state committee panels.
The energy Nigerian people is on display. On the bottom , it’s been Nigerian women and youth who are the drive of the protests. In the week in Rivers State unconstitutionally banned #EndSars protests, but protesters took to the streets anyway. Nigerians round the world also are rallying round the #EndSars movement. Nigerian superstars, including John Boyega, Davido, Burna Boy and Genevieve Nnaji, are tweeting in support. A Nigerian and American beauty influencer, has also been posting information and links to organizations on her social media channels. In Houston, home to at least one of the most important populations of Nigerians within the us , the singer Adekunle Gold helped organize a rally to support Nigerians in their protest against police brutality.
Cacus has even posted messages of support and solidarity. The #BlackLivesMatter movement has reminded us that for all of our lecturing to other countries about security reform and human rights, the us features a persistent problem of police brutality and impunity. Worse yet, we’ve exported our own policing methods to other countries. The us has offered training to Nigerian police forces. In 2017, cops from Prince William County in Virginia trained members of the Nigerian police in human rights. this is often an equivalent local department that recently used tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful protesters. The us has also sold equipment and weapons to the Nigerian army and security forces.
Now Nigerians round the world are saying “enough” to police brutality, reinforcing the importance of the fight against police abuse here within the us . Black Americans could stand to find out more from the years-long fight against Nigeria’s corrupt police .
Nigeria is one among the foremost vibrant and dynamic countries in Africa. Sadly, it’s had the misfortune of being ruled by shambolic, corrupt governments. But now the country, which has long been divided along religious and ethnic lines, has close against police brutality, showing the facility and spirit of the Nigerian people when pushed to their limits. As they assert in Nigeria, “Naija no dey carry last!”
The people of the world’s largest Black nation need to prevail over state-sponsored oppression