‘We Are Being Haunted In Our Country’: #EndSARS Protests Continue

 

From Festac, Ikoyi, Ikorodu, to Lekki, the demand was the same – #EndSARS! #EndSARS!! #EndSARS!!! – as  Lagosians continued the #EndSARS protests, calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

On Saturday, the protests spiralled into various cities in Nigeria with agitators carrying placards saying, “We are being haunted in our country #EndSARS, #EndSarsImmediately.”

The protesters took their agitations to various locations in the country and had in Lagos, kept vigil at the State House of Assembly for multiple nights to press home their demands.

In Abuja, the #EndSARS protesters were at the Nigeria Police Force headquarters, demanding to speak with the Inspector General, Mohammed Adamu.

The protests, however, took a different dimension as a young man identified as Jimoh Isiaq was shot in Ogbomosho, Oyo State on Saturday.

“I have received with deep sadness the news of the passing of one of our children, Jimoh Isiaka, who was shot during the ENDSARS protest in Ogbomoso,” Governor Seyi Makinde said on Saturday. “He later died at Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, earlier today.”

The protests equally extended to other parts of the nation, including Bayelsa State, Anambra, Ogun State, Abuja, Delta, Kaduna and other parts of Nigeria.

In recent times, the activities of the police unit have come under scrutiny and several members of the squad have been found guilty of using their position of authority to trample on the rights of citizens, especially the youths.

The youths are decrying the constant harassment in the hands of SARS operatives, lamenting the rate at which many young creatives are being battered and killed by the ‘ruthless’ police officers in the squad.

 

The protest has drawn attention from both Nigerian and international celebrities including Trey Songz, Cardi B, Chance The Rapper, Big Sean, John Boyega amongst others.

Following the outrage that the protest generated, President Muhammadu Buhari has asked the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu to address the concerns of Nigerians.

 

#EndSARS: 23 Protesters Arrested In Ogun

Twenty-three #EndSARS have been arrested in Ogun State.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Saturday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi.

He disclosed that the protesters were apprehended after the protest which meant to be peaceful allegedly turned violent.

“Surprisingly, the protesters who were appealed jointly by the Alake and Paramount ruler of Egba land and the Commissioner of Police, Edward Ajogun left the Alake palace and headed to the palace of Olowu where the traditional festival of Owu day was ongoing and violently disrupted the ceremony which had ex-President Olusegun Obasanjo and the Ogun State Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako- Oyedele in attendance,” he said.

READ ALSO: Ondo Election: No Electoral Official Was Injured In Ilaje Boat Accident – NSCDC

“They also damaged the back windshield of the deputy governor’s official car before heading to SARS office at Magbon where they fired some gunshots at the men and injured one Sgt Akabudike Augustine. Consequently, men of the outfit dispersed them and arrested 23 amongst them.

“Some of their vehicles abandoned at SARS office were recovered and searched, three guns namely; one pump action, two locally made pistols, some rounds of ammunition and assorted charms were recovered in one of the vehicles with registration number Lagos KRD 551GJ.”

The police commissioner, however, appealed to parents, community leaders and other stakeholders to call their wards to order, warning that the command will not fold its arms while hoodlums will be unleashing violence on officers and men for no just reason.

#EndSARS: I Strongly Condemn Use Of Force On Protesters Across Nigeria – Atiku

 

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the use of force on #EndSARS protesters across Nigeria. 

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Atiku also called on relevant authorities to ensure the youths are heard.

The former vice president asked that all incidents of excessive use of force by security agencies against protesters are investigated.

His comments come on the heels of several reports of violence wrought against the protesters and other citizens, the latest being the killing of a young man in Ogbomoso.

The victim named Jimoh Isiaq was shot during a protest in Ogbomoso, though he was not a part of the protest.

READ ALSO: #EndSARS: Trey Songz, Big Sean Join Nigerians In Protest Against Police Brutality

While many say the bullet which killed Isiaq was from the police, the force claim they only used canisters of tear gas to disperse the crowd.

Several videos making the rounds, however, show security operatives firing live arms at those calling for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

In reaction to the use of force against those protesting, Atiku was of the opinion that the fundamental rights of Nigerians to freedom of assembly and freedom of expression must be protected at all costs.

“Nigerians should be provided with a non-toxic environment for #EndSARSProtests.

“It is their constitutional right and an ingredient of democracy.

“They deserve to be heard and not killed or maimed,” Atiku tweeted.

Atiku who had in a previous tweet noted that SARS has morphed into an oppressor of the Nigerian masses said he stands with all those who are peacefully protesting to end police brutality in a bid to enthrone a new policing order that underscores the interest of the citizens.

The elder statesman commended the tenacity of protesters who he described as brave youths who have stayed out on the streets all day and night to make their voices heard.

#EndSars: Young Nigerian Jimoh Isiaq Killed In Ogbomosho, Seven Others Injured

A file photo of security officials.

 

A young Nigerian, Jimoh Isiaq was shot in Ogbomosho during an #EndSars protest on Saturday and later died from the resulting injuries, Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde has confirmed.

The Governor also said seven others sustained injuries during the protest and have been taken to the hospital for treatment.

Eyewitnesses said Isiaq was standing along the road when he was shot by the Nigerian police.

Human rights organisation, Amnesty International also said Isiaq was shot by the police.

The Oyo State police command, in a statement on Saturday, denied that they were involved in shooting at protesters.

“I have received with deep sadness the news of the passing of one of our children, Jimoh Isiaka, who was shot during the ENDSARS protest in Ogbomoso,” Makinde said on Saturday. “He later died at Bowen University Teaching Hospital, Ogbomoso, earlier today.

“Also, at this same protest, Abdulrasaq Olawale, Oluwadamilare Gbolohunmi, and five other persons sustained injuries and were taken to hospital for treatment.

“This situation is highly regrettable. I have contacted the Commissioner of Police, Oyo State, Nwachukwu Enwonwu, and other relevant agencies, and investigations into what led to the unfortunate incident are still ongoing.”

Many Nigerians have taken to the streets in recent days to call for the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad, an infamous police unit notorious for hounding and harassing innocent civilians.

The Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, has announced a ban on routine patrols for SARS officials among other measures.

President Muhammadu Buhari has also said he is committed to ensuring the police are responsible to the people.

But critics say the Federal Government’s response is mere rhetoric and protests have continued.

 

#EndSARS: Nigerians Protest Against Rights’ Infringements In Anambra

Thousands of #EndSARS protesters on Saturday occupied the gate of the Anambra State Police Command Headquarters in Amawbia area of the state.

The protesters, who are mostly youths and others are calling for the dismantling of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a unit of the Nigeria Police Force meant to tackle violent criminal activities in the country.

They carried placards and raised their voices to the national outcry for SARS to be ended in Nigeria, adding that the security outfit no longer serves the purpose for which it was created.

Addressing the aggrieved citizens, the Commissioner of Police in the state, John Abang, assured them that the Federal Government will consider their matter accordingly.

See Photos Below: 

#EndSARS: Kaduna Protesters Demand Deployment Of Officers To Fight Banditry In North-East

Nigerians youths protest in Kaduna State on October 10, 2020 calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

 

#EndSARS protesters in Kaduna State on Saturday asked the Federal Government to deploy operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad to the North East to fight banditry, terrorism and other security challenges facing the country.

The protesters made up of youths from different civil society organizations held a peaceful march in the state capital to lend their voice for the disbandment of SARS.

“We need to be protected, nobody should be harassing us. Our call to the Federal Government is that they should end SARS now or take them to Maiduguri, there are bandits there,” one of the protesters, Mohammed Safiyanu said.

Making the demand on behalf of other protesters, he said they embarked on solidarity protest in union with other Nigerian youths in the country.

While condemning the brutality of security operatives whom he said were meant to protect Nigerians, Safiyanu asked the Federal Government to address the demands of the protesters.

“They should go and fight them if they are not ready to end it. They should stop killing our innocent youths. Kaduna State Government should take SARS to Birnin Gwari, there are many people dying there.  They deserve to be there, not inside the town. They don’t deserve their brutality.

“There is no how you will just come out with phones and they will start brutalising you, for what? Why? We are Nigerians.”

Displaying placards with various inscriptions and chanting songs, the youths demanded the dismantling of the squad with immediate effect and prosecution of its officers found guilty of human rights abuses.

READ ALSO: We Will Not Back Down Until We #EndSARS – Protesters

The protest coincided with President Muhammadu Buhari’s visit to the state for the passing out parade of cadets at the Nigerian Defence Academy.

The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police force was put together to tackle robbery and crimes related to an armed robbery within the country, but the unit has repeatedly sparked outrage and gained notoriety for extortion, harassment, torture and killings.

Many rights activists and citizens have lamented that without any legislation or order, the unit has morphed itself into some form of the anti-graft agency, harassing many young Nigerians, especially men who spot dreadlocks and other forms of fancy head styles.

The latest protests against SARS, triggered by yet another controversial incident in Delta on Saturday, went beyond previous efforts as many Nigerians – young and old – took to the streets for more than two days, determined to rid the country of the unit.

In Abuja, Lagos, Imo, Delta, Kwara and several states protests were held, asking the police authorities and the Federal Government to act.

The ban on patrols by SARS officials by the Inspector-General of Police on Sunday and a promise of reform were not enough.

Previous reforms including a name change for the unit to FSARS and back to SARS had not addressed the challenges.

On Friday morning, the youths assembled and chanted solidarity songs. Others continued with ‘END SARS!’ ‘END SARS!’ chants as they demanded an audience of the lawmakers.

 

Burna Boy Bows To Pressure, Joins #ENDSARS Campaign

Burna Boy

 

Popular singer Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy, has bowed to pressure from fans and finally joined the #EndSARS campaign which seeks the scrapping of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force (NPF).

Burna Boy 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.

His statement comes after criticisms from his fans and Nigerian youths who expressed disappointment over his silence concerning the week-long protest held across the country.

However, in a post on his Instagram handle while announcing the birth of his project, Burna Boy said the protest should not be about him but about deeper issues

I have ALWAYS been here Fighting for my people anyway and anywhere that can possibly bring genuine progress and not for any Political gain, accolades or public validation. I have tweeted, spoken, sang for years, I’m Glad everybody now sees the need to do more. So let’s do that, each of us, in his or her own way. Follow @projectprotectng #ENDSARS #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY #ENDYOUTHPROFILING,” Burna Boy said in the post.

 

 

The Grammy-nominated Nigerian artist in another tweet also announced that American rapper and singer, P. Diddy has made a pledge towards his PROJECTPROTECT aimed at providing resources for #ENDSARS protesters.

Confirming that he is a part of Burna Boy’s project, P.Diddy also reshared the tweet containing Burna Boy’s official statement. P.Diddy in his tweet used an emoji of a raised fist and the Nigerian flag. He also used the hashtag ENDSARS in solidarity with the campaign.

 

#EndSARS: Davido To Lead Protest In Abuja Tomorrow

Davido

 

Popular musician Davido has announced that he will be leading the #EndSARS protest on Sunday.

The singer said this on Saturday through his Instagram post.

He called on Nigerians living in Abuja to come and join him in the protest.

Davido’s call follows other international musicians including Trey Songz, Chance The Rapper, Big Sean to seek the disbandment of the unit.

 

View this post on Instagram

 

Enough is enough!!!!!!! #endsarsnow

A post shared by Davido Adeleke (@davidoofficial) on

In recent times, the activities of the police unit have come under scrutiny and several members of the squad have been found guilty of using their position of authority to trample on the rights of citizens, especially the youths.

The latest protests against SARS, triggered by yet another controversial incident in Delta on Saturday, went beyond previous efforts as many Nigerians – young and old – took to the streets for more than two days, determined to rid the country of the unit.

In Abuja, Lagos, Imo, Delta, Kwara, and several states protests were held, asking the police authorities and the Federal Government to act.

 

 

‘We’re Scared To Visit Home’: Nigerian Players, Arsenal’s Ian Wright, AS Roma Back #EndSARS

The #EndSARS protests have continued in several cities across Nigeria.

 

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.

“#EndSARS for the safety of Nigerians,” Ndidi tweeted. “We are scared to visit home because the people who are meant to protect us are killing us. Looking good with dreads is not a crime.”

“#EndSARS #EndSarsNow,” Wright, 56,  who scored 185 goals in 288 appearances for Arsenal, tweeted alongside a love emoji and a Nigerian flag.

Italian side, AS Roma, tweeted on their Pidgin English handle in solidarity with their Nigerian fans.

Chelsea stars, Fikayo Tomori and Tammy were not left out in amplifying the #EndSARS protest, taking to their handles to canvass for an end to brutality from the police.

Below are the tweets from Nigerian players, and others in the football circle: 

#EndSARS: Kogi Governor Reacts To Protest, Calls For Support By All

A file photo of Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi State.

 

The Kogi State Governor Yahaya Bello on Saturday expressed support for peaceful protests against the brutality by some personnel of the FSARS on citizens, especially youths.

The governor in his message to Nigerian youths described their call for an end to the brutal conduct against citizens by operatives, other police units, and the personnel of all security agencies as a worthy cause that must be supported by all.

He advised the youth against violent confrontations with the police under any form or guise, whether during these protests or in any other circumstance.

“Taking the law into your hands is unwise, dangerous to the perpetrators, and counter-productive to all desired outcomes. We will continue to work toward a new direction in the affairs of Nigeria in which all citizens can maximise the benefits of nationhood, including freedom from arbitrariness by agents of the government,” he said.

He said as the governor and Chief Security Officer of Kogi State, he had had cause in the past to order the arrest and prosecution of security officers whose misconduct and brutality led to injury and/or death of innocent citizens in the state.

“This is because I believe in the synergy between law and order and due process as safeguards for the absolute rights of citizens to decent treatment at all stages of the encounter with law enforcement.

“On the flip side, I have also worked to improve general welfare for all security personnel and formations operating in Kogi State – in cash and in-kind, rewarded outstanding service by officers and stoutly defended those falsely accused or unfairly victimised. This is because I believe there is a link between an officer’s job satisfaction and the value he or she has for the job. This, in turn, determines how a security personnel reacts to citizens while carrying out official duties.

“We also work as actively as possible to foster mutual respect between law enforcement and our citizens in every policing situation bearing in mind that cooperation always works better than conflict,” he said.

Governor Bello that a small percentage of security officers persist in unprofessional conduct which has tainted the image of the police and government when citizens rate them as corrupt on the basis of unsavoury experiences on our roads and elsewhere cannot be denied.

“While I cannot immediately recall any incident of it, I wish to apologise as a leader for any error of omission or commission under my watch which has led to unlawful experiences in police custody by any citizen.”

He said in solidarity with this cause, I would engage with some of his colleagues, the police hierarchy and the leadership of the Nigerian Human Rights Commission on how to further facilitate progress on the order by President Muhammadu Buhari, since July 2019, for the implementation of the Report of the Presidential Panel on the Reform of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.

Governor Bello said his administration had just established the Office of the Public Defender and Citizens’ Rights Commission (PDCRC).

He directed the immediate setting up of a Human Rights Special Intervention Group (HRSIG) under the PDCRC to receive and rapidly resolve complaints of brutality by law enforcement (illegal arrest, detention, among others) against any citizen in Kogi State and any indigene of the state in Nigeria

#EndSARS Protest Continues In Abuja

#EndSARS protest in Abuja

 

The various calls for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) have entered its fourth day.

Protesting youths on Saturday continued their #EndSARS in Abuja after President Muhammadu Buhari on Friday appealed for calm from Nigerians.

The youths are angry at the brutality and extortion suffered at the hands of operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Most of those who protested today were seen carrying placards and chanting “EndSARS” as they marched through the streets of Abuja’s Central Area peacefully.

In recent times, the activities of the police unit have come under scrutiny and several members of the squad have been found guilty of using their position of authority to trample on the rights of citizens, especially the youths.

President Buhari had asked the Inspector General of Police Mohammed Adamu to address the concerns of Nigerians following the outcry of youths for an end in the unit.

“The IG already has my firm instructions to conclusively address the concerns of Nigerians regarding these excesses, & ensure erring personnel are brought to justice.

“I appeal for patience and calm, even as Nigerians freely exercise their right to peacefully make their views known.

“I met again with the IGP tonight. Our determination to reform the police should never be in doubt. I am being briefed regularly on the reform efforts ongoing to end police brutality and unethical conduct and ensure that the Police are fully accountable to the people” the President added.

LIVE: #EndSARS Protests Continue, Gain Momentum

Pop star, Folarin “Falz” Falana (centre) at an #EndSARS protest held in Lagos.

 

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.


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23 Protesters Arrested In Ogun

 

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Twenty-three #EndSARS have been arrested in Ogun State.

This was disclosed in a statement issued on Saturday by the Police Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi.

He disclosed that the protesters were apprehended after the protest which was meant to be peaceful allegedly turned violent.

Read the full story here.


Atiku Condemns Use Of Force On Protesters

Former Vice President, Atiku Abubakar, has condemned the use of force on #EndSARS protesters across Nigeria.

In a series of tweets on Saturday, Atiku also called on relevant authorities to ensure the youths are heard.

Read the full story here.


Protest Spreads To Bayelsa

 


20:00 – Amnesty International says it is receiving reports of the police firing live ammunition and tear gas at protesters in Abuja, the nation’s seat of power.


19:31 – Oyo State Governor, Seyi Makinde, has expressed sadness over the death of Jimoh Isiaka, “who was shot during the EndSars protest in Ogbomoso” today.


Davido To Lead Protest In Abuja Tomorrow

Popular musician Davido has announced that he will be leading the #EndSARS protest on Sunday.

The singer said this on Saturday through his Instagram post.

He called on Nigerians living in Abuja to come and join him in the protest.

Read the full story here.


19:01 – Music Disc Jockey and Internet Celebrity, DJ Cuppy, says she has flown in from Dubai to Lagos to join the #EndSars protest.


18:50 – English Premier League striker of Nigerian descent, Tammy Abraham, has joined in the call for #EndSars.


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.

Read the full story here.


‘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.

Read the full story here.