Protests have continued to rage in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, and the nation’s capital, Abuja, over incessant harassment of youths by a special department of the Nigerian Police, the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS).
The protests in Lagos at the Government House took an angry turn with the alleged Thursday shooting at Salvation Bus Stop, Ikeja, of a lady by a police officer opening a gaping hole in her cheek.
A funding campaign has immediately gone out to help with the lady’s surgery.
Protesters had mobilized from Thursday evening outside the State House of Assembly, Alausa, with protesters keeping a vigil in tents which were seized by the police, leading to the protesters sleeping on bare pavement in intermittent rain drizzles overnight.
The Friday protests were led by Twitter influencer, Rinu and Small Doctor, a musician, and has been sporadically engaging the police who have tried to use teargas to disperse the crowd.
Things came to a head over the weekend when a Twitter storm by youths highlighted a surge of harassment of youths by the squad in Lagos and Abuja.
This led to an intervention by the Minister of Youths and Sports, Sunday Dare, who expressed solidarity with the youths and met with representatives of the Inspector-General of Police (IGP), leading to an IGP ban on routine patrols by the squad.
This move by the police, however, will not assuage the feeling of the youths who continued to tweet an #EndSARS campaign.
By Tuesday, the campaign was picked up by the #revolutionNOW campaign and protests continued to rage in Abuja with celebrities like Naira Marley indicating they would join the campaign.
Naira Marley, who has financial crimes charges against him in court by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), was then invited by the police for discussions and he eventually dropped out of the protests with a Tweet:
You don’t need celebrity to lead a protest before you protest. You have the same rights as them. We are all Nigerians, You can be a leader today. Take ur dad, mum, brothers and sisters out there and protest if u believe that’s the answer. #EndSARSBrutality #EndPoliceBrutality@officialnairam1
Thursday’s protests in Abuja led to a protest march to the Louis Edet Police Headquarters by the aggrieved youths.
The #EndSARS campaign has caught international attention with celebrities like John Boyega picking up the campaign with Nigerian celebrities, Runtown and Falz joining the campccaign.
The #EndSARS protests have spread to other parts of the country including Delta State.