This report is written by our African Development Consultant, Moronfolu Adeniyi ’14, based on his experiences on the ground in Ogun State.
More than a week ago now, police officers in their usual habits harrassed (shot) a young man in Ughelli part of Delta State. It was thought to be police from the common unit, Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) because of their past record of brutality, extortion, murder and abuse of power.
The social media went in flames asking for justice and the rage was unquenchable before it was later discovered that the young man didn’t die. After all, it wasn’t SARS that mistakenly shot the youth but a random police.
The rage was navigated to demand justice for those who have been killed in the past because of police brutality, especially by the men of SARS.Moronfolu Adeniyi ’14
The rage was navigated to demand justice for those who have been killed in the past because of police brutality, especially by the men of SARS. Social media influencers joined the campaign because many have been thought to be internet fraudsters by the flamboyant look and cars. That’s the genesis.
At the front of the protests are mostly Hip Hop singers and comedians civil society organizations, then movie actors later joined. — Wizkid, Davido, Mr. Marconi, Rinu, Aisha Yesufu.
SSDP leaders in Nigeria are also using to the opportunity to advocate for individual right of citizens and hopefully this will spark up more conversation moving forward.
Notably, an Oyo Federal lawmaker, Akin Alabi, few days after raided a motion at the House of Rep over police brutality.
Progress Made so Far:
Government has scrapped SARS and insistuted SWAT. But, the youths are still not satisfied. Many believe SWAT will still be brutal.
What are the people demanding?
People are calling for punitive measures such as the following:
- The resignation of the Inspector General of Police
- The prosecution of Officers who have killed in the past
- Compensation for the families of the deceased
- Release from detention for protesters arrested
- Total reformation of the Nigerian Police