Nigerians have been on the streets fighting against police brutality with a burning sense of injustice that recalls the recent #blacklivesmatter protest in the US. The target of the protest is the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a police force unit that has been accused of subjecting Nigerians to unlawful arrests, murder, harassment, and torture.
Over the years, reports and videos of individuals killed brutally and harassed have circulated online, sparking outrage. But, with this protest, Nigerians are saying it is enough. After days of protests, the Nigerian government has dissolved SARS!
Now that the notorious #SarsAlert has been disbanded, the entire Nigerian Police Force needs overhauling. #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria To all who took to the streets, you did it 👇🏾 Well done. #EndSars pic.twitter.com/ikSTlpw4kE
— BibiBakare-Yusuf (@BibiBakareyusuf) October 11, 2020
— chika unigwe (@chikaunigwe) October 11, 2020
Like the #blacklivesmatter hashtag, the #endsars and #endsarsnow hashtags have been trending, mobilizing support the world over. A movement that started in Nigeria has become a transnational conversation, with foreign media amplifying the voices of the protesters.
Nigerian writers and literary platforms have also lent their voices. Some shared statements supporting protesters and criticized the government’s inaction. Like Kola Tubosun and his spouse Temi Giwa, others were out protesting. (See photos below.)
For me, there will always be this image. I don’t care very much for the woman but this image captures a zeitgeist, these times. The children we failed to educate are colliding with state infrastructure we’ve failed to reform. Here we are. #EndSARS pic.twitter.com/KEKhrkApG5
— Richard Ali. (@richardalijos) October 11, 2020
Protest however you can. Do not spend your time looking around for those you feel ought to be protesting but are not (protesting) to call out. Concentrate on the fight #EndSarsNow
— chika unigwe (@chikaunigwe) October 11, 2020ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW
— Dr Chibundu Onuzo (@ChibunduOnuzo) October 11, 2020
As we amplify/cover calls to #EndSARS in Nigeria, there is need to emphasize how police brutality in Nigeria affects women and sexually diverse groups. Such instances are grossly underreported—causing additional harm by perpetuating false representations of the issue.
— The Republic (@republicjournal) October 10, 2020
— Nnedi Okorafor, PhD (@Nnedi) October 10, 2020
People’s children have been murdered in cold blood by those they rely on to protect them. The youth are violated & traumatised by those they should ordinarily run to. What a betrayal! @MBuhari should give Nigerians the justice they deserve. Let’s see some accountability, please! https://t.co/BIaQtMEsfk
— Lọlá Shónẹ́yìn (@lolashoneyin) October 10, 2020
Proud of this country. I no longer believed Nigerians could get up, for real, anymore, for anything. Cynical, apathetic and self-defeating. And yet here we are, a genuine uprising. #EndSARS #EndSarsNow https://t.co/MfMVVONRIR
— Molara Wood (@molarawood) October 10, 2020
— AkeArts&BookFestival (@akefestival) October 10, 2020
“The Proximity and frequent, direct intervention by the police and military ensure that the colonized are kept under close scrutiny, and contained by rifle butts and napalm…”
– Frantz Fanon, The Wretched of the Earth #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria
— Jumoke Verissimo * #EndSARS (@awapointe) October 10, 2020
He should also spell out government’s roadmap to a sustainable police reform when #SARSend This shouldn’t just be a change of name that will give birth to another monster tomorrow when all is said and done. May honesty guide those in charge of our affairs. #EndSarsNow https://t.co/nWkOBIOe7N
— victor ehikhamenor (@victorsozaboy) October 11, 2020
“The writer cannot be a mere storyteller; he cannot be a mere teacher; he cannot merely x-ray society’s weaknesses, its ills, its perils. He or she must be actively involved shaping its present and its future.” — Ken Saro-Wiwa#EndSARS pic.twitter.com/97VUse3ljw
— A F R E A D A (@AFREADA) October 10, 2020
#EndSARS should never be about banning or disbanding or renaming SARS. It should be about total reform of the entire police force and policing. No one should be harrassed and murdered by those who should be protecting them.
— Abubakar Adam Ibrahim (@Moonchild509) October 10, 2020