The killing of innocent Nigerians and the agitations on the streets and social media see the world appealing to President Muhammadu Buhari to put an end to the police brutality in Africa’s biggest economy.
After nearly two weeks of protests calling for the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery Unit (SARS) by the youth in Nigeria, President Muhammadu Buhari finally addressed the nation last night in a televised statement, which many Nigerians find disappointing and lacking empathy.
He urged protestors to stop demonstrating and advised the international community to be mindful of fake news. To the surprise of the country’s 200 million inhabitants, President Buhari did not mention anything about the killing of peaceful protestors in Lagos. According to a report by Amnesty International, at least 12 protestors at Alausa and Lekki Toll Gate in Lagos were massacred during peaceful protests by the Nigerian military.
This latest development happened as the state government in Lagos on Tuesday, October 20, imposed an indefinite round-the-clock curfew which led to military forces converging at the melting point of the protests at the Lekki Toll Gate, where shots were fired directly into the crowd of peaceful protestors.
“I cannot believe this is Nigeria. There is no reason why peaceful protestors should lose their lives. This is completely unacceptable and we need the soldiers responsible for this heinous attack arrested and brought to justice immediately. The fight is not over and we will not be intimidated,” says Tobi Bello, one of the protestors who was at the Lekki Toll Gate during the unfortunate incident.
In an Instagram live, which had more than 150,000 people watching, Obianuju Catherine Udeh, known popularly as DJ Switch, could be seen with other protestors shouting and trying to save the life of a victim of the gun violence that ensued at the tollgate.
Amnesty published a report which highlighted at least 82 cases of torture and ill-treatment and extra-judicial execution between January 2017 and May this year against members of SARS. In response to the protests, President Buhari disbanded SARS on October 11 but protests continued amidst a call for greater reform.
The killing of innocent Nigerians has sparked an international appeal for justice and for President Buhari to put an end to the police brutality and killings in the country.