Remembering EndSARS protests a year after - Punch Newspapers
The most widely read newspaper in Nigeria
20 October 2021EXACTLY a year ago, resistance to police brutality reached a climax in Nigeria. The youth, who had had enough and were ready to fight for liberty, took to the streets to demonstrate peacefully against the brutality, mindless killings and extortion by uniformed officials who are paid to protect them. The protests, tagged
#EndSARS, were held across several states of the federation with the Lekki Tollgate Plaza as its epicentre. After bloodily suppressing the protests, the authorities eventually caved in to pressure, meeting some of the demands of the protesters, including the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad. SARS was the notorious police outfit, which was responsible for several atrocities against the youth.
The protests cost many lives, including that of 22 police officers after hoodlums hijacked the peaceful rallies, inflicted a huge dent on the economy and wreaked unimaginable havoc on security facilities. Lagos-based Financial Derivatives Company put the economic cost at N1.5 trillion, approximately 1.03 per cent of GDP and 11.47 per cent of the 2021 budget. headtopics.com
Any lesson learnt? Although the name ‘SARS’ has been erased from police operations, its ugly spirit continues to flourish in the inner recesses of the Nigeria Police Force, as numerous reports suggest. Only a few days ago, a viral video on social media showed police officers attached to the Adogo Division in Kogi State stopping commercial buses on the Adogo-Okene Road and brutalising young passengers. According to the reports, some of the passengers were led to a point-of-sale machine and forced to part with huge sums of money for simply daring to own a laptop and expensive mobile phones.
In September, Monsurat Ojuade, 18, was shot in her parents’ compound in Surulere, Lagos State during a random raid. Another youth, Emmanuel Dickson, was shot and killed last week in Akwa Ibom State. But the human rights abuses are not only being perpetrated by the police. The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has adopted Gestapo tactics in the name of hunting down Internet fraudsters. Over 20 years after the return to civilian rule, soldiers have also failed to shed their fascist orientation.
Irked by incessant abuse of human rights, youths are preparing for another round of demonstrations in commemoration of the#EndSARSprotests on Wednesday (today). Rather than dissipate energy on overhauling security agencies to make them internalise democratic norms, the repressive regime of the President, Major-General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.), which has been known to quell protests in the past with high-handedness, has kept mum while security agencies issue threats of a clampdown. Several peaceful protests such as
#RevolutionNow, #BringBackOurGirls, #YorubaNationand others have been violently quelled by the security forces. In contrast, demonstrations in support of the Buhari regime are welcome and given maximum security protection as pro-Buhari cohorts air their views. Democracy without liberal pluralistic values is a sham. headtopics.com
The right to expression and freedom of assembly are guaranteed by Sections 38 and 40 of the Nigerian Constitution, as well as Articles 9 and 10 of the African Charter on Human and Peoples Rights Act. Similarly, Section 83(4) of the Police Establishment Act, 2020 provides that where a person informs the police of his or her intention to hold a procession, the police shall mobilise personnel for security over the meeting. In the case of the All Nigeria People’s Party v Inspector-General of Police 2006, the court declared that a police permit as a precondition for holding rallies in Nigeria is illegal and unconstitutional. Ironically, Buhari is a direct beneficiary of this judgement, having been among peaceful protesters dispersed with teargas during a protest he participated in to express displeasure over vote-rigging.
While the need to maintain peace and protect lives remains paramount, the regime should not use the killing and looting carried out by hoodlums who hijacked the#EndSARSprotest as an excuse to clamp down on peaceful protesters. What civilised governments do is identify the criminals who hijacked the protests, carried out arson and destruction, and bring them to justice. Barring protests under the guise of maintaining law and order is throwing the baby away with the bathwater.
Buhari, who claimed to be a ‘born-again’ democrat, has continued to expose his dictatorial tendencies of 1984/85 (when he headed a military junta) by suppressing free speech and intimidating those who hold dissenting views. Under his regime, broadcast stations pay hefty fines for flimsy reasons. Court orders are flagrantly disobeyed under the guise of national security, while social media is suspended for bruising his ego. He even claimed during a media engagement that the
#EndSARSprotests were part of a plot to remove him from office. That is absurd.The vengeful harassment of some of the prominent#EndSARSvoices by freezing their accounts and seizing their passports is evidence that no lessons have been learnt. Worse still, the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, revealed in June that one of the reasons Twitter was suspended was because of the role it played in the headtopics.com
#EndSARSprotests. Clearly, Buhari’s regime has failed to rise above pettiness. Read more: The Punch Newspapers »
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No sit-at-home for #EndSARS anniversary – IPOB - Punch NewspapersThe most widely read newspaper in Nigeria UchePOkoye help us to inform the other people. I know they can never see this.
Lagos #EndSARS panel awards N128.2m to 24 petitionersThe Lagos State Judicial Panel on Restitution for Victims of Special Anti-Robbery Squad Related Abuses and other Matters on Monday awarded N128.2m as compensation to 24 petitioners. Eh we will still come out tomorrow It's one thing to award on paper and it's another, to see to it. Audio award! No be wetin we dey find be this The question is; who gave soldiers the order to open fire on peaceful protesters?
#EndSARSMemorial: Police warn against mayhem as groups plan counter-protests in Lagos - Punch NewspapersEndSARSMemorial: Police warn against mayhem as groups plan counter-protests in Lagos As government sponsored thugs? This is very common in Nigeria. A group plans or is protesting, another group plans or is counter-protesting (mostly sponsored to disrupt a protest).
Fleeing Lagos task force officers shoot banker for protesting car damage - Punch NewspapersThe most widely read newspaper in Nigeria & we are still thinking of ONE Nigeria while people that made to protect Continue hurting citizens and at the end we call them unknown police...one Day will be one Day End Nigeria to safe life and property Without any investigation, the spokesman denies that they are not followlasg taskforce personnel; maybe he receives returns from the team. Very unprofessional. Animal kingdom
Ghosts of #EndSARS haunt FG’s policies on power, petrol subsidies | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World NewsBesides authorities’ resistance to activities commemorating one year anniversary of EndSARS protests this week, the Federal Government appears to be haunted by worries of social resistance in implementing certain policies...
EndSARS protests, riots and thereafter - Daily TrustOPINION: It is a pity that SARS, which came into being in the early 1980s with the best of intentions of stemming the rising tides of armed robbery in the land, degenerated in recent years to an outfit of intimidation and extortion. burnaboy falzthebahdguy davido CNNAfrica cnni CNN BeckyCNN cnnbrk CNNnewsroom CNNInternatDesk cnnipr cuppymusic SAMKLEF renoomokri dino_melaye dj_switchaholic djkaywise wizkidayo