Some of Africa’s biggest celebrities have united behind the #EndSARS campaign which has topped Twitter worldwide to raise awareness about the alleged police brutality inflicted by the police unit on Nigerian citizens.
A video that was circulated on social media last week showed members of the SARS unit allegedly shooting dead a man in Delta state.
This sparked protests in Abuja and the rest of Nigeria with #EndSARS, EndSARSNow and #EndPoliceBrutality trending on social media last week until the Nigerian government announced on Sunday 11 October that SARS had been dissolved as part of wider police reforms.
Protests rage on with #EndSWAT
According to AFP, protesters still blocked two main roads in Lagos on Wednesday 14 October, as more demonstrations were held against police brutality.
Inspector general of police Mohammed Adamu said on Tuesday that a new Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) team would “fill the gaps arising from the dissolution of the defunct SARS”.
But the announcement was met with scepticism, with the hashtag #EndSWAT quickly trending online along with #EndSARS, AFP reported.
African celebrities add voice to #EndSARS
Among the prominent figures who were attending demonstrations and promoting the #EndSARS hashtag, were Nigerian musicians Davido, WizKid, Burna Boy, Tiwa Savage and Mr Eazi.
The protesters’ demands included the immediate release of all arrested protesters, justice for all the deceased victims of police brutality and a psychological evaluation and retraining of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
#EndSARS: A chance to speak out
Nigerian citizens used the social media campaign to share their alleged experiences of brutality at the hands of SARS.
Celebrities and other public figures also joined in and showed solidarity to Nigeria.
Arsenal star Mesut Ozil also added his voice to those calling for police brutality to end in Nigeria.
He tweeted: “Horrible to hear what’s been going on in Nigeria. Let’s make this a trending topic everywhere. #EndSARS – My thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected.
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