#EndSARS in retrospect: A 14-day sequence of “hopeful” agitations?
It’s been brutal, appalling and heartbreaking, but Nigerian youths are still on their toes, fighting for a reformed Nigeria. It’s been 14 days since the youths rose up to organise a decentralised social movement against the Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS).
Although it’s been a peaceful protest, still, lives and properties have been lost, businesses have been affected, there’s a national and international uproar for justice. It was disclosed by the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCCI), that ₦700 billion in economic value has been lost since the protest commenced, economic decline is inevitable.
Let’s take a journey through the first day of protest till date:
Day 1: Thursday, October 8, 2020
Nigerian youths, led by Falz, Runtown among other Nigerian media personalities, marched to the house of the Lagos state Governor, where they held a protest till night. They remained at its gate till the next day, Friday, October 9, 2020.
Day 2: Friday, October 9, 2020
The deputy Governor of Lagos, Femi Hamzat, addressed the protesters, condemning police brutality and promising immediate actions in response to demands.
Afterwards, an emergency parliamentary sitting, to deliberate the issue at hand, was held by the Lagos state house of assembly. This led to the following resolution:
- The Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS) should be probed by Nigeria’s Senate and House of Assembly
- The protesters should be protected by the commissioner of police
- Molestation of youths should be put to an end
- Public inquiry on the extrajudicial killings should be instituted by Senate president and Speaker of the house of representatives
- Disbandment of SARS and its replacement by a new unit, SWAT( Special Weapons and Tactics), with a clear code of conduct and illegalities sanction
In Abuja, protesters headed to the headquarters of Nigerian Police Force, where they camped till the Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu, addressed them.
Day 3: Saturday, October 10, 2020
The Nigerian police purportedly used tear gas and water against the protesters. At this time, Aisha Yesufu, a Nigerian activist, had joined the protest.
At Ogbomosho, Oyo state, the protest turned into violence, as the first killing occurred. One of the protesters, known as Jimoh Isiaka, was killed.
Day 4: Sunday, October 11, 2020
The disbandment of SARS was announced by the Inspector-General of police, Mohammed Adamu. Due to the fact that the unit was not entirely dissolved but reassigned into other units, and has been disbanded and reformed severally in the past, the protest continued.
At Abuja, protesters were allegedly dispersed by the police, using tear gas, bullets and water cannons, and three more protesters were killed at Ogbomoso, Oyo state.
Day 5: Monday, October 12, 2020
Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the Governor of Lagos state, and Maigari Dingyadi, the Minister of Police Affairs, tried to convince the protesters about the disbandment, but to no avail.
At Surulere, Lagos, peaceful protesters were arrested, a bystander watching the protest was killed, and four protesters were injured.
Also, the protest at Lekki-Epe Expressway toll gate, Murtala Mohammed International airport toll gate, Alausa, Ikorodu Road and Yaba led to a heavy traffic, crippling businesses and causing a standstill.
While at Abuja, more junctions, including Berger were blocked, the protest was held in front of the University of Ibadan, Iwo road was blocked and vehicles were held at standstill.
Day 6: Tuesday, October 13, 2020
The Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police Force, Frank Mba, announced the launch of the Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT), replacing SARS, with examination of their psychological and medical well being for fitness evaluation.
At Abuja, protesters peacefully headed to the National Assembly, but were violently prevented by soldiers, causing injuries on some of the protesters.
Two hundred million naira fund, for victims of police brutality in Lagos state, was reportedly promised to be disseminated by the Governor, Sanwo-olu. There was a meeting between the Governor and the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buahri, where the five demands of the protesters were presented.
In a meeting organised by the Office of the Inspector General of Police and National Human Rights Commission (NHRC), the five demands were agreed upon. The meeting had in attendance stakeholders, including officials of Ministry of Police Affairs and Police Service Commission, representatives of Civil Society organisations and activists from the entertainment industry and #EndSARS movement.
The Lagos-Ibadan expressway was further blocked by protesters as the protest continued.
Day 7: Wednesday, October 14, 2020
In Lagos, protesters were attacked by thugs, using cutlasses, sticks among other weapons. Protesters were also attacked at Abuja, Berger roundabout, using cutlasses and cudgel.
Day 8: Thursday, October 15, 2020
The prohibition of the protest was announced at Abuja by the Minister, Malam Muhammad Bello. It was said that the protest was unruly, caused discomfort, violated COVID-19 protocols and should be discontinued in view of the fact that the demands of the protesters had been met by the Government.
Again, protesters were attacked in Lagos state, at Alausa.
Day 9: Friday, October 16, 2020
An anonymous hacker, hacked the Twitter account of the National Broadcasting Commission, putting up about 3,500 emails.
“We #Anonymous will continue supporting Nigerians”, the hacker highlighted.
The Governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-olu, announced that the trial of policemen, who shot at protesters in Surulere earlier in the week, had commenced.
Day 10: October 17, 2020
A candlelight session, in honour of deceased victims, was held by protesters at Lekki toll gate and Alausa, Ikeja.
The Vice President of Nigeria, Yemi Osinbajo, apologised on behalf of government.
Day 11: Sunday, October 18, 2020
The Governor of Osun state, Adegboyega Oyetola, escaped an assassination attempt in Oshogbo, after marching with the protesters and addressing them.
Despite the rain on Sunday night, protesters camped in front of the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) headquarters, blocking access to the place.
Day 12: Monday, October 19, 2020
Soldiers were deployed to the streets of Abuja, stationed in strategic places to arrest the escalating protesters.
In Lagos, the protest at Lekki Toll Gate continued through Monday, October 19, 2020. From 7:00pm, protesters gathered at Alimosho, blocking Ipaja road. Also, there was a rally called for outside the Murtala Muhammed International Airport at the 7/8 Bus Stop from 9:00pm.
Day 13: Tuesday, October 20, 2020
The Governor of Lagos state declared a 24-hour curfew, effective from 4pm, due to the thugs’ attack on protesters and the police. Later on, it was reported on Twitter that men, alleged to be working with Lagos State government and the Lekki Concession Company, were seen removing the CCTV Cameras, and lights were turned off at the Lekki toll gate.
Later on, it was also reported that armed men of the Nigerian Army, arrived at the protest ground, opening fire on peaceful and unarmed protesters, killing over 70 people, and leaving over 50 people injured. This happened despite the fact that the curfew was extended to 9.00pm.
Day 14: Wednesday, October 21, 2020
Video evidence showed that unarmed protesters are still being attacked by the Nigerian army and the Nigerian police.
Television Continental Station (TVC), Adekunle and Orile Iganmu police stations, and Oyingbo bus terminal were set ablaze, also, the palace of the Oba of Lagos was raided.
As we move further in great hopes, we envision not just a positive outcome, but a stable economy on the long run, where businesses would bloom in progression.
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