How the Nigerian Government Is Trying To Stop The #EndSARS Protest Without Doing Any Work


The #EndSars movement is continuously growing, and even recently, Nigerian youths have proven that they are powerful enough to stand up for themselves in the face of oppression. From organizing medical care to bailing protesters out of police custody, to donating to fund the protest, handling the logistics of it, and receiving support from Jack Dorsey, CEO of Twitter. Nigerian youths are proving that they can stand up for themselves without the government, and the government is showing no support. Peaceful protesters have received no protection from the government whatsoever. The Nigerian police force even within the protest to end police brutality has used bullets instead of rubber bullets to restrain protesters, leaving over 15 people dead and several injured.

Often, with protests, political officials and other targets of protests may offer short-term solutions and propose policy solutions that may not end up being effective but to suppress the protest. One way the Nigerian government has done this is by providing SWAT, which is a replica of SARS but with a different name. The day this development was announced, Nigerian youths took to social media with the hashtag #EndSwat calling for an end to all reforms of the corrupt police unit. The Nigerian government is finding ways to end the protests without finding or developing policies that would provide solutions to the requests of the protesters.

Pro-Sars Protesters

On Wednesday, the 15th of October, hoodlums attacked protesters with daggers, knives, and other weapons in the Berger area of Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city. The pro-SARS assemblage went on to destroy cars and harass passers-by. Images shared from the location show Nigerian Police officials standing by, doing nothing, and watching as the group attacks protesters. At least five cars were destroyed by the hoodlums, while an unconfirmed number of the protesters sustained injuries.

NYSC Camps Resume

The National Youth Service Corps camp has been put on hold since the coronavirus pandemic started. The service year, which is a mandatory year for all young adults who have finished from higher institutions. The National Youth Service Corps orientation camp will resume next month, on the 10th of November, the minister for youth and sports Sunday Dare said.

Nigerian Army issues threats

The Nigerian military through a Facebook post by the Army spokesman Col Sagir Musa has issued a warning to “subversive elements and trouble makers” to desist after a week of protests about police brutality. He went on to offer to “support the civil authority in whatever capacity to maintain law and order and deal with any situation decisively”. The Nigerian army has a bloody history of dealing with civilians’ disobedience, as there are many reports of force and brutality when dealing with civilians. Many suspects that this would only make things worse and increase grievances amongst protesters.

ASUU Holds Closed-door Meeting With The Federal Government

The Academic Staff Union of Universities has been on strike since February 2020 over the insistence of the Federal Government to implement the IPPIS in the university system. This means that students of Nigerian higher institutions have been at home for nine months without any educational training, which is about a year in the academic calendar. In a day, the government resumes meeting with the union, and plans to call off the strike are already in place. Many have suspected that this is a tactic to make young adults go back to school and possibly reduce the power of the protest.

Thugs Attack Protesters

Thugs suspected to be sponsored by the government launched an attack, again, on peaceful #ENDSARS protesters demonstrating at the Lagos State House of Assembly.

It may seem shocking that police and security operatives guarding the state’s Assembly were missing as the thugs arrived in a Government approved BRT bus.

The protesters have now gotten private security to guard them and protect them while they go on with demanding justice and putting an end to the corrupt police unit.

All Donation Accounts Were Frozen

We had earlier written about how the Nigerian government had flagged all account for the #EndSars protest. You can read more here.

EndSars Protest Banned in Abuja

The FCT Security Committee has just announced a ban on all #EndSARS street demonstrations, protests, and processions anywhere in Abuja.

Nigerians have been protesting nationwide for over a week for the scrapping of the now-defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force, a unit with a long history of abuse of power. The Committee accused protesters of violating COVID-19 guidelines regulating public gatherings, as well as endangering their own lives.

It is hilarious that the state is using COVID-19 as an excuse as campaign rallies held in Edo and Ondo states with thousands gathered and no one flagged them for disobeying COVID-19 regulations. Also, NYSC camps would be resuming with thousands of young adults sleeping in over-congested rooms, and no one is worried about the safety of the individuals in the centre even as the coronavirus pandemic is still on.

Where these rallies banned?

It Is Beyond You

It is essential that for there to be solutions and an end to the protest, the Nigerian government works consciously to resolving all of the issues raised by protesters. Folarin ‘Falz’ Falana, a singer, actor and son of famous activist, Femi Falana pens an open letter to the President. In the open letter, he calls for a committee to be set up if human rights mattered to the government.

The government may have made so many promises to the protesters; nevertheless, the protesters vow to remain until they see steps and actions being taken to ensure that these promises are implemented.

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