Here’s Some Amazing Instances Nigerian Women have Shown up to #ENDSARS

For the past two days, young Nigerians have protested nationwide, day and night to demanding the extermination of the police’ notorious special anti-robbery squad (SARS) unit.

One thing is certain Nigerian women, online and offline have always been known to show out when it comes to leading protest and demanding for their rights; from the Aba women riots of 1929 to calling out sexual harassment with the Market March movement, these women have constantly proven that they are not afraid to lend their voices when needed and they are showing up once again with the protest against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad

During the Lagos governorship election 2019, a viral video shows fashion influencer, popularly known as DerinfromIsaleEko speaking to then APC governorship candidate who is now Governor of Lagos state ate a downhill campaign on what he aims to do to improve the standard of living of people of the state when he is Governor. The video has made rounds on social media again, as citizens are calling the video a relevant piece for accountability against the Governor, Babjide Sanwo-Olu even at this time.

There has been a lot of anger and outcry online by the country’s young people over claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by the police unit known as the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS). Youths of the country have been protesting against this police unit day and night and the women are lending their voices yet again.

What the women are doing?

On Friday, 9th of October, 2020 Nigerian women came out in mass to speak up with chants such as ‘stop killing our children’ ‘looking good is not a crime’ ‘eyin ijoba e ma pa wa lomo mo awon ni ojo ola wa’ meaning (the government, do not kill our children anymore, they are our future) in the popular city of Agege. We are all entitled to human rights. For many years women’s rights movements have fought hard to address inequality, discrimination, killings in the aim of campaigning to change laws or taking to the streets to demand their rights are respected.

Nigerian Mothers Lead Protest

The ongoing protest has already yielded some results on paper but the problem is that this is the fourth time the police leadership has announced restrictions on the unit’s operation in four years.

Oduala Olorunrinu is one of the organisers of the three-day protest which had protesters camping in front of the government house. Her face has made headlines with national news, some calling her ‘the king of boys’ for speaking boldly and being at the forefront of the protest. This is not the first-time Rinu is in the news, she has also been listed as a Covid-19 frontline hero in the country for producing and donating hand sanitizers during the pandemic.

https://twitter.com/anuissavage/status/1314345461378056192

Some of Nigeria’s leading celebrities and activists have organized and joined protests across major cities in the country. Tiwa Savage, a Nigerian musician joined the Lekki – Ikoyi protest on the 8th, Thursday, October 2020 urging Nigerians to speak against police brutality.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGFLfdxIZNL/

We do not want reform, we don’t need the same barbaric human beings in another fancy uniform under another fancy name, we want an end to Sars completely. Nigeria is for everyone, Today I walked beside my brothers and sisters demanding change, not all young boys are criminals, I have a brother and hopefully one day I’ll have a son, police brutality under any form or name/organization must end says Media Personality, Toke Makinwa.

https://www.instagram.com/tv/CGFen4GgQ9O/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

The Nigerian police have consistently been ranked as one of the poorest police units in the world, In 2016 the World Internal Security and Police Index International, WISPI. The report rates the Nigeria Police Force the “worst” globally in terms of its ability to handle internal security challenges.

Media personality, Tomike Adeoye while at the protest in Lekki on Thursday through an Instagram post expressed her distaste in the Nigerian police force and calls for a scrap of the Special Anit-Robbery Squad.

https://www.instagram.com/p/CGFKNpwF-EO/?utm_source=ig_web_copy_link

Today we ended the audio protests and began the physical protests! We are protesting peacefully to put an end to #Sars. We don’t need them! We don’t want them! We are tired!!!

Nigerian filmmaker and leading actor, Genevieve Nnaji writes an open letter to the Nigerian President through images she shared on Twitter.

An open letter to President Muhammadu Buhari.

My niece was harassed by sars for carrying a laptop. Her own laptop. She was slapped across the face for simply asking why her laptop was being seized. At only 13, she has to deal with police brutality. Complaints were made and nothing was done. No one is spared and we are all affected. Mr President, this is the current state of your country. The stability of a nation is largely dependent on leadership. And every head of the house has one chance to build their legacy. Sir, you’ve had two. What our country is today is a reflection of your leadership. Your legacy. I’m getting weary and tired of being optimistic about change but even then I can’t complain. I am one of the privileged few but that doesn’t mean that I get to give up now. So I will speak.

Mr President, it’s time to lead. I remain saddened by the fact that my country is only an incubator for greatness and not a habitat. The world is clearly moving on. With or without us. What will your legacy be when it’s all said and done? I aspire for mine to leave a mark and not a scar.

I urge you to speak to us because we do not mind readers. Your house is not in order and way far from stable. The people aren’t being empowered, neither are they being protected. Industries such as entertainment and technology that are currently boosting our economy and empowering the youth are being frustrated. All under your regime.

WE ARE NOT ALL CRIMINALS and shouldn’t be treated as such. If there is an increase in crime, it’s as a result of the increase in poverty. We honestly do not know the difference between the criminals and the law enforcers anymore. While there are clearly good people in the force, the bad ones are overshadowing them. The lack of value for human life in our country is disheartening and heartbreaking. We would have less crime if we had more job opportunities. Criminals would be fewer and easier to catch. The police need to be our friend and not our enemy. We need law enforcement to work with us and not against us. Contrary to what you may believe Mr President, we are not lazy. We are under-utilized.

Leaders will come and go, but we the people will remain. We will survive. We always have. But we won’t forget. Right now, your administration is standing in the way of our survival. If the country is unwilling to be great, at least the least you can do is let us be great by ourselves. Mr President, you are the commander-in-chief. I plead with you to command your troops to stand down.

Sincerely, Genevive NNaji #EndSars #EndPoliceBrutality


Comedienne, Taaooma used her platform to chip in the issue while speaking with the U.S consul general in Nigeria, General Claire Pierangel to mark the International Day of the Girl Child she says, ‘youths are terrified in the country, we are unsure of tomorrow, I could be walking own the street and I would be shot dead. We need your help.

Feyikemi Abudu, co-anchor of popular Nigerian podcast, I said what I said, was among the protesters outside the Lagos State Assembly in Ikeja on Friday. Abudu also told CNN she has raised 1.3 million Naira (about $3,390) to buy food for those protesting and for medical treatment for those injured during the protests while Iyameto Mosopemi ensured there were food and water for all protesters through the day by leading the logistics required to make it happen.

Also, Joy Eze, a Nigerian woman, one of the protesters was shot in the mouth on Thursday Night while protesting peacefully, Nigerians have crowdfunded N5 million for her treatment led by Feyikemi Abudu.

Odun Eweniyi, cofounder of Nigerian Tech company, and co-founder of women’s advocacy platform, wine and whine announced that the company would be donating 1 million Naira to the cause. It is not the first time the tech company has spoken up as regards issues that deal with women. The tech company set up the #STERAugustDonations which compelled individuals to Donate as little as N500 a week this month to support the Stand To End Rape Initiative in Nigeria.

Oluwatosin Olaseinde, a finance expert through her firm The Money Africa also donated a sum of 500,000 Naira towards the cause. Other celebrities and activists such as Yemi Alade, Kate Henshaw, Waje, Bolalnle Olukanni, Rita Dominic, and a host of others have come out to speak against police brutality in the country. Systemic, sustainable change is what we need.

We are stronger when we work together!

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