Nigerians are Returning to the Streets for a Second Wave of #EndSARS Protests


On the 7th of December, 2020, young Nigerians returned to the streets about six weeks after the massacre of peaceful protestors at the Lekki Toll Gate by the Nigerian Army. Ibadan, Ondo, Port Harcourt, Abuja, and Lagos have seen rekindlings of the movement.

This came as a response to the attempt of the Nigerian Police Force to stop the activities of State Judicial Panels commissioned to examine the countless unreported cases of misconduct and extra Judicial dispensation by officers of the police SARS unit. 

Lackadaisical governing by President Muhammadu Buhari has set the stage for this new wave of protests. The frequent denial of the Lekki Massacre by state officials also widened an already open chasm.

During the thirteen days of the first wave of protests, Nigerians resoundingly requested that their #5ofor5 demands be met. The demands were quite simple; the release of all arrested protesters, justice for victims of police brutality and compensation for families of the deceased, setting up an investigation and prosecution of reported police misconduct within a period of ten days, psychological evaluation, and adequate payment for all police officers. 

The Nigerian Government’s Shameful Response

The Nigerian government responded to its citizens’ agitations against police brutality with more police brutality and the murder of countless innocents. The rising deaths of protestors, coupled with government curfews nationwide moved protesters back online, while physical protests continued in the diaspora.

Since then the Nigerian Government has frozen bank accounts, arrested, and seized passports of some of those who participated and aided the protests. Modupe Odele, a legal practitioner and member of the Feminist Coalition, had her passport seized at the airport due to her inclusion in a ‘No-fly’ list. 

On the ground, police officers resumed harassing young Nigerians, especially those who participated in the protests on and offline. Individuals reported that police officers forcefully searched phones for media suggesting protest involvement.

#ENDSARS Returns To The Trending Topics

News of the Nigerian Police’s lawsuit against the State Judicial Panels sparked fresh outrage. The one thing young Nigerians were able to hold on to after two weeks of protests and loss of innocent lives was in danger of being taken away.

According to a report published by The Cable, The hashtag, #EndSARS, topped Twitter trends on Monday, December 7th, 2020, with nearly 120,000 tweets as of 11:00 am. The consequence of this is that fresh conversations leading to renewed anger are happening, and this fury is spilling right into the streets.

What Will Be Different This Time?

During the last protests, state-sponsored thugs destroyed lives and property to disrupt the movement and compromise its peaceful nature. #EndSARS protesters are keeping this government tactic in mind as they make plans.

According to popular consensus on social media, protests will only hold in one or two venues in each state, financial donations are being organised via cryptocurrency, and drones will be used to monitor the protest grounds. 

Also, to avoid a repeat of the tragic Lekki massacre, protesters will avoid overnight gatherings. The Nigerian government has shown they have no regard for human life, and protesters are staying safe as they make their voices heard. 

The recent murder of a Keke driver, identified as a schoolboy, in the Rukpokwu community in Port Harcourt is attracting even more participation. According to online evidence, he was shot dead by a police officer over his hesitation to pay a 100 naira bribe in the early hours of December 10, 2020.

More reports as this situation develops…

Pelumi Salako

Pelumi Salako is a freelance journalist and writer interested in the intersection of arts and culture

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.

Previous Story

Best New Music – Rotimi Returns With All The Love and Comfort On New Track ‘Love Somebody’

Next Story

New Music Weekend: Spanking New Hits From DJ Spinall, Aylo, Tekno, Psycho YP, and More

Latest from Culture