On Sunday, October 11, the Nigerian government announced that a notorious part of the country’s police unit called SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad) had been dissolved following widespread protests against the unit’s brutality, BBC reports. Among the prominent figures attending demonstrations and promoting the #EndSARS hashtag were Nigerian musicians such as Davido, WizKid, Tiwa Savage, and Mr Eazi. “We are not scared to speak,” WizKid said at a protest in London on Saturday, October 10. “Nigerian youth, don’t let anyone tell you you don’t have a voice.” See several posts from the protests below.
Over the weekend, Nigerian singer Burna Boy released a statement outlining his response. “In my opinion, abolishing [SARS] is a definite first step but we cannot afford to stop there,” he wrote. He went on to share his support for protesters and announced a charity to help those who were harmed or arrested during the demonstrations. Additionally, he announced an initiative to help spread information and create “broader platforms to amplify the creative and tech community.” Below, find an image of one of his #EndSARS billboards.
SARS was formed in 1992 as an effort to tackle crime in Nigeria. In a June report, Amnesty International documented at least 82 alleged cases of “torture, ill treatment, and extra-judicial execution” by SARS from January 2017 through May 2020.
October 12, 2020 By Sam Sodomsky