#endsars: the awakening

After years of experiencing political corruption, human rights violation, and extortion within the SARS [Special Anti Robbery Squad] unit of the police force, young Nigerians are determined to reform the policing system through a series of peaceful nationwide protests until their demands are met. 

Despite a system that has been unresponsive to their need, the youth of Nigeria have spoken up. There is poetry to the fact that the protest erupted in October 2020; Oct. 1, 1960, marked the official date of Nigeria’s independence from British rule. Sixty years later, young Nigerians are still demanding freedom from repression.

The pattern of assembling policing forces to protect government over the people, to prey on local communities, and suppress dissent continued well into the 20th century. The Aba Women’s War of 1929, the General Strike of 1945, and the Enugu Colliery Strike of 1949 were instances where anti-colonial resistance was met with a quasi-military policing force deployed to subjugate citizens.

The #EndSARS protest which started out as a peaceful demonstration by thousands of youths quickly degenerated into chaos as security forces, mostly police began to use live ammunition and teargas on protesters leading to an estimated death of at least 100 individuals. 48 of whom were killed on October 20, 2020, alone. 

Here, I visualise the demonstrator's experience at four [4] protests I partook in at Lagos, Nigeria. 

My thoughts and sympathy are with the families of those who lost their lives on October 20, 2020 at the Lekki Toll gate while protesting peacefully and unarmed - as well as those that have lost their lives to police brutality in Nigeria.

We hope that your death shall bring about the change you vehemently fought for.  Rest on.

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