Nigeria: Protests against police brutality continue in many states

The nationwide protests against police brutality, tagged #EndSARS, continued on Friday in Lagos, Abuja and many other cities across the…

The nationwide protests against police brutality, tagged #EndSARS, continued on Friday in Lagos, Abuja and many other cities across the country.In Lagos, the protesters regrouped at the Lekki Express Way Toll Plaza and Alausa, Ikeja, the seat of power of the Lagos State government where they have been converging since last week.

The protests in Lagos are well organized and the protesters are supplied with food and water from the coordinators and some Nigerians who support the protests, but cannot join the protest because of their jobs.

The protesters have even engaged the services of private security guards known as bouncers to ward off miscreants from invading the protests and causing problems for them. Some thugs attacked some of the protesters on Thursday at the venue of the protests in Alausa, Ikeja.

Apart from the provision of food and water at the venues of the protests, ambulances and medical personnel are on standby, while mobile toilets are also provided.

Speaking on why the protests have continued despite the announcement that the notorious police unit, SARS has been disbanded, some of the protesters said that their demands included the wider reforms of the police, including improvement of the welfare of the police officers.

Meanwhile, the Coalition of Northern Groups (CNG) yesterday took to the streets in Kaduna, Bauchi, Niger and Kano States to protest the escalating security challenges facing the Northern states.

In Kaduna, the protesters, who marched peacefully from Waff Road to the Kaduna State House of Assembly Complex demanded an “immediate end to banditry, terrorism, and Kidnappings in Northern Nigeria”.

The report by Nigeria’s ThisDay newspaper on Friday said that the protesters carried placards and banners with various inscriptions such as: “Stop the killings in the North,” “Empower SWAT to end insecurity,” “End Boko Haram now,” End Banditry Now,”

“The North is Bleeding,” and “Stop Rape Now.” The protesters were received by the Chief Whip of the Assembly, Hon. Shehu Yunusa.

Addressing the Chief Whip, the coordinator of the protest, Mr. Sa’ad Bako, said the CNG was compelled to protest the unending insecurity in the North of the country.

The group lamented the recent violent attacks on innocent people in Kaduna, Katsina, Zamfara, Sokoto, Borno, Adamawa states and other northern communities and other disturbances across the North.

“This sadly, has ultimately placed the current federal administration of President Muhammad Buhari and a section of the northern political, cultural and spiritual leadership on the wrong side of public opinion – and history.

“The rise in the spate of banditry, kidnappings, cattle rustling and bloodshed in the North has become a major trying point for everyone but the authorities – who have remained detached from the reality,” Bako said.

The group demanded: “An immediate and comprehensive improvement of security in the nation, most especially all over Northern Nigeria.

“The federal and state administrations should address major failings in their perception of the current desperate situation and their response to the people’s demands for their rights to security.

“A total overhaul of the leadership of the national security agencies, a review of the entire national security architecture and the national security committees in order to inject higher levels of competence, integrity and accountability in the manner they deal with the security challenges in the nation and particular the North.

“The promulgation of legislation to compel the review of the salary and general incentive packages of all men of the security services.”