Thousands of Nigerians have taken to the streets for a seventh straight day to protest against police brutality and calling for the reform of the force.
Despite reactions from the government and the dissolution of a notorious police unit Special Anti-Robbery squad, the protesters have kept up the pressure in a campaign for more actions from the government.
The Nigerian government on Tuesday announced a new unit, the Special Weapons and Tactics team (SWAT), to “fill the gaps” after the scrapping of SARS – a move many said was nothing but a mere name change.
Protesters have continued to march, decrying past ineffectual promises of police reforms and investigations.
To further the dissolution of the unit, the protesters call for police reforms across the country’s entire police system, for an independent body to investigate police abuse, according to a list of demands widely shared on social media.
Protests have continued in major cities across the country including the country’s capital city, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Ibadan and Lagos.
Young Nigerians have been mobilising through social media began staging demonstrations calling for the abolition of the unit. There are fears that the government may shut down the internet if the protests continue.
The #ENDSARS protests have since gained major backing in the country and the diaspora, with some of Nigeria’s most popular stars and celebrities and sports stars across the world throwing their weight – and considerable followings – behind the rallies.
Authorities said a police officer and civilian were killed during protests in Lagos on Monday. At least four persons were allegedly killed in Ogbomoso, a town in Oyo State, southwest Nigeria.
Amnesty International in Nigeria said 10 persons have been killed by police since the protests started last week.