NIGERIAN youths have taken to the streets again to resume their #EndSARS protests which ended abruptly in October when soldiers opened fire on demonstrators at the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza in Lagos State.
During October, Nigerian youths vehemently called for the dissolution of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (Sars) police unit. It had become notorious for human rights abuses, extortion, torture and extra-judicial killings and the scale of the protests forced the federal government to disband the unit.
However, after Nigerian Army soldiers opened fire on unarmed and innocent demonstrators on October 20, the situation turned ugly and violent. Across the country, angry youths attacked police stations, raided government warehouses for food and looted the homes of the rich, while in return, the security forces opened fire on them, killing dozens.
Since then, judicial panels of inquiries have been set up to investigate some of the human rights abuses. Not waiting for that, however, the protests have resumed in Lagos, Ibadan and Oshogbo in Lagos, Oyo and Osun states respectively, with fears that they could spread further.
At the Lekki Toll Gate Plaza, teams of policemen and soldiers have been deployed there to forestall a breakdown of law and order. Yesterday, the Nigeria Police Force reiterated its ban on gatherings, warning that such might be hijacked by unscrupulous elements but this has not deterred anyone.
In Oshogbo the youths armed themselves with different placards explaining the reasons for their actions. These included “We are not fighting for any political party”, “#End Bad Judiciary in Nigeria”, ” #End fake judicial panel of Inquiry in Osun”, “Unfreeze all the frozen account”, ” We are Nigerian youths” among others.
These youths converged on the Ogo-Oluwa area and marched to the Osun State House of Assembly. Among other things, the protesters were demanding the release of all detained protesters and unfreezing of their accounts by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN).