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20.04.2021 EndSARS Watch Six Months after #EndSARS, ‘Police Brutality is Increasing, Physical Protests Could Return’

Published 20th Apr, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

Young Nigerians are remembering the shooting of armless protesters at Lekki Toll Gate, as #EndSars trends on Twitter.

On the evening of October 20, 2020, exactly six months ago today, military officers drafted from Bonny Cantonment, Victoria Island, Lagos, opened fire on hundreds of Nigerians demanding an end to police brutality in the country.

While remembering those lost in the weeklong struggle, some young people are drawing government’s attention to cases of unjust police detention and extortion of citizens which seem to have skyrocketed in recent days.

In a Twitter thread few hours ago, Rinu Oduala, an arrowhead in the #EndSars protest, noted that while judicial panels were still active across the country, there had been an increase in illegal activities of police officers.

“Dear Nigerian Govt, it’s been 6 months after the physical protests. While judicial panels are still sitting across the country, we have noticed an increase in @PoliceNG illegal activities, unjust detention & extortion on our streets,” she said.

“If these issues are not addressed & promptly treated, we can all look forward to another #EndSars physical protests comeback. This is not a threat but a notification. Signed, Nigerian Youths.”

Some of the comments under Rinu’s tweet suggest that the abuse of Nigerians by the police continues unabated in some climes.

“They are still doing their shit. We were stopped by police at Shomolu police station while coming from a lounge in Beriga. From 11:50, they delayed us, took our car key. After they had searched the car and all of us but didn’t find anything, they still took us to the back of the canter,” Ayomide said.

Read Also: Portraits of Blood (ii): Names , Photos, Videos… How  Lekki #EndSars Protesters Were Massacred

In a similar reaction, King Fex said he got a dose of the ill recently. A police officer threatened to shoot him in the leg.

“Just yesterday I was harassed by some police officers,” he said. “One who is old enough to be my father even threatened to shoot my leg. He said, ‘Don’t you know police officers shoot if you refuse to comply?’ I couldn’t take videos of them because I forgot to take my phone with me when I was coming down from the car and I never knew issues would get worse when I was stopped.”

Although government scarcely admitted that anyone died from bullet injury following the October military shooting, an FIJ investigation revealed twenty deaths, and identity of several injured protesters.

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Published 20th Apr, 2021

By Damilola Ayeni

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