Home Special Features EndSARS:‌ ‌The‌ ‌Government’s‌ ‌involvement‌ ‌on‌ ‌October‌ ‌20,‌ ‌2020,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌never‌ ‌forget‌

EndSARS:‌ ‌The‌ ‌Government’s‌ ‌involvement‌ ‌on‌ ‌October‌ ‌20,‌ ‌2020,‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌never‌ ‌forget‌

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It‌ ‌was‌ ‌the‌ ‌end of the lockdown,‌ ‌people‌ ‌had‌ ‌lost‌ ‌their‌ ‌jobs,‌ ‌few‌ ‌had‌ ‌begun‌ ‌working‌ ‌from‌ ‌home,‌ ‌very‌ ‌few‌ ‌had‌ ‌
resumed‌ ‌their‌ ‌jobs,‌ ‌all‌ ‌students‌ ‌were‌ ‌at‌ ‌home ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌notorious‌ ‌Special‌ ‌Anti-Robbery‌ ‌Squad‌ ‌(SARS)‌ ‌was‌ ‌making‌ ‌the‌ ‌news.‌ ‌Videos‌ ‌of‌ ‌extortion,‌ ‌brutality,‌ ‌torture‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌youths‌ ‌by‌ ‌SARS‌ ‌was‌ ‌making‌ ‌news‌ ‌almost‌ ‌every‌ ‌minute‌ ‌on‌ ‌social‌ ‌media.‌ ‌ ‌
nigeria - Lagospost.ng Online‌ ‌protest‌s ‌had‌ ‌been‌ ‌staged‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌past‌ ‌and‌ ‌four‌ ‌times‌ ‌the‌ ‌government‌ ‌have‌ ‌said‌ ‌they‌ ‌will‌ ‌disband‌ ‌SARS,‌ ‌and‌ ‌four‌ ‌times‌ ‌this‌ ‌was‌ ‌untrue,‌ ‌as‌ ‌SARS‌ ‌continued‌ ‌to‌ ‌torture,‌ ‌kill,‌ ‌rape,‌ ‌and‌ ‌extort‌ ‌indiscriminately.‌ ‌

On‌ ‌October‌ ‌4,‌ ‌2020,‌ ‌a‌ ‌video‌ ‌showing‌ ‌SARS‌ ‌officers‌ ‌dragging‌ ‌two‌ ‌men‌ ‌from‌ ‌a‌ ‌hotel,‌ ‌with‌ ‌one‌ ‌of‌ ‌them‌ ‌shot‌ ‌outside‌ ‌went‌ ‌viral‌ ‌and‌ ‌sparked‌ ‌a protest‌ ‌on‌ ‌Twitter‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌#EndSARS‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌trending‌ ‌table.‌ ‌
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And‌ ‌then‌ ‌Naira‌ ‌Marley‌ ‌called‌ ‌on‌ ‌Marlians‌ ‌and‌ ‌non‌ ‌Marlians‌ ‌to‌ ‌hit‌ ‌the‌ ‌street‌ ‌on‌ ‌Monday‌, ‌October‌ ‌5, 2020.‌ ‌He‌ ‌tweeted:‌ ‌”So‌ ‌9 am ‌tomorrow‌ ‌we‌ ‌move,‌ ‌2nd‌ ‌toll‌ ‌gate.‌ ‌Peaceful‌ ‌protest,‌ ‌no‌ ‌vandalism,‌ ‌no‌ ‌fights‌ ‌and‌ ‌no‌ ‌stealing.‌ ‌—‌ ‌nairamarley‌ ‌(@officialnairam1)‌ ‌October‌ ‌5,‌ ‌2020‌ ‌

And‌ ‌then‌ ‌for‌ ‌the‌ ‌fifth‌ ‌time,‌ ‌the‌ ‌government‌ ‌pressured‌ ‌him‌ ‌not‌ ‌to‌ ‌go‌ ‌through‌ ‌with‌ ‌the‌ ‌planned‌ ‌protest‌ ‌promising to listen to us this time, which led him to ‌cancel ‌the‌ ‌proposed‌ ‌protest.‌ ‌

The‌ ‌singer‌ ‌tweeted‌ ‌on‌ ‌Tuesday,‌ ‌“We‌ ‌won’t‌ ‌be‌ ‌protesting‌ ‌anymore‌ ‌because‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌a‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌changes‌ ‌being‌ ‌made‌ ‌right‌ ‌now.‌ ‌As‌ ‌a‌ ‌Marlian‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌give‌ ‌them‌ ‌a‌ ‌week‌ ‌to‌ ‌see‌ ‌the‌ ‌changes‌ ‌and‌ ‌if‌ ‌there’s‌ ‌no‌ ‌changes‌ ‌we‌ ‌will‌ ‌start‌ ‌a‌ ‌mass‌ protest.‌ ‌#togetherwecan.”‌ ‌ ‌

“Marlian‌ ‌nation‌ ‌feel‌ ‌free‌ ‌to‌ ‌join‌ ‌the‌ ‌live‌ ‌and‌ ‌ask‌ ‌any‌ ‌question‌ ‌you‌ ‌want.‌ ‌#togetherwecan,”‌ ‌he‌ ‌wrote.‌ ‌

This‌ ‌was‌ ‌after‌ ‌the‌ ‌police‌ ‌said‌ ‌they‌ ‌would‌ ‌hold‌ ‌a‌ ‌live‌ ‌session‌ ‌with‌ ‌Naira‌ ‌Marley‌ ‌to‌ ‌discuss‌ ‌police‌ ‌brutality‌ ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌youth’s‌ ‌grievances,‌ ‌a‌ ‌move‌ ‌that‌ ‌garnered‌ ‌opposing‌ ‌reactions,‌ ‌as‌ ‌there‌ ‌were‌ ‌other‌ ‌celebrities‌ ‌who‌ ‌had‌ been‌ championing‌ ‌the‌ ‌cause‌ ‌before‌ ‌Marley.‌ ‌

Meanwhile,‌ ‌another‌ ‌singer,‌ ‌Runtown,‌ ‌tweeted‌ ‌on‌ ‌October‌ ‌4,‌ ‌2020,‌ ‌saying‌ ‌“This‌ ‌has‌ ‌gone‌ ‌long‌ ‌enough‌ ‌and‌ ‌now‌ ‌we‌ ‌MUST‌ ‌take‌ ‌action!‌ ‌I’ll‌ ‌be‌ ‌leading‌ ‌a‌ ‌protest‌ ‌to‌ ‌#ENDSARS‌ ‌on‌ ‌Thursday,‌ ‌October‌ ‌8th‌ ‌2020.‌ ‌They‌ ‌MUST‌ ‌listen‌ ‌to‌ ‌us,‌ ‌they‌ ‌MUST‌ ‌make/effect‌ ‌REAL‌ ‌and‌ ‌VISIBLE‌ ‌changes!‌ ‌Empty‌ ‌promises‌ ‌won’t‌ ‌work‌ ‌this‌ ‌time!!!.‌ ‌

“Let’s‌ ‌all‌ ‌come‌ ‌out‌ ‌to‌ ‌peacefully‌ ‌reach‌ ‌out‌ ‌to‌ ‌our‌ ‌“Elected”‌ ‌leaders‌ ‌beyond‌ ‌social‌ ‌media!!!‌ ‌Venue/Take‌ ‌Off‌ ‌Point:‌ ‌Lekki‌ ‌Phase‌ ‌1,‌ ‌Toll‌ ‌Gate.‌ ‌10‌ ‌AM,”‌ ‌the‌ ‌music‌ ‌star‌ ‌tweeted.‌ ‌

Falz,‌ ‌also‌ ‌joined‌ ‌by‌ ‌tweeting‌ ‌“I‌ ‌will‌ ‌be‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌peaceful‌ ‌#EndSARS‌ ‌protest‌ ‌taking‌ ‌place‌ ‌on‌ ‌Thursday,‌ ‌Oct‌ ‌8‌ ‌by‌ ‌10 AM.‌ ‌We‌ ‌take‌ ‌off‌ ‌from‌ ‌the‌ ‌Lekki‌ ‌Phase‌ ‌1‌ ‌toll‌ ‌gate!‌ ‌cc‌ ‌@iRuntown.”‌ ‌
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Even‌ ‌after‌ ‌Naira‌ ‌Marley‌ ‌had‌ ‌withdrawn,‌ ‌Runtown‌ ‌stood‌ ‌his‌ ‌ground‌ ‌tweeting‌ ‌”Thursday‌ ‌is‌ ‌Thursday.”‌ ‌And‌ ‌thus‌ ‌the‌ ‌EndSARS‌ ‌protest‌ ‌began.‌ ‌ ‌

The‌ ‌Nigerian‌ ‌youth‌ ‌hit‌ ‌the‌ ‌streets‌ ‌in‌ ‌different‌ ‌locations‌ ‌across‌ ‌the‌ ‌country,‌ ‌Lagos,‌ ‌Delta,‌ ‌Port‌ ‌Harcourt,‌ ‌Ibadan,‌ ‌Abuja,‌ ‌Jos,‌ ‌Ilorin,‌ ‌etc.‌ ‌
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The‌ ‌government‌, however,‌ ‌were‌ ‌watching‌ ‌and‌ ‌hoping‌ ‌the‌ ‌youths‌ ‌would‌ ‌get‌ ‌tired,‌ ‌immediately‌ ‌placed‌ ‌a‌ ‌leash‌ ‌on‌ ‌the‌ ‌media‌ ‌as‌ ‌no‌ ‌media‌ ‌house‌ ‌was‌ ‌reporting‌ ‌the‌ ‌protest,‌ ‌making‌ ‌the‌ ‌majority‌ ‌of‌ ‌the‌ ‌older‌ ‌population‌ ‌unaware‌ ‌of‌ ‌what‌ ‌was‌ ‌happening.‌ ‌ ‌
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This‌ ‌was‌ ‌still‌ ‌not‌ ‌deterring‌ ‌the‌ ‌youth,‌ ‌the‌ ‌government‌ ‌resorted‌ ‌to‌ ‌using ‌water‌ ‌cannons‌ ‌on‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌as‌ ‌well‌ ‌as‌ ‌teargas.‌ ‌A‌ ‌lot‌ ‌of‌ ‌times,‌ ‌the‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌would‌ ‌disperse‌ ‌and‌ ‌converge‌ ‌in‌ ‌another‌ ‌location.‌ ‌At‌ ‌one‌ ‌point,‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌were‌ ‌given ‌false‌ ‌location‌s ‌of‌ ‌convergence‌ ‌because‌ ‌the‌ ‌police‌ ‌force‌ ‌would‌ ‌be‌ ‌at‌ ‌the‌ ‌venue‌ ‌before‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌got‌ ‌there.‌ ‌
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The‌ ‌media‌ ‌houses‌ ‌that ‌covered‌ ‌the‌ ‌event‌ ‌were‌ ‌fined‌ ‌for‌ ‌doing‌ ‌so,‌ ‌notably‌ ‌Arise‌ ‌TV‌ ‌and‌ ‌Channels‌ ‌Television.‌ ‌ ‌
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They‌ ‌went‌ ‌further‌ ‌to‌ ‌freeze‌ ‌bank‌ ‌accounts‌ ‌of‌ ‌some‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌who‌ ‌were‌ ‌front liners ‌and‌ ‌the‌ ‌account‌ ‌of‌ ‌Feminist‌ ‌Coalition‌ ‌which‌ ‌was‌ ‌used‌ ‌for‌ ‌donations‌ ‌during‌ ‌the‌ ‌protest,‌ ‌to‌ ‌cover‌ ‌ ‌bail‌ ‌fees,‌ ‌medical‌ ‌expenses,‌ ‌feeding,‌ ‌etc.‌ ‌
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Passports‌ ‌of‌ ‌some‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌were‌ ‌seized‌ ‌to‌ ‌keep‌ ‌them‌ ‌in‌ ‌the‌ ‌country,‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌were‌ ‌arrested‌ ‌from ‌their‌ ‌homes,‌ ‌beaten‌ ‌and‌ ‌tortured.‌ ‌

And‌ ‌finally,‌ ‌on‌ ‌October‌ ‌20,‌ ‌2020‌, ‌at‌ ‌about‌ ‌6:45‌ ‌pm,‌ ‌the‌ ‌government‌ ‌pulled‌ ‌its‌ ‌last‌ ‌string‌ ‌to‌ ‌shut‌ ‌down‌ ‌the‌ ‌protest‌ ‌and‌ ‌reportedly‌ ‌sent‌ ‌the‌ ‌Nigerian‌ ‌army‌ ‌and‌ ‌police‌ ‌to‌ ‌the‌ ‌Lekki‌ ‌Tollgate‌ ‌in‌ ‌Lagos‌ ‌where‌ ‌live‌ ‌ammunitions‌ ‌were‌ ‌shot‌ ‌at‌ ‌thousands‌ ‌of‌ ‌protesters‌ ‌without‌ ‌warning,‌ ‌this‌ ‌for‌ ‌nothing‌ ‌but‌ ‌requesting‌ ‌good‌ ‌governance‌ ‌and‌ ‌an‌ ‌end‌ ‌to‌ ‌police‌ ‌brutality.‌ ‌
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According to Amnesty International, 38 people were allegedly killed on that day across the country.

The most shocking of it all was that through it all, the President, Muhammadu Buhari never addressed the nation on the youth’s agitations until two days after the infamous Lekki Massacre.
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Today, we remember the lives that were lost, the bodies that were maimed, the minds that still suffer from PTSD from the incidents, and the continued bad governance and police brutality in the country.
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Nigeria our country, will be great, the government can do better. The Buhari-led government should do right by its people, there is hardship in the land, kidnapping is on the increase, and banditry has become the order of the day. This is not the promises he made to Nigerians in 2015, we demand better, politicians do better, that’s all the Nigerian youth is demanding. BETTER

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