The Black Card Talks: #EndSARS #ANewNigeria (Part 1 – The Timeline of Events)
Written by The Black Card Talks on 28/10/2020
Something most of the world doesn’t know is that #EndSARS was a trending hashtag and in 2017. It is a decentralised social movement against police brutality in Nigeria. Similar to the #BlackLivesMatter movement, it has been revitalised and more widely understood for it’s true aims in 2020. If you have somehow missed this years public outcry over the past 3 weeks below is a whistle stop tour.
#EndSARS – A Timeline
3rd October 2020 – a video started trending on social media showing a SARS police officer shooting a young Nigerian in front of Wetland Hotel – Delta, Nigeria.
4th October 2020 – #EndSARs was trending on twitter with people sharing their stories of their experience of SARS
5 October 2020, another report surfaced of SARS officers killing a 20-year-old upcoming musician named Daniel Chibuike, popularly called Sleek in his neighbourhood.
8 October 2020, nation-wide protests on ENDSARS started after weeks of outcry and anger with videos and pictures showing police brutality, harassment and extortion in Nigeria.
Sunday, 11 October 2020, the protestors put up five demands to be met by the Federal Government of Nigeria. The demands which were signed by ‘A Nigerian Youth’ asked for:
- The immediate release of all arrested during the protests
- Justice and compensation for all who died through police brutality in Nigeria
- An independent body be set up within 10 days to investigate and prosecute all reports of police misconduct
- Psychological evaluation and retraining of SARS operatives before they are deployed to any other police unit
- Adequate increase in the salaries for Nigerian police.
On Sunday, 11 October 2020, Nigeria’s Inspector-General of Police, Mohammed Adamu announced the “dissolution” of SARS.
- Many Nigerians criticised the movement as similar promises have been made over the years feeling as though the government will simply reassign these officers to another line of duty. As such the protests continued.
12 October 2020, the Governor of Lagos State Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the Minister of Police Affairs, Maigari Dingyadi, urged protestors to believe that SARS has been disbanded. In River state Governor, Nyesom Wike announced that the End SARS protests are disallowed whilst in Oyo State, Seyi Makinde barred Police from engaging with the protestors in order to avert further casualties.
13 October 2020, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Police Force, Frank Mba, announced the creation of a Special Weapon and Tactics Team (SWAT) to replace SARS. Expected to kick off in 7 days with the same officers who undergo and pass psychological and medical evaluation to determine their fitness.
14 October – 19 October 2020, protests continued across the country.
20 October 2020, The Lekki Tollgate Massacre.
- The governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, declared a state-wide 24-hour curfew effective 4:00 PM, this was later extended until 9:00 PM
- Between this time, images of some persons alleged to be working with the Lagos State government and the Lekki Concession Company removing cameras at the toll gate circulated on Twitter. Street lights at the toll gate vicinity were also turned off.
- Hours later, it was reported that armed men allegedly of the Nigerian Army arrived at the scene of the protest, before the 9:00 PM curfew, and opened fire on peaceful and unarmed protesters, killing around 20 people with more injured.
- Despite video evidence to the contrary, the Lagos State government reported that the shooting resulted in up to 25 injured, and 1 dead.
22 October 2020 President Muhammadu Buhari addressed the nation in what #EndSARS protestors felt was an underwhelming speech, void of compassion and leadership and any solutions.
You may be thinking but they ended SARS so why are Nigerians around the world still protesting?
Put simply #EndSARS became #EndSWAT which became #EndPoliceBrutality which is quickly changing into #ANewNigeria. Simply put Nigerians are tired of bad governance which manifests itself in rationing electricity, feeble healthcare, poor access to education and bad roads. The country has been heralded as fantastically corrupt with many saying the only thing stopping Nigeria being a super power are it’s leaders. This hashtag is a pinnacle point in Nigeria’s history with the youth speaking against complacency and mismanagement of funds and we at The Black Card Talks stand by the movement. But this is just the first step!
So what next you ask? Well we wouldn’t be Nigerians if we didn’t say “watch out for part 2”.
To God Be The Glory…
… We hope you caught the joke! Make sure you look out for part 2 where we will be talking about how we build #ANewNigeria.