Two killed as Nigerians rally against police brutality

Nigeria: Two Killed In Protest Against Police Brutality

Last updated on September 11th, 2021 at 08:20 am

Two people were killed in Nigeria’s oil-rich Delta state as protestors against police brutality took to the streets in several Nigerian cities on Friday.

One protestor and one police officer were killed while another sustained life-threatening injuries during a protest in the southern town of Ughelli, Hafiz Inuwa, Delta State Commissioner of Police told AFP, adding that nine suspects had been arrested.

Hundreds of protestors gathered peacefully in the economic hub Lagos, but in the capital Abuja, the crowd was met with teargas according to one of the organisers.

“Our members were close to 200 in the protest. We were teargased,” said human rights activist, Deji Adeyanju.

“It’s just sad that they are clamping down on peaceful civil protest.”

Anger has been brewing on social media after a video went viral showing the alleged killing of a man by a police officer in Delta state –a video that authorities denied was real.

The man who filmed the video was arrested, provoking even more anger.

Nigeria’s vice president denounced police violence when asked about the issue by reporters.

“I’m very concerned, in fact, very angry about what I see, happening to young men and women who are arrested, in some cases maimed or killed by men of the police force,” Yemi Osinbajo said.

The movement initially targeted the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), widely accused of unlawful arrests, torture and even murder, but has since broadened to include all police forces.

While the SARS unit was suspended on Sunday, groups such as Amnesty International said the government had not gone far enough, pointing to previous unsuccesful attempts to ban the force.

The hashtag #EndSARS was the most trending topic on Twitter on Friday.

“There’s a lot more people than yesterday. The movement is growing,” 29-year-old Chinoso Esengba, a doctor participating in Friday’s protest, said.

“This problem affects us all; we all risk being tortured, arrested, extorted for no good reason,” he added.