Last weekend, Nigerians took to the streets to protest years-long brutality by the police unit SARS (Special Anti-Robbery Squad), turning the social media movement #EndSARS into an unstoppable force. As the hashtag trended at No 1 on global Twitter, people walked under the sun, shouting, “End SARS!” in different cities—and they continue to walk.
There have been stories of mobilizations: Nigerians raising millions of Naira for victims and protesters, an anonymous website endsars.com collecting stories of SARS, organisations offering practical support.
And then there have been stories of suppressions: protesters were teargassed and attacked with live ammunition, a SARS man threatened to kill 29 people and then kill himself, a SARS man shot directly into a crowded road, and then the death of Jimoh Isiaq. The attacks on protesters didn’t stop even after the announcement that SARS had been “dissolved.”
Here at Folio Nigeria, we have compiled a few videos that tell the stories of last weekend’s #EndSARS protests.
Awkuzu, Anambra State: The young men forced by SARS men to pray in Igbo for their own safety–years ago. It has been claimed that not all of them made it out alive
— Ichie Bullion (@principe_viii) October 9, 2020
The protesters who prayed before protest
— We are all Jimoh Isiaq (@I_Am_Ilemona) October 12, 2020
The young man who refused to be afraid of soldiers, jumping and shouting, “End SARS!”
People are not even scared of soldiers again Na Waoo please if you come across This Retweet for the seek of our brothers out there.
they're not fighting for us again but we, we can.
We must #EndSARS #EndSARSImmediately #EndPoliceBrutalitynow 😭😭 pic.twitter.com/JzpIjrOtJX
— Mustiano 💎 (@Mustiano13) October 9, 2020
The Nigerian mothers who came out for their children
— The Souvenir Whisperer🍓🎗️ (@Inzaghi1) October 9, 2020
Abuja: protesters running from police teargas
— RU’ OF THE BUJ’ (@nkay_yo) October 9, 2020
Abuja: protesters singing and dancing to Davido’s “FEM”
— Ebenezer Agu (@eezer_) October 10, 2020
Lagos: protesters at Lagos State Deputy Governor’s house in Ikoyi
— Oluwaseun Ayodeji Osowobi (@AyodejiOsowobi) October 10, 2020
Unidentified SARS man threatens to kill protesters: “Na 30 bullets I get. I go waste 29 for una and use the last one confirm myself”
I have 30 bullets. I'll kill 29 people and use the last one to kill myself if it comes to that — alleged police officerpic.twitter.com/kU7R1i20uH
— Instablog9ja (@instablog9ja) October 10, 2020
Abuja: a protester narrates how police attacked them even before their protest, including that 5 policemen beat one woman
— David Hundeyin (@DavidHundeyin) October 11, 2020
A policeman shoots straight in a crowded street
— Premier (@SodiqTade) October 11, 2020
London: singer WizKid tells protesters, “Nigerian youths, don’t let anyone tell you that you don’t have a voice”
Young man asks his church why it has remained silent on the protests
The moment when the Inspector General of Police announced that SARS “is hereby dissolved.”
Otosirieze Obi-Young is a writer, editor, journalist, and curator. He is Editor of Folio Nigeria, where he profiles innovators and facilitators in culture: business, art, photography, music, activism, health, food. He has vast experience working in literature. He has sat on the judging panels of The Gerald Kraak Prize and of The Morland Writing Scholarship. He is an editor at 14, Nigeria's first queer art collective, and Curator at The Art Naija Series, a sequence of e-anthologies exploring different aspects of Nigerianness. For three years, Nov. 2016 to Apr. 2020, he led the transformation of the literary blog Brittle Paper into a continental powerhouse, ideating and administering The Brittle Paper Awards, the first by an African publication. His work in queer advocacy has been profiled in Literary Hub. In 2019, he won The Future Awards Africa Prize for Literature. In 2020, he was named among "The 100 Most Influential Young Nigerians." He completed a collection of short stories in 2016 and his novel in 2020. Find him on otosirieze.com or on Twitter & Insta: @otosirieze.