Nigerian youths protesting against police brutality

Tuesday Olokode

A non-partisan youth movement, Standup Against Corrupt Politicians, SACP, has strongly condemned hoodlums’ attacks on people protesting against the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police.

There have been protests in most parts of the country since Wednesday last week by Nigerians, mostly youths, who called for disbanding of SARS, accusing the police squad of corruption, high-handedness and harassment

Despite the disbanding of the squad, #EndSARS campaigners presented five demands to the Federal Government, which the later on Tuesday said it had accepted.

But the protests took a fresh dimension when hoodlums suspected to have been hired by politicians, bearing cutlasses and sticks attacked protesters in Lagos and Abuja.

Condemning the attacks, SACP coordinator in Lagos, Comrade Emmanuel Feyijimi, stated that they reflected the divisive nature of the regime of the President, Major General Muhammadu Buhari (retd.).

He lamented that criminally minded- Nigerians had decided to empower the pro-government protesters to disrupt the peaceful #EndSARS protests.

Emmanuel disclosed that the APC led governments both at the federal level and state level are fond of using thugs and security operatives to intimidate perceived political opponents.

He said a former member of the group who ventured into politics, Comrade Kehinde Okeowo, was similarly treated when he contested for the Vice Chairmanship position in his Agboyi-Ketu LCDA under a different platform.

“Because Okeowo was popular among youths in Nigeria, the All Progressives Congress in Lagos sent hired thugs after the young man. Several people were injured and even the chairmanship candidate was killed at a political rally.

According to him, due to the rising profile of Okeowo among youths in his local government area and beyond, he was marked for assassination by thugs allegedly sponsored by some powerful politicians in the ruling APC.

“As I’m talking to you now, the young man cannot stay within the country because of the incessant harassment by security operatives, this same SARS and hired thugs.”

Feyijimi also cited the case of Omoyele Sowore who contested for President under the platform of African Action Congress in 2019, but was stampeded by the old cabal that has held the country in their jugular.

He said SACP will continue to fight for good governance by exposing corrupt politicians, and also serves as a veritable platform for youths to occupy political leadership positions to bring about the needed positive change in the country.

In his own reaction, an activist and Senior Advocate of Nigeria, Mr. Ebun-Olu Adegboruwa, said government was blamable for the attack on the protesters.

According to him, the attackers were “unemployed youths whose frustrations were weaponized by hawkish elements within and outside of government.”