No end in sight to ‘police brutality’ protests
By John Eche
There is still no end to protests against police brutality in Nigeria that have been taking place for several days now.
The protests which began on social media after reports surfaced showing officers from the now disbanded Special Anti-Robbery Squad, SARS assaulting a youth in Ughelli, Delta State has since snowballed into daily street protests that are further reinforced by social media campaigns.
Polity watchers say that part of the challenge for the authorities in managing the protests is that there has indeed been a long seething challenge of policing in the country which had been waiting for expression. Other analysts say that there is also a sense in which the protests are slowly developing into an omnibus vent for thousands of Nigerians to express their long-repressed rage and anger over other failings in the Nigerian social space.
Even the poor management of police reaction to the challenge is raising even more negative reactions from the Nigerian public and indeed, all across the the world, with groups like Amnesty International taking umbrage over this.
‘Amnesty Int. Nigeria
Today a number of protesters have been severely injured and arrested by the police across Nigeria. This is unacceptable. #SARSMUSTEND’
Till date, the responses of the government and police authorities to the protests are still largely been seen as too little and too slow. Indeed, a lot would have to give to get this challenge under control and the announcement of compensation packages for victims and commencement of the promised prosecution of identified errant officers would be some of the initial steps that may help.
President Muhammadu Buhari of Nigeria