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World Nigerians in the diaspora join #EndSARS protests

01:45  24 october  2020
01:45  24 october  2020 Source:   pri.org

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In the wake of the # Endsars protest in Nigeria which hashed out as a result of decades of poor governance. Which encouraged police brutality, banditry, extrajudicial killings, Kidnappings, lack of jobs, and generally bad governance. The Nigerians living abroad have joined the legion of the

The # EndSARS hashtag was officially created in 2017 to protest the agency, but has recently gained momentum after recently released video shows members of SARS allegedly shooting and killing a young man. President Muhammadu Buhari has since agreed to disband SARS, but many Nigerians

Like many people in Nigeria, Samson Oluwaseyi Farayola left his country in search of a job.

a group of people wearing costumes: People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 19, 2020. © Sunday Alamba/AP

People hold banners as they demonstrate on the street to protest against police brutality in Lagos, Nigeria, Oct. 19, 2020.

That’s how he found himself cooking popular Nigerian dishes at Le Palanka, a restaurant in Nairobi, Kenya, that specializes in West African cuisine.

He is now among the members of the digitally connected Nigerian diaspora who can’t tear their eyes from the photos and videos showing Nigeria’s largest protests in decades. For them, the images are at once inspiring and frightening — and they’re trying to support their fellow citizens from afar.

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“But, indeed, the # EndSARS protest is opening up a space for this kind of conversation,” Sogunro added. “The important thing is that Nigerians are However, the vested political interests in policing in Nigeria make it difficult to centre abolition in the debate. Young Nigerians protesting in the streets

EndSARS : Nigerians in London condemn violence by hoodlums during protests . Some Nigerians in the United Kingdom, on Thursday, October 22, held a peaceful rally to condemn the growing violence surrounding the # EndSARS protests across Nigeria .

People took to the streets in Lagos and other cities two weeks ago, demanding the disbanding of the notorious Special Anti-Robbery Squad, a police unit that for years has been accused of massive human rights violations, including torture. They’re using the hashtag #EndSARS.

Even after the Nigerian government agreed to disband the unit, protests continued to grow across the country. They became a larger rallying cry against police brutality in Nigeria, as well as a demand for the government to address other issues, such as high unemployment and corruption.

“I wish we had done this a long, long time ago. I’m sure if this happened a long time ago, I would have never left Nigeria in the first place.”

Samson Oluwaseyi Farayola, Nigerian émigré

“I wish we had done this a long, long time ago. I’m sure if this happened a long time ago, I would have never left Nigeria in the first place,” said Farayola, who left to seek work in Qatar last year and got stuck in Kenya during the coronavirus lockdown this spring.

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# EndSARS protesters marched from the Nigerian High Commission to Downing Street, where the UK Prime Minister resides, chanting “justice” after the men in Nigerian military uniforms opened fire on protesters in Lagos. Nigerians in the diaspora are enraged because of the shooting of peaceful

Nigerians in the Diaspora , under the aegis of the Nigerians in Diaspora Organisation, representing the American continent, NIDOAS, have advised the government to cultivate the habit of READ ALSOScores injured, vehicular activities paralysed as # EndSARS protests turn violence in Ikorodu.

But on Tuesday evening, the nationwide demonstrations became deadly when Nigerian police and military open fired on peaceful protestors who continued to assemble after a city-wide curfew in Lagos, killing at least 12, according to Amnesty International.

“At first when I watched the news like two nights ago, I couldn’t sleep,” said Farayola, shaking his head.

The governor of Lagos state has called for an investigation into the shootings. The Nigerian army has denied it's behind them.

Related: Nigerian protesters break curfew amid gunfire, chaos in Lagos

But for Nigerians like Farayola, the gruesome videos of the events that have circulated on social media have been impossible to shake.

“Seeing them shooting our youth just because they demanded for a kind of transformation in the Nigerian system, and the next action we got was to start shooting us — ugh, I felt so bad,” said Farayola, shaking his head.

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The ongoing # EndSARS and #EndSWAT campaign in Nigeria have taken another shape as citizens based in France on Friday, October 15 troop out to join fellow countrymen to demand an end to police brutality. Naija News understands that Nigerian youths today stormed the Nigerian Embassy at the

Some Nigerians residing in Ghana's capital, Accra took to the streets on Tuesday to join the ongoing # EndSARS protest that has rocked several states in the Accra is the second city in the Diaspora to join in a physical protest after London. The protesters , who were mostly students and entrepreneurs

“I’ve got a lot of friends and family members in Lagos. I had to check on them,” he continued, noting that he knows many people who have been targeted by SARS.

“I hate them. With the stories I’ve heard about SARS. Even police officers in Nigeria I hate them with a passion because they extort you, you have to bribe your way out,” even when driving with the appropriate paperwork, Farayola said.

These are the kinds of stories that have circulated among Nigeria’s large diaspora for years. Like Farayola, many have left their home country in search of greener pastures.

In the US, Nigerians have become one of the most educated immigrant groups in the country. They’ve also made a name for themselves as prolific musicians and artists across the world.

The vocal response to the violent crackdown on #EndSars protestors from Nigerians in the diaspora, including celebrities like Burna Boy, have demonstrated how no matter how far they go, Nigerians’ roots remain as strong as ever.

The activism of the Nigerian diaspora also became evident this week, when US presidential candidate Joe Biden joined the chorus of other leaders condemning the crackdown on #EndSARS protestors in a statement.

Behind the scenes of the campaign, African Diaspora for Biden, a group that has been mobilizing African immigrant communities across the country to vote for Biden, has been pushing the candidate to be vocal on issues that matter to them.

“We’re calling our embassies. We’re calling our senators,” said Nkolika Onye, a high school principal in Rhode Island. Onye was born in the US to Nigerian immigrant parents, and she often travels back and forth to Nigeria.

Last weekend, she joined other Nigerians to demonstrate in front of the Rhode Island statehouse in Providence. It’s one of several demonstrations that have happened across the world, including in London and Accra.

She estimates about 100 people showed up, holding signs that read #EndSARS. While it’s far less than the estimated tens of thousands of people demonstrating in cities like Lagos, for Onye it’s the message they are sending that counts.

“We want people in Nigeria to know that just because we are not there. Doesn’t mean that we don’t care, and that’s an important message to send,” Onye said. They will hold another protest on Sunday.

Biden says US 'must stand with Nigerians' peacefully demonstrating for police reform

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From her vantage point as a Nigerian American, Onye draws a direct line between the summer of #BlackLivesMatter protests in the US and the #EndSARS protests happening now in Nigeria.

“What happened to George Floyd happened in the US, but then affected people all over the world. That video footage was devastating for people,” Onye says, including in Nigeria, where there were demonstrations following Floyd's killing.

“When we talk about Black lives matter, they don’t just matter in the US. They matter all over the world.”

Nkolika Onye, Nigerian American in Rhode Island

“I think the same thing is happening now with what’s happening in Nigeria,” Onye said. “When we talk about Black lives matter, they don’t just matter in the US, they matter all over the world.”

Despite being thousands of miles away, Onye remains connected with her family and friends in Nigeria over Whatsapp, social media, and other platforms. Recently, they were sharing United Nations numbers to call in order to increase pressure on the Nigerian government

“I’m really proud of them. I’m proud of the fact that they’re coming together,” she said. “Regardless of what tribe they come from, what state they live in. People are fed up, and they’re realizing the power of their voice.”

Now, Onye says, Nigeria’s government needs to listen.

The massive protests in Nigeria, explained .
What is the SARS unit, and why do Nigerians want to #EndSARS? The sequence of events leading to what Nigerians now call the #LekkiMassacre suggests that this appears to be a carefully planned attack. While protesters were standing on the road, dancing to songs from a live DJ, the Lagos state governor imposed a curfew, to start at 4 p.m. The protesters refused to leave. Next, operators of the toll removed all CCTV cameras from the toll booths and the lights cut out. Soldiers arrived and opened fire between 6:45 and 9 p.m.

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This is interesting!