Numerous celebrities are taking to social media to express their support for the #EndSARS movement. Over the weekend, various stars took to social media to inform their fans about the widespread protests and demonstrations over police brutality taking place in the African nation.
The protests were ignited after a video of a young man allegedly being killed by police surfaced online, according to the BBC, further fueling tensions over a police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The special police unit was reportedly formed back in 1992 to tackle crime in Nigeria but has long faced accusations of abusing its powers, according to the BBC. Amnesty International documented at least 82 cases of “torture, ill treatment and extra-judicial execution by SARS between January 2017 and May 2020.”
Following protests, the Nigerian government announced that the police unit has been dissolved on Sunday (October 11), according to BBC.
“Now my people .. you see what our voices did...this is the beginning of a new Nigeria!” WizKid tweeted out in response to the announcement. “Nigerian youths!! Know your rights and fight for it ! You deserve it. We all deserve it!!”
While SARS has been dissolved, Jidennna noted on Twitter that its disbandment is just the “first step” of many towards police reform.
“This has happened before. We have to build a form of community safety that actually makes Nigerians feel safe,” he elaborated. “Let this be a battle that’s part of a larger movement against corruption to demand a government that truly serves us.”
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Burna Boy expressed similar sentiments, tweeting, They have now allegedly disbanded SARS but so much more needs to be done!! Police cars revolving light SARS is more than a ‘unit.’ It's a mindset built from a lack of repercussions for the law enforcement. It’s not over yet family!”
Additionally, the African Giant artist launched the Project Protect initiative to provide financial and legal assistance to those arrested at the protests. He also put up billboards across Nigeria to spread word of the movement.
Davido issued a call for further governmental change to be enacted, writing, “It’s far from over....we never win anything. We want an Executive order, a Legislative action & a Judicial panel of enquiry set up to prosecute those rogues. Nothing more, nothing less!!”
President Muhammadu Buhari later posted a video to Twitter on Monday (October 12) to address protesters' concerns and said that an internal probe will be launched into the police force.
“The disbanding of SARS is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reforms in order to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remains the protection of lives and livelihood of our people,” he said in the clip. “We will also ensure that all those who were responsible are brought to justice.”
See their posts below:
(Photo by Adekunle Ajayi/NurPhoto via Getty Images)