Its almost two weeks since the #EndSARS protest began across some cities in Nigeria against police brutality in Nigeria, as it us safe to say that so far protesters has made some little gains in short time.
This is because the government had set up a panel to investigate officers who have been accused of killings and rapes which turns out to be one of the demands made by protesters.
On Thursday 15 October, 2020, after ten days of protest across Nigeria, the country’s Vice President, Yemi Osinbajo, gave an order that every state must set up their own panel to investigate all the cases against officers of the Special Anti Robbery Squad, which is expected to conclude in 6 months time.
Even the African Union issued a state on the matter. October 13, the AU mentioned six things that the Nigeria government must do if they to avoid sanctions.
The small victories of the #End SARS protest so far
Vice President ‘panel order’
The National Economic Council (NEC) which was presided over by the Vice President on Thursday, directed all state governors in Nigeria to set up a judicial panel to investigate police brutality complaints and use the special funds given to their state to compensate the victims. Also a deadline has been given to all states to complete their investigations in six months time.
The Nigeria Federal Ministry of Youths and Sport development have announced holding a town hall meeting to look into putting a stop to police brutality.
This is where the Human Rights Commission, Inspector General of Police will engage with youths to discuss matters such as reforms, justice and compensation.
However, The virtual meeting took place on Friday around 3pm.
In Lagos where the protest started, the state governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu did not only supported the protest with words and actions.
Governor Sanwo-Olu also joined the protest and later met with President Buhari on the issue. Also it was announced that the sum of N200 million will be given to victims of Wednesday’s Alausa attack on protesters and the names of the officers behind the attack will be announced and prosecuted.
People expressed their anger on social media after it was alleged that one notorious SARS officer who were part of those that have been accused of murder is working for Willie Obiano.
It wasn’t up to two days the Anambra state governor joined youths in the protest and also announced that he has sacked the former officer in charge of SARS in Anambra State and will also face prosecution.
Response from the International community
The #EndSARS protest has gotten the support of the international community including celebrities.
The CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, musicians like Kanye West, P Diddy and Drake, Hollywood actor John Boyega, football stars, Rio Ferdinand, Paul Pogba and Marcus Rashford as well as gospel artist Kirk Franklin all had their say regarding the #EndSARS Protest.
Following the protest ban in Abuja, security officers clashed with protesters as they were accused of not complying with the ban on protest. However the Inspector General of Police warned officers if the police force not to use brute force against the protesters as that will be a violation of their fundamental rights of freedom of expression, assembly and movement which must always be upheld and protected by the Police.
For the short period of time in which the protest took place, many young people in Nigeria has for once come together to support themselves in matters relating to the protest as well as other issues.
We have heard stories of how protesters contributed money to treat victims who suffered different kinds of injuries as result of police confrontation. There was also the sharing of food and drinks among fellow protesters.
Opportunity to touch on various other issues
This protest has given many youths the opportunity to look at other issues that is affecting Nigeria as a country.
For instance, NASS began trending recently after calls were made for the country to review the salary and allowances of lawmakers which is regarded too be too much.
There is no law in Nigeria that regulates how much Senators and House of Representatives members should be paid as they have the right to determine what they should be paid.
Aisha Yesufu who is one of the most popular #EndSARS protesters also encouraged youths in the Northern part of Nigeria to fight for anything they want, by engaging in a peaceful protest if they want better security.