#EndSARS: Nigerian nationals living in SA take to streets of Pretoria

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Nigerians have been demonstrating nationwide every day for nearly two weeks against the police unit that rights groups had for years accused of extortion, harassment, torture, and murders.

Hundreds of Nigerian nationals living in South Africa on 21 October 2020 took to the streets of Pretoria in protest against the widely criticised Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) back home. Picture: Veronica Makhoali/EWN.

PRETORIA – Hundreds of Nigerian nationals living in South Africa on Wednesday took to the streets of Pretoria in protest against the widely criticised Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) back home.

Nigerians have been demonstrating nationwide every day for nearly two weeks against the police unit that rights groups had for years accused of extortion, harassment, torture, and murders.

The squad was disbanded 10 days ago but the protests had persisted, and rights groups claimed as many as 20 people were killed overnight.

Emotions were high in Pretoria as protesters continued to stream in to join the protest against the notorious SARS.

Wearing black t-shirts and colors of the Nigerian flag, demonstrators headed to the Nigerian Embassy.

They said SARS had exposed the ongoing corrupt leadership in Nigeria.

“There has been a lot of unlawful killings in Nigeria and brutality from the police and army. Now the youth has woken up and we’re saying they should stop killing us,” said one protester.

Some accused President Muhammadu Buhari’s government of plunging the country into debt, corruption, and gross human rights violations.

“He is an idiot…We need a change, we are tired of him, his an old man, and he is not thinking right anymore. We want him to address the protesters, if he can’t, he should leave the position,” said another protester.

Demonstrators also called on governments of other African countries to take a stand.

ODION IGHALO SLAMS NIGERIAN GOVT

At the same time, Manchester United striker Odion Ighalo said he was ashamed of the Nigerian government following reports that soldiers opened fire on protesters in the Lekki district of the commercial capital Lagos.

“The Nigerian government, you guys are a shame to the world for killing your own citizens, sending the military to the streets to kill unarmed protesters because they are protesting for their own rights? It’s uncalled for,” he said.

“You people will be remembered in history as the first government to send the military to the city to start killing their own citizens. I am ashamed of this government, we are tired of you guys and we can’t take this anymore.”

Ighalo called on the UK government, world leaders, and the United Nations to step in. He also called on his countrymen to stay safe during this dangerous time.

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