Nigerian Police Chief Mohammed Adamu ordered an end to days of violence and looting. He said this action was ridden by criminals and took over public spaces as reported by the BBC, Sunday (25/10/2020).
According to him this is no longer acceptable, so police officers have been ordered to end violence, killings, looting, and destruction of property. The protest itself has started since Wednesday (0710/2020). This demonstration, which was dominated by young people, began with a call for the police unit to disperse the Anti-Robbery Special Forces (SARS).
President Muhammadu Buhari has disbanded the SARS unit which was accused of extra-judicial harassment, extortion, torture and murder. But a few days later the protests continued, demanding broader reforms in the Nigerian way of governance.
They increased after unarmed protesters were shot in the country’s largest city, Lagos, on Tuesday. Rights group Amnesty International said security forces killed at least 12 people. However, the Nigerian army has denied involvement.
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Lagos has in recent days seen widespread looting of shops, malls and warehouses, and damaged property, with the businesses of leading politicians being targeted. A number of buildings were burned and the prison was attacked.
At another location on Saturday there were reports of hundreds of people looting a government warehouse in Bukuru, near downtown Jos. The warehouses were reportedly used to store food supplies for distribution during the lockdown in an effort to prevent Covid-19.
President Buhari said that at least 69 people had died in street violence since protests across Nigeria began, mostly civilians but also police officers and soldiers.
On Saturday, Nigerian police tweeted that Adamu, the Inspector General of Police, had told them “enough is enough” and ordered officers to “use all lawful means to stop a further slide into lawlessness”.
He added that Adamu “warned troublemakers not to test the collective will of the nation by pointing out further deterioration of law and order”.
A group that has been key in organizing demonstrations in Lagos on Friday has urged people to stay home. The Feminist Coalition also advises people to follow curfews that apply in their states. The group said it would no longer accept donations for the #EndSARS protests.