The Mass end SARS protests have gathered so much international and national endorsements and youths are not backing down. Amid speculations of the Nigerian government shutting down the internet, young people received what seemed to be the best stamp of approval. On Thursday, 15th of October 2020, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey endorsed the Nigerian End SARS protests with two tweets bearing the hashtag. One such tweet shared the bank details of Feminist coalition as a fundraising gesture. He called for bitcoin donations into the account. Following that was a retweet of Tech cabal’s article on SARS in Nigeria.
Also, Jack Dorsey went on to verify the new twitter account of the Feminist Coalition in less than 24 hours. It is no news that this NGO has been handling the funds for the National protests. Young Nigerians nationwide have seen this as a morale boost and are gingered to push for the changes.
It would be recalled that the federal government announced the dissolution of the rogue SARS unit a few days ago. However, barely a few days later IG of police Adamu Mohammed announced the formation of a new unit to replace the dissolved SARS. The formation of this new unit did not sit well with the young protesters. So protesters took a new banner to the streets reading “End SWAT, End Police Brutality, 5 for 5”.
What is SWAT?
Special Weapons And Tactics (SWAT) is the recent arm of the Nigerian police formed by the inspector general of the Nigerian police force to replace the recently dissolved SARS. While this new arm looks promising on paper, Nigerian youths are not convinced. Generally, we just think it is a case of same people, new name.
Protesters have picked apart this new team formation and they have valid questions. Why was it created so quickly? What assurance do we have that it is not going to go rogue? Where are the reforms the government preaches if police brutality still exists? Why is the president silent?
All of these questions are yet to be answered by a still mute federal government and protests are still waxing strong.
Is there an end in sight?
The end of the National End SARS protests would come. However, it would come only when the government meets the 5 for 5 demands fueling the protests. So far, only two of the demands have been met. The Nigerian government has made no attempts to meet the remaining demands on the list so like young Nigerians everywhere say “We Move”.
Finally, several economic stakeholders have attempted to reconcile the youths with the government. It was made public yesterday that a virtual meeting was held on the Zoom app to this end. Stakeholders like Tony Elemelu and Dangote were in attendance. This caused some confusion after the first five minutes but Nigerians seeming saw this as “Rich men protecting their interests” and carried on with Online and offline protests nationwide and internationally.