Nationwide protests demanding proscription of the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad have gathered momentum beyond Nigeria, with #EndSARS trending on Twitter in the United States, the United Kingdom, South Africa, and Canada.
The protest was also the most trended issue on Friday globally, according to a Tweet by @warrloaded, as Nigerians continued to demonstrate across the country amid violent clashes.
#EndSARS protest was reignited last week following the shooting of a youth reportedly in front of a hotel in Ughelli, Delta State, in broad daylight by some FSARS operatives who drove away his Lexus Jeep. The police have said the youth didn’t die.
The Nigeria Police Force consequently banned FSARS and other special tactical squads from carrying out routine stop and search.
Nigerians claimed that the police authorities had not shown enough commitment to reform the dreaded police unit over the years and called for its disbandment.
Despite the Force’s call for calm, the protest raged on in several parts of the country, including Lagos, Osun, Oyo, Delta, Imo, with Nigerians abroad joining the demonstration.
A Nigerian-British actor, John Boyega, on Friday was among the international celebrities who lent their voices to the #EndSARS protests in Nigeria.
The Star Wars actor also announced on Twitter that an anti-SARS protest would hold at the Nigeria High Commission in London, the United Kingdom, on Sunday.
Boyega posted an illustration via his handle, @JohnBoyega, showing protesters carrying placards with the inscriptions, “EndSARS, EndPoliceBrutality, and EndSARSProtest.”
“Nigeria High Commission, 9 Northumberland Avenue, London, WC2N 5BX. Closest station in Charing Cross. Sunday, 11th October; 12:00pm,” the actor tweeted about the upcoming protest.
As of 6pm on Friday, Boyega’s tweet had attracted over 9,500 likes and 7,700 retweets as many Nigerians living in London vowed to join in the protest.
The #EndSARS was also one of the most trended topics on Twitter on Friday with some Nigerians and non-Nigerians living in the UK, the United States, South Africa, and Canada, pledging to organise similar protests to amplify support for the calls to disband SARS – a police unit accused of serial human rights abuses.
In its tweet on Friday, @warriloaded noted that “The hashtag #EndSARS has been trending at no 1 worldwide today, as protestors continue to demand a notorious police unit in Nigeria disbanded.”