Police brutality peaceful protest and its aftermath in Nigeria

Ruth Okoirhon
Posted October 24, 2020 from Nigeria

It's been traumatic here in Lagos Nigeria; an aftermath of a peaceful protest against police brutality led by young Nigerians across the country. For the first time, we weren't divided along any line but united with one cause, Police Reform, due to the horrendous experiences; over time, by young people who could no longer stomach it.

I read with horror, distasteful experiences of young people with a realization that the Police Force have derailed from its objective of protecting lives and properties - to becoming monsters, especially its unit known as Special Anti-robbery Squad (SARS) 

Young people are profiled and tortured for looing a certain way, having access to latest gadgets, driving certain cars, having good amount in their bank accounts and labeled fraudsters. Some are victims of mistaken identity and stray bullets; they never live to tell the stories whilst their families struggle for closure, many years later. No justice!!! These security operatives are emboldened by the fact that impunity is the order of the day.

Would I get over the horrific rape and sexual violence experiences of young women - constantly and brutally assaulted by men in uniform; with snide remarks knowing impunity is the order of the day. About a year ago, sex workers were raped with cellophane by these officers in Abuja. These women are yet to get justice.

The peaceful protest against their excesses were met with resistance after 13 days when peaceful protesters (about 15) were shot and killed, with a lot more injured and receiving treatment in hospitals by the Military. Who shoots at peaceful protesters? Isn't it constitutional to protest? I AM IN PAIN. These led to breakdown of law and order with public and private properties burnt, businesses looted, women raped, scores killed - mind you, by hoodlums who took advantage of the situation.   

When would peace be restored and justice served? We will continue to raise our voices against injustice, impunity and gender based violence. WE NEED MORE CRUSADERS. I WRITE IN PAIN. 

Comments 19

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Jensine Larsen
Oct 24
Oct 24

Dear Ruth,
Our hearts are aching for your country. The violence is horrific, and We join our voices with those in Nigeria for police reform, for peace, for justice. These systems cannot stand, with collective power, ultimately they will be dissolved with new leadership and community care in its place.

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

Thank you Jensine

Jill Langhus
Oct 25
Oct 25

Hello Ruth,

Thanks for sharing your post, and bringing more awareness to the atrocities that are happening in your beloved country. I hear you! I agree with Jensine, a new days is dawning, and hopefully sooner, rather than later, these bullies won't be able to get away with their brutality. I hope you have a strong support system to lean on during these difficult times? We're here for you. XX

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

I am glad to hear this Jill. Thank you

Jill Langhus
Nov 11
Nov 11

You're welcome, dear XX

ARREY- ECHI
Oct 25
Oct 25

Dear Ruth,
I am so very sorry about the horrific incidents that have been the hallmark of SARS. I read some of the stories as I have a few Nigerian friends and I was horrified. Truly, Africa deserves better.
Sending you hugs and love and praying we all would keep our heads high as we hope for better days ahead.
With love and prayers.

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

It's been horrific, now they are trying to silence us with claims it was orchestrated to topple the government.

Hello, Ruth,

I READ THIS IN PAIN. You have brave young people in Nigeria, although they were silenced to death, they died as heroes. My thoughts and prayers are with you all. We stand in solidarity against this injustice.

How are you and your family? Please let us know you are safe. Thank you for the courage of writing this.

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

I am safe Karen. Thank you so much

Tamarack Verrall
Oct 30
Oct 30

Dear Ruth,
It is your strength to write, your call for action that is now in our collective hands and hearts. We must find ways to raise our collective voices with a power to be heard and have effect on all of our Governments and at the UN, for Governments to be held accountable for not ensuring peace. We must find ways together to bring forward the leadership and voices of the young people who want nothing but fairness and peace. With solidarity from all countries who have pledged peace, we need action in ending this violence. As women it is time our voices were heard. Please know we are determined to find ways. Deep wishes for your safety and for safety of all.

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

Yes Tamarack, action! Thank you

Sabiha Hasan
Oct 30
Oct 30

I am so sorry to read all this if police will do all this then who are we gonna trust.
I pray to God to help us all to beat injustice.

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

It's pathetic really

Busayo Obisakin
Oct 30
Oct 30

So sad my Sister! I still can't over the massacre at Lekki toll gate simply because the youth were raising their voices to stop brutality of police. We shall overcome one day!
We will not be silent
Love
Busayo

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

We can't be silenced Busayo. True

Beth Lacey
Nov 06
Nov 06

This is such a horrible situation. I pray for your country

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

Thanks Beth

Kabahenda
Nov 09
Nov 09

My dear Ruth,

I hear you! I feel for you! My heart bleeds for the people of Nigeria, but mostly for women who have been victims of policy brutality, all forms of gender-based violence against women, injustice and other kinds of inhuman, inhumane and cruel treatment.

I applaud you, the women of Nigeria and all peace-loving Nigerians who have risen up to say that enough is enough.

It is tragic and totally disheartening to see that your cries for justice have been met with injustice.

The world is watching, and my prayers is that one day, peace, freedom and stability will reign in Nigeria.

You and your compatriots are a very strong people. As an African women who knows a lot about police brutality around the continent, I am very proud of the people of Nigeria for their courage and tenacity.

I encourage you to keep raising your voice because they are being heard and one day you will overcome.
More power to you.

Ruth Okoirhon
Nov 10
Nov 10

This is heart felt, we are courageous and will keep raising our voices. Thank you.