Youth protests for police reform in Nigeria: What lies ahead for #EndSARS
Over the last two weeks, protests organized around #EndSARS — the mass action calling for a complete ban of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigerian police force — has rocked cities across Nigeria.
Set up in the mid-1990s to combat incidences of armed robbery, SARS has over the years metamorphosed into a force associated with harassment of innocent citizens, extortion at gunpoint, and extrajudicial killings of suspects.
The protesters’ demands at the beginning were straightforward: The federal government should abolish SARS, provide justice to victims of police brutality, and reform the police. Now, the demands have widened, premised on the pervasive failure of the government to deliver equitable economic prosperity for its citizens and these enraged youths in particular.