#EndSARS protests ground Nigeria’s major cities
Despite assurances that it won’t interfere with the #EndSARS protest, the Nigerian soldiers Monday morning took over key locations in Abuja to prevent the #EndSARS protesters from converging, reports the Guardian.
This is despite the Nigerian Military denying reports that the Army Special Operation, Exercise Crocodile Smile VI set for launch on October 20 is meant to stifle the #EndSARS protest.
The Acting Director Army Public Relations, Colonel Sagir Musa, in a statement, said the Nigerian Army has “nothing to do with the ongoing protest and the Nigerian Army has never been involved in the ongoing “#EndSARS protest in any form whatsoever”.
Recall that the protests broke out about two weeks ago to demand an end to high-handedness and brutality of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigerian police.
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SARS, as the unit is popularly known, has been accused of crimes including extrajudicial killing, kidnapping and extortion.
Thousands of young Nigerians have taken to the streets in major cities including Lagos, Abuja, Port Harcourt, Enugu and Ibadan, to press home their demands.
The Nigerian Army said last week that it was loyal to President Muhammadu Buhari and the country, and that it would defend the country’s democracy.
It issued a stern warning to people it termed “subversive elements”. Many critics believed the army’s statement was targeted at #EndSARS protesters.
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“As a responsible and law abiding organisation, the NA reaffirms its unalloyed loyalty and commitment to the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari and the constitution of the country,” Col Sagir Musa, Acting Director, Army Public Relations, said in a statement.