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EndSARS: Looting in Nigeria as unrest escalates

Some shop owners in Nigeria’s commercial capital, Lagos, are counting their losses as protests against police brutality escalate into violent killings.

Among the shops vandalized was actress Uche Elendu’s beauty shop in Marwa Lekki, Lagos state.

“I was still trying to get myself to recover from the heartbreak of innocent lives lost yesterday, now, my hard work and investment are gone.” She wrote on Instagram.

She said the looters made away with items worth N100m (15,242.32 cedis).

“…oh Lord strengthen me. They took all my years of struggle and hard work from me. Everything.” she wrote.

A private television station, Television Continental in Ikosi-Ketu was reported to have been set ablaze.

The Nigerian Port Authority, Lekki toll gate, the family house of the governor of Lagos state, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, over six police stations, bus rapid transit in Oyingbo, federal road safety corporation, and Vehicle Inspection unit office building in Ojodu Berger were all looted and set ablaze.

Some youth across Nigeria on October 8 began a peaceful protest against police brutality.

The protests started with a call to reform the Special Armed Robbery Squad (SARS) of Nigeria.

The police unit was formed to deal with robbery, motor vehicle theft, kidnapping, cattle rustling, and firearms.

The demands of the protestors are summarized into five points.

  1. Immediate release of all arrested protesters.
  2. Justice for all deceased victims of police brutality and appropriate compensation for their families.
  3. Setting up an independent body to oversee the investigation and prosecution of all reports of police misconduct (within 10 days).
  4. In line with the new Police Act, psychological evaluation and retraining (to be confirmed by an independent body) of all disbanded SARS officers before they can be redeployed.
  5. Increase police salary so that they are adequately compensated for protecting the lives and property of citizens.

The government responded by disbanding the police unit but the protesters have remained on the streets, extending their demands to include good governance and better conditions for all citizens.

An imposed curfew did not yield the needed results forcing the army to pour out on Tuesday to contain pockets of violence.

 

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