Nigerian journalist and writer Chido Onumah talks about the END SARS protests, the atrocities of the security establishment, and the policy framework of the state over the past few decades
The attack on protesters in Lagos on Tuesday has led to further protests both in the country and abroad. Nigerians have been protesting for systemic changes in policing since early October
Reports of armed thugs being on the prowl and even attacking protesters have come from many cities. The protests in Nigeria began on October 8 demanding the abolition of the infamous SARS police units
At least ten people are reported to have been killed in police repression of the protests.
The protesters’ main demands are the dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the police and an end to police brutality. The government was forced to give in and dissolve SARS
The government has refused to pay state employees for the last three months who have not enrolled in the centralized payment platform
Unionized workers of NHRC were set to embark on an indefinite strike to demand the implementation of national minimum wage and payment of missing wages
According to official data, Nigeria has 6.3% of the COVID-19 cases on the African continent, while South Africa accounts for around 37%. However, Nigeria has conducted only 0.67 tests per 1,000 people, when the figure in South Africa stands at 27.48 tests every 1,000 people
The cabinet has called on all state governments to implement Violence against Persons Prohibition Act (VAPPA), 2015, a key demand of protesters. The parliament’s upper house also pushed legislation for protection of victims from stigma.
82% of oil giant Shell’s workforce in Nigeria is sourced through labor contractors. As per IndustriALL, the workers “live in poverty with no job security, poor healthcare and little regard for health and safety.”
With a population of over 200 million, Nigeria had only screened 846 people by March 26. In comparison, South Africa, which confirmed its first case a week after Nigeria, had tested a total of 20,471 people by the same time
Mortuary workers in Ghana complain that they have not received any training or safety tools in handling coronavirus infections. Doctors in Nigeria have also complained of insufficient infrastructure and non-payment of salaries since the end of 2019