Nigerians living in South Africa have added their voice to the calls for an end to police brutality in Nigeria. This follows reports that troops opened fire on a crowd of protesters yesterday, killing a number of them.
Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari appealed for calm, making no direct mention of Tuesday’s violence in Lagos.
Eyewitnesses and human rights groups say the troops opened fire during a protest demanding an end to police brutality.
Nigerians living in South Africa say corruption that is happening in their native country also has to be addressed.
Nigerian nationals marched on the Nigerian High Commissioner to South Africa in Pretoria:
The state had imposed a 24-hour curfew yesterday, saying the demonstrations had turned violent after police property had been burned.
Journalist Samson Omale says some ‘hoodlums’ infiltrated the peaceful protests and were responsible for the violence.
“I have watched with shock how what began as a peaceful #EndSARS protest has degenerated into a monster that is threatening the well-being of our society,” said Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu when he announced the curfew.
Omale elaborates on his report:
Tip of the iceberg
The African Diaspora Global Networks says developments in Nigeria are concerning.
The organisation has called for the African Union (AU) to intervene.
“It is the events like what is happening in Nigeria, where security forces open fire using live ammunition just to quell dissent, to silence the voice of the electorate when they are not happy with government or state actions, that scorn at the value of African lives. This unheard-of African disease must come to an end now. This is the tip of an iceberg, very soon if the AU does not take its proper position and answer to the call, Africa will be on fire, and there will be no one to blame but the African leaders who are failing the people time and time again, yet the people had put their trust on them.”
Statement from the organisation:
I am deeply concerned over reports of violence in Lagos and urge the Nigerian government to engage in peaceful dialogue with the #EndSARS protestors for police reform and an end to corruption.
— Bill Clinton (@BillClinton) October 21, 2020
The United Nations has called for security forces to act with restraint and for protesters to demonstrate peacefully.
“The Secretary-General encourages the authorities to swiftly explore avenues to de-escalate the situation. He reiterates the readiness of the United Nations to support national efforts towards finding a solution,” says spokesperson for the Secretary-General, Stephane Dujarric.
— UN Spokesperson (@UN_Spokesperson) October 21, 2020
Oil prices fell on Wednesday after a surprise climb in US crude stockpiles added to concerns about a global supply glut. Brent crude futures fell 0.49% to $42.95 a barrel while US crude futures slipped by 0.43% to $41.52 per barrel.
At the same time, the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry is concerned about the negative impact that the protracted nature of the EndSars protests has on business activities across the country.
SABC News Economics Editor Thandeka Gqubule-Mbeki says the economic consequences of the protests are dire: