Celebrities are taking to social media to express their support for the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria. Over the weekend, various stars have used their platforms to inform their fans of the protests taking place in the African country. On Sunday (Oct. 11), it was announced that Nigeria dissolved the special police force at the center of protests against police brutality.
The government said a special presidential directive ordered the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars). A tweet was sent out on Sunday from the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s account announcing the news. “PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE: The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force @PoliceNG has been dissolved WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT. The Inspector General of Police will communicate further developments in this regard,” the tweet said.
PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE: The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force @PoliceNG has been dissolved WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT.— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) October 11, 2020
The Inspector General of Police will communicate further developments in this regard.
Protests against the unit began after a video surfaced of a man allegedly being killed by police. The protests have been held by the End Special Anti-Robbery Squad social movement, which started in 2017 with people coming together through Twitter to oppose a unit of the Nigerian Police Force, known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
The group is calling for the abolition of the unit and the end to police oppression and brutality in the country. Now Diddy, Burna Boy, Drake, Trey Songz and more artists around the world are joining Nigerian activists and sharing information to help the movement gain more international attention. Burna Boy, who is from Nigeria, took to Twitter on Saturday (Oct. 10) and shared a letter expressing his support for the movement and calling for the authorities to abolish the unit.
“My greatest concern in all of this is that SARS will end now as it allegedly has several times in the past and morph into a different entity down the line with a different form or a different name,” the singer wrote in his letter. “In my opinion, abolishing the unit is a definite first step but we cannot afford to stop there.” He also shared that he will be starting the Project Protect initiative to help provide financial, medical and legal resources to those arrested at the protests.
Drake shared a post on his Instagram Stories on Saturday that breaks down what is happening in the country. Trey Songz voiced his support for the people of Nigeria on Twitter writing, “Police brutality here in America often is an abuse of power driven by race. To be brutalized, extorted and murdered by your own people is unimaginable. Prayers up and I’m researching ways I can help. #EndSARS.”
After doing a little research I would like to speak out against what’s going on in Nigeria right now. Their pleas to #EndSarsNow IS VERY REAL. I have so much love for my Nigerian fans and it’s so hurtful to hear whats happening.— Trey Songz (@TreySongz) October 10, 2020
Davido reacted to the news on Twitter. “It’s far from over .... we never win anything,” he tweeted Sunday morning. “We want an Executive order, a Legislative action & a Judicial panel of enquiry set up to prosecute those rogues. Nothing more, nothing less!!
No reform No change of oga No ban ... we want it scrapped completely!!! #EndSARSImmediately— Davido (@davido) October 9, 2020
Burna Boy also shared his thoughts on the announcement, and made it clear that this is just the beginning for real change to happen. “They have now allegedly disbanded SARS but so much more needs to be done!! Police cars revolving light SARS is more than a ‘unit’ its a mindset built from a lack of repercussions for the law enforcement. It’s not over yet family! Flag of Nigeria #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY #STARTPOLICEREFORM,” the singer wrote.
Following the announcement, the presidency also said the officers from the unit will now be assigned to a different task force. “All officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are to be redeployed with immediate effect. A new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS will cause is being worked on and will be announced by @PoliceNG.”