Young, Nigerian Londoners are continuing to express their disappointment following Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s address to the nation commanding that young people stop protesting the disbandment of the Special Anti-Robbery-Squad (SARS). Graphic images and videos have circulated on social media, showing young people being shot, killed, burned and beaten by SARS. This created a global outcry in which celebrities such as Burna Boy, Beyonce and Rihanna pleaded for the immediate termination of the controversial police unit.
On October 23rd, President Buhari began by acknowledging the recent events and the five-point demands of protestors. He also mentioned that protests concerning the violence that SARS had carried out, redirected the attention of the innocent protests conducted by the Nigerian youth. Buhari also demanded that young Nigerians seize protesting indefinitely and start engaging with the government. Buhari failed to mention the disastrous events that took place in Lekki Toll Gate, in which soldiers opened fire at peaceful protestors who were singing the national anthem.
One Twitter user wrote “That Speech lacked Empathy, none whatsoever. Quite threatening. He’s not the only problem. His cabinet, the Ghost Writer who probably edited it to his approval destroying them one by one.” Other Twitter uses pointed out that the speech was pre-recorded and edited and that it lacked authenticity.
Hundreds of angry protestors took to the streets of London in solidarity with Nigerian protests, demanding that immediate action be taken to stop the police force in Nigeria from taking the lives of innocent people. British protestors carried Nigerian flags with blood splattered all over the white and green, to represent the bloodshed from the innocent victims that lost their lives at the hands of the people that were meant to protect them. Many Nigerian Londoners expressed their further vexation with President Buhari and his lack of intervention while these murders were taking place. It comes as no surprise that peop[le were not convinced when Buhari delivered his speech.
Iweanya Ogbogoh, 21 a student in London said “Buhari is a fraud. The stream speech he delivered felt and looked edited and prerecorded.” he continues to say “ Not once did he acknowledge the lives of black people that were murdered by SARS. The 12 minutes that he took to address the nation ended up being a waste of time for everybody.” Ogbogoh continued to describe President Buhari as a “liar” and a “murderer”.
Words: Salimotu Shobowale | Subbing: Sam Tabahriti