Over a week since the #EndSARS nation-wide protest, it has drawn a lot of recognitions worldwide even being the number one trending topic at a point. Despite the fact that the Inspector General of Police has disbanded the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), many of the protesters want the policemen dismissed, arrested and charged for the murder of innocent protesters and citizens before they believe that a real change in the police institution is being made.
We tried to highlight some key reasons why the protest is going stronger.
1: Social Media
Twitter, has been the most important tool during the police brutality protest, it has been used for creating awareness across Africa, twitter users have been tagging international media houses like CNN and Reuters. It has been used for logistic purposes, and for passing information to top governmental organization. Hashtags like #EndSARS, #EndSWAT and various other tags started from Twitter. Social media has been used to monitor where donations are being sent, to signal for help in places where lawyers are needed. Those who couldn’t join the protest physically have been helping by tweeting on Twitter, posting images on Instagram and other social media apps.
2: Donations & Services
Food items, water, medical supplies have been sent to various protest venues. No Litter Movement ensured that most protest venues were left clean by picking up the trash at protest venues. Pro Bono Lawyer services have been available at different points to secure the release of protesters who were illegally arrested, over 300 lawyers volunteered. DJs kept the various protest venues lively by playing songs. Some who lost electronic gadgets where compensated. A twitter user @Ayeeshaobi compelled Muslims to donate to the family of the boy who lost his life on 11th October 2020, and they were able to contribute over a million naira. All these were financed voluntarily by mostly youths and new age companies.
3 Politically Neutral
The youths prevented it from being hijacked by any politician or poltical party. “No APC, NO PDP” was heard as they expressed their grief against the key parties and police brutality, The Revolution Now group by Yele Sowere tried to gain attention with EndSARS protest, but the crowd of angry youths fought against it, leading to Sahara reporters publishing stories that many of the agitated youths found misleading about the #EndSARS campaign.
4: Keeping the protest faceless
The protest has no leader although lot of people have tried to center themselves as the leader of the movement. From Segun Awosanya popularly known as Segalink calling himself the Convener of #EndSARS to self-appointed celebrities speaking for the youths. This has reduced the risk of having people with altruistic motives control the protest.
5 Fact Checking Fake News
Online users have tried to tackle the spread of fake news by reporting fake tweets, and reporting parody accounts that are causing panic by spreading lies and using EndSARS campaign for attention. Steph Busari of CNN and Arise TV have been important in countering the fake information most local channels have been airing.