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Authorities In Nigeria Brace For New week Of Unprecedented Protest

Authorities in Nigeria are bracing for a new week of protest and civil action against police brutality.

Nigeria, Africa’s largest economy, most populous country and biggest democracy, has been facing a series of unprecedented protests, which began as a movement against the police Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

The police headquarters a week ago, announced the dissolution of the squad and transfer of personnel of the unit to other units and formations of the Nigeria Police Force

However, the #EndSARS protest has continued, as protesters have expressed reservations about the processes, lack of concern for victims of police brutality and demand police reform.

In the early hours of  Monday morning, protesters occupying the entrance of the country’s Central Bank headquarters were attacked by armed thugs, but this did not stop protesters from continuing in other parts of Abuja and other cities including Lagos, Kano, Ibadan and Benin.

In Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city, the Police and military personnel have reportedly positioned themselves in different parts of the city.

Protesters in Abuja have also occupied major entries into the city – the Nyanya road provides access to mostly workers living in cheaper areas outside the city.

In Benin, the Edo State Government announced curfew and restriction after security-related incidents and concerns.

The 24-hour curfew imposed across the state is to take effect from 4 p.m. on October 19.

According to the government, the measure was necessary because of the disturbing incidents of vandalism and attacks on private individuals and institutions by hoodlums in the guise of #EndSARS protesters.

In a statement issued also on Monday, the Nigerian Police stated that  Police Facilities in  Ugbekun Police Station, Oba Market Police Station and Idogbo Police post were attacked.

“The extent of damage cannot be ascertained at the moment but the report indicates that the protesters carted away arms and ammunition from the armoury and freed the suspects in custody before setting some of the facilities ablaze,” the statement added.

In Lagos, Nigeria’s biggest economic city, the protests have continued in various areas on the Mainland and Island.

Meanwhile, Punch has reported that the Lagos State Government has lost at least N234m to the closure of toll gates as the #EndSARS protests on the Island.

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Murtala Abdullahi

Abdullahi Murtala is a researcher and reporter. His expertise is in conflict reporting, climate and environmental justice, and charting the security trends in Nigeria and the Lake Chad region. He founded the Goro Initiative and contributes to dialogues, publications and think-tanks that report on climate change and human security. He tweets via @murtalaibin

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