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EXCLUSIVE: Police Threaten To Withdraw Security Detail Of Nigerian Celebrities Over #EndSARS

Sources close to HumAngle have disclosed that the Nigeria Police has implicitly threatened celebrities involved in #EndSARS protests with the withdrawal of mobile police officers attached to them.

The move is to slow down the momentum gained by the #EndSARS movement, as youth continue to protest across the country, stressing that the protest will not stop.

The use of armed police escorts in Nigeria by celebrities, expatriates, high profile persons and officials is crucial due to the high crime rate in the country.

Several celebrities including Wizkid (Ayodeji Ibrahim Balogun), Falz (Folarin Falana), and Davido (David Adedeji Adeleke), who met with high-ranking members of the Police Force at their headquarters in Abuja today, have been in strong support of the ongoing #EndSARS movement.

Davido was overheard in a video posted online on Monday having a heated debate with Mr. Frank Mba, the police spokesman in Abuja, where he denied participating in the protest, “I was only there to calm my fans,” said Davido.

This is coming after Naira Marley (Azeez Fashola), who initially supported the #EndSARS protest made a U-turn and dissociated himself from the ongoing protests. He later appeared in a widely publicised video chat with the leadership of the Police.

Efforts to reach Mr Frank Mba, the Police Force’s Public Relations Officer, proved unsuccessful up until the time of filing this report. He is also yet to respond to text messages to his mobile phone.

In an interview back in 2018, the Chairman of the Police Service Commission, Mike Okiro said more than 150,000 police officers were engaged by VIPs, celebrities and politicians, providing them with protection and security services.

The police officers said this was due to how underpaid they were in the force.

Back in March 2018, the Inspector-General of Police at the time, Ibrahim Idris ordered for the immediate withdrawal of all police officers attached to VIPs, celebrities and officeholders.

The police chief later reversed the decision, citing a need for a deployment assessment.

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Hafsah Abubakar Matazu

Hafsah Abubakar Matazu is the current Programme Director at HumAngle. She holds a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc) in Mass Communication from Baze University Abuja. Prior to joining HumAngle, she worked for Abuja-based Daily Trust Newspapers as an investigative reporter. She leads the program team in planning and implementing grants as well as funded and non funded reporting projects. She tweets via @hafsahabubakar_

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