Human RightsNews

Protesters In Anambra Hold Candlelight Processions For Victims Of Police Brutality

#EndSARS protesters in Anambra State, Southeast Nigeria, on Wednesday held candlelight processions in three major cities of Awka, Onitsha and Nnewi for victims of police brutality in Nigeria.

The memorial was also for those who were killed in the Tuesday night shooting of peaceful #EndSARS protesters at Lekki Tollgate, Lagos, by soldiers.

Some of the victims were mentioned one after the other after which the crowd responded ‘we remember’.

The event which was part of the ongoing #EndSARS nationwide movement, elicited deep emotions and tears from family members, friends and relatives of victims, who took turns to narrate their stories.

The protesters, holding the Nigerian flag and singing, observed moments of silence for victims.

Among the victims was Rev. Fr. Johnmark Okafor of Awka Catholic Diocese, who said that he was nearly shot by policemen over a mild argument.

Another victim, Ebuka Iloanya, said his brother, Chijioke Iloanya, had not been seen for eight years after he was taken to the defunct SARS office in Awkuzu.

Onyeka Okeke said he was an undergraduate at Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, when policemen unlawfully arrested and detained him and others for days at Awkuzu without arraignment.

Seibota Minabai said his friend, Linda, was killed by the police a day to the end of her participation in the National Youth Service Corps programme.

Miss Brenda Okoli, who said her elder brother, Johnpaul, was shot by policemen from Central Police Station, Onitsha, and ignored to bleed to death.

The victims thanked Nigerians for their solidarity as it had, to an extent, assuaged their pains and noted that the ongoing nationwide movement was for the good of present and future generations.

“I call on Nigerians to use the power of the ballot to enthrone leaders with the interest of the people at heart,” one protester said.

Rev. Fr. Jude Barnaby and Pastor Obi Ogbo of Garden of Grace Church, Awka, who moderated the event in Awka, called for restraint on the part of citizens who were seeking justice.

The protesters offered prayers for victims and urged the authorities to hearken to the cry of the people, adding that a new Nigeria was possible.

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