heady idealism

Nigeria: How #EndSARS figures are transforming into an ‘Obidient’ army

By Akin Irede

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Posted on July 12, 2022 10:39

 © Peter Obi (photo: facebook @PeterObiGregory )
Peter Obi (photo: facebook @PeterObiGregory )

Nearly two years after the historic #EndSARS protests of Nigerian police brutality, the youth arrowheads of the campaign have become an army of political supporters. Now the ‘Obidients’, many of the notable figures of #EndSARS channel their energy towards the presidential campaign of the Labour Party candidate, Peter Obi. With Nigeria’s Presidential election a mere seven months away, they have ignited the political candidature of a man who, without their zeal, would have remained a marginal contestant.

In late 2020, the Black Lives Matter (BLM) movement in the US similarly started as a campaign against police brutality toward African Americans. Even after the street protests ended, the sentiment of redressing anti-blackness lingered and carried over into the presidential elections. BLM metamorphosed into a political force and significantly contributed to the defeat of then President Donald Trump, whose large following among white nationalists had made him dismiss calls for police reforms.

Around that same time as the BLM protests, even though thousands of miles away, Nigerian youths were on the streets of key cities similarly protesting corruption and extrajudicial killings by the police’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The #EndSARS demonstrations, which had Lagos megacity as its epicentre with the Lekki toll plaza as its ground zero, would later spiral out of control as thugs –

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