PortandTerminal.com, October 24, 2020
LAGOS, NIGERIA – Nigerians protesting police brutality have been demonstrating in the streets across Africa’s most populous nation for two weeks. Lagos, the countries chaotic and congested capital has seen the worst of the violence.
What started as a protest against abuses by the SARS, or Special Anti-Robbery Squad, has become a broader movement in this country of 196 million.
The violence, particularly in the commercial capital and port city of Lagos, escalated after demonstrators were shot on Tuesday night district during a round-the-clock curfew.
On Wednesday, the Nigerian Ports Authority office in Lagos was torched. The following day, Ibrahim Baba, a former government official, wrote to Nigeria’s president urging him to shift the operational base of Nigerian seaports from Lagos to Port Harcourt, 360 miles away along the coast.
What is going on?
Nigeria has been rocked by days of nationwide protests over police brutality, following widespread claims of kidnapping, harassment and extortion by a controversial police unit known as the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
The SARS unit was long accused of beatings, sexual assault and torture. While it’s now been disbanded, protests exploded once again after Nigerian security forces reportedly opened fire on a crowd of demonstrators that left more than 12 dead.
President Muhammadu Buhari issued a statement appealing for “understanding and calm” Wednesday as scenes of chaos unfolded in the city.
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