Nigerian police have reportedly opened up fire on protesters in Lagos after 12 days of demonstrations towards police brutality.
A couple are believed to have been shot right after more than 20 officers started capturing at demonstrators in the city’s Lekki district on Tuesday, witnesses informed Reuters.
State authorities have already imposed a 24-hour curfew on the 20 million people who reside in Lagos – Africa’s largest town – in a bid to bring the particular protests to an end.
But the demonstrations, against a device of the Nigerian police force called SARS (the Special Anti-Robbery Squad), display little sign of slowing down.
SARS was established within 1992 to tackle robbery, kidnappings and other violent crime, but continues to be widely criticised for human legal rights abuses including torture, extortion plus extrajudicial killings.
End SARS: Why Nigeria’s anti-police brutality protests have gone global
Nigerians claim simple clothes police officers frequently target teenage boys with tattoos, dreadlocks and costly cars arbitrarily.
The particular recent demonstrations began on almost eight October after a video that apparently showed SARS officers shooting a person in Nigeria ‘s Delta State had been widely shared on social media.
They caught the world’s interest after celebrities, including Twitter owner Jack Dorsey, actor John Boyega and footballer Marcus Rashford, ruined brutality and corruption in Nigeria.
With thousands using to the streets and blockading Lagos’s main road to the international airport, the particular marches have grown into a wider motion about poor governance and problem.
Fifteen people are thought to have passed away as a result of the protests and anti-riot police were deployed this week following a police station was set burning down.
Initially, police replied with tear gas and drinking water cannons to disperse protesters — but later promised not to make use of force.
Nigerian Chief executive Muhammadu Buhari has offered a number of concessions in an attempt to quell the disruptions, pledging comprehensive reform and payment to the victims of any violence by officers.
The authorities announced that a new Special Weapons plus Tactics (SWAT) team would “fill the gaps arising from the knell of the defunct SARS”.
But the new unit continues to be dismissed by protestors, who state the government has failed to deliver on the promises in the past.
This particular feeling of national discontent has spread to the country’s federal parliament, with the speaker of the lower holding chamber, Femi Gbajabiamila, saying he would not really sign off on the national plan for 2021 unless it incorporated procedures to compensate victims of police violence over the past two decades.
The federal government has called on the protesters in order to leave the streets, arguing it has now met their demands.
There have also been economic ramifications, with the Lagos chamber of business reporting that the Nigerian economy has brought a hit of nearly £1. 55bn ($2bn) as a result of the disruption.