A Statement from the Feminist Coalition
Over the past few days, we have all witnessed a hijack of the peaceful protests in Nigeria by staged actors in a bid to detract attention from the clear demands of patriotic Nigerians, who demanded an end to police brutality. On the basis of these staged actions, the government has unleashed violence against innocent and harmless Nigerians.
The feminist coalition unreservedly condemns the use of violence against peaceful protesters across the country that has resulted in the loss of many lives. The #EndSARS protesters across the country have maintained a peaceful stance in their demonstrations and shown a high sense of responsibility by taking care of their environment. It is therefore reprehensible that the government has met this display of civility with brutality and unbridled violence.
The responsibility of the government is to ensure that every civilian can safely express their rights and to protect human lives. Rather, from the onset of the #endSARS peaceful protests the government has assaulted, harassed, and decimated several protesters through the police and other mobilized agents.
The Feminist Coalition, and many other groups of majorly young Nigerians have taken the higher ground - providing food, shelter, medical services, legal services, security, cleaning, and other supplies in order to keep the protests organized, unified and as safe as possible.
Yet, at every turn, the unified voices of Nigerians have been treated as a threat to democracy instead of an expression of it. We hereby call on the members of the international community including citizens, media, governments and organisations to stand with the Nigerian people and intervene in the ongoing state-sanctioned violence against peaceful protesters whose calls for an end to police brutality, are not only legitimate, but existential.
We stand in solidarity with every Nigerian who has raised their voice to demand for urgent police reform, the end of police brutality, bad governance in Nigeria, and the disbandment of the notorious SARS unit.
The Feminist Coalition
October 20th, 2020