Naira Marley Backs down on #EndSars group protest, goes on IG Live with NPF

Emeh Joy

Popular Nigerian musician, Azeez Fashola a.k.a Naira Marley has backed down on his initial announcement to lead a peaceful protest against the brutality of the Nigerian Police Force under the Force Criminal, and Intelligence Department (FCIID) called Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Nigerians protest, ask the NPF and FG to ban and end the activities of SARS

The internet buzzed hot over the weekend with different stories and videos of SARS unlawfully arresting citizens and brutalising people for no known offence.

Some of the videos that went viral showed the officials of this Anti-Robbery squad (on unofficial wears) forcing their victims into vehicles, beating up their victims and there were also proofs of money extortion from their victims.

Nigerians took to their social media accounts, particularly Twitter to condemn that acts of SARS officials while calling for an end to SARS.

A viral video clip of SARS officials forcing a man into an unmarked van at Urora Junction Benin city

Nigerians massively trended the hashtags; #EndSars, #EndSARSBrutality, #EndPoliceBrutality while calling on Nigerian leaders and prominent politicians to harken to the voice of the people.

Naira Marley's involvement in the #EndSARS protest

Naira Marley first got it hot from social media users when he took to his Twitter account to tweet on Sunday amid the heat of stories surrounding SARS brutality, saying that the problem is that Nigerians only love protesting on Twitter.

"In this country, we love protesting on Twitter. That is the problem", Naira Marley Twitted.

The tweet triggered lots of reactions and angry comments from Nigerians who bashed him and asked to know what was stopping him from leading a protest.

Following that incident, Naira Marley took to his Twitter page to Tweet again, this time saying "If y'all want me to lead D protest, I will lead, but just know that they will send me to kirikiri prison this time".

Naira Marley didn't end it there. The next day (Monday), he then tweeted saying he would be leading an #EndSars group protest on Tuesday.

He added that "protesting is never a disturbance of the peace. Corruption, injustice, war and intimidation are disturbances of the peace".

"So 9 am tomorrow, we move—2nd toll gate. Peaceful protest. No vandalism, no fights and no stealing", Naira Marley added in another Tweet.

The Nigerian Police Force responds to Naira Marley's call for a peaceful protest

Some Nigerians did indicate interest under the tweet to be part of the #EndSARS protest.

However, plans changed when the Nigerian Police force through their official Twitter account tagged him (Naira Marley) to a tweet saying that complaints from Nigerians about the misconduct of SARS officials have been heard loud and clear.

The Twitter post said that the IG of police has issued orders and restrictions on the operations of SARSand the NPF leadership would work with youths to formulate "consensual reforms".

The post also added that by 11 am (today), the Force PRO-DCP, Frank Mba will be having a live Instagram chat with Naira Marley to discuss and answer questions of Nigerian youths regarding SARS operations and other pressing issues.

After the Instagram Live chat, Naira Marley had taken to his Twitter to say that the Nigeria government has promised to make changes and we (Nigerians) anticipate their actions thus, backing down on the plan for a protest.

That had incited lots of responses from Nigerians who said he (Naira Marley) went on IG live to negotiate with the police and that his decision to end the protest was based on his personal interest and not for the interest of the youths.

Highlights of the IG Live chat between Naira Marley and the Nigerian police

What were some of the things that were pointed out during the talk between the Nigerian Police Force PRO, Frank Mba and Naira?

Here are some points to pick from their live talk. Meanwhile, it is noteworthy to say that lots of promises have been made regarding the reformation of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) but have any been implemented?

Nigerians watch in anticipation to see how fast the government responds and what their response would be to the cry of the people.

  • All police officers from now on would be mandated to wear police uniforms while on duty.
  • Police would get SARS off the roads and make enforcements themselves.
  • Citizens can record the police, however, not in security-conscious areas.
  • Police officers would stop moving around in vehicles that are not licensed police vehicles.
  • The police are open to youth partnership to ensure effective policing (they are ready to recruit 10,000 youths they said)
  • The Nigerian Police Force responds to DMs, and citizens should call the police numbers or send a direct message via their social media accounts.

Clacified says:

#EndSARSBrutality. Enough of SARS officials suppressing and oppressing innocent citizens!

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