For Immediate Release
Wednesday, Oct 14, 2020
Calgary, Alberta, Canada.
#ENDSARS – NIGERIANS IN CALGARY STAND TOGETHER AGAINST POLICE BRUTALITY IN NIGERIA
CALGARY, ALBERTA – On Saturday, October 17 2020, a group of local community members will come together to peacefully protest the ongoing police brutality of innocent citizens in Nigeria, and call for the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) as well as the overall restructuring of the Nigerian Police Force. This peaceful event will take place at the Peace Bridge in Calgary and will start at 12noon.
The ongoing peaceful protests stem from a repeated pattern of harassments and extra-judicial killings mostly of young Nigerians by armed police officials, particularly those from SARS. Attached to this press release is a list of some of the victims. We will continue to advocate for justice for the victims of SARS and their families, as well as track and document other victims with our ongoing #VictimsOfSARS campaign.
Curiously, since the peaceful protests against these atrocities began about a week ago across major cities in Nigeria, at least 10 protesters have been killed according to Amnesty International. They include Jimoh Isiaq (20, killed by a stray bullet in Ogbomosho) and Ikechukwu Ilohamauzo (55, killed by a stray bullet in Lagos).
Despite pronouncements made by President Muhammadu Buhari (on October 12, 2020) as well as the Inspector General of Police – Mohammed Adamu – (October 11 & 13, 2020), the situation has not improved. Indeed, their utterances suggest a fundamental disconnect with the youths seeking a lasting peace and genuine reforms of the country’s security architecture.
For instance, the IGP on Tuesday (October 13, 2020) announced a new squad, the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT), to “fill the gaps” left by the notorious SARS unit he had officially banned two days earlier which doesn’t address the immediate concerns. Though the 5-point demand of protesters seem to have been accepted by a Presidential Panel on Tuesday, its full implementation is yet to be realized which include the psychological evaluation and retraining of all disbanded SARS officers.
We hereby use this medium to request the support of the international community particularly the Prime Minister of Canada (Justin Trudeau), the Premier of Alberta (Jason Kenney) as well as the Mayor of Calgary (Naheed Nenshi) to use their good offices and invaluable influence to prevail on our elected officials back home, through any means necessary, to do what is right by our people in ensuring a lasting peace is reached and human rights (which Canada is known globally to stand firmly for) are respected.
We thank everyone, both home and abroad, who has extended their show of solidarity to us at this challenging moment in our rich history.
(Peaceful Protest Organizer, Nigerians in Calgary AB)
ATTACHMENT: Confirmed SARS Victims
- Solomon Yellowe (killed March 13th in Port Harcourt by officers Samuel Sunday, Friday Ikoko and Mike (team leader of SARS) in Rupkokwu, Port Harcourt, Rivers State).
- Chijioke Iloanya
- Tunde Nafiu
- Tina Ezekwe
- Ayomide Taiwo
- Christian Onuigbo (28 years old, shot by SARS in Abuja on March 19, 2009 and died 2 days later)
- Chibuike Anams (23 years old, a student, shot to death on July 24, 2009 by SARS in Elimgbu, Rivers State)
- Kolade Johnson (killed by Police on March 31, 2019 in Lagos while watching an English Premiership
match between Liverpool & Tottenham)
- Mus’ab (killed by Police in Kano on December 4, 2019)
- Ifeoma Abugu (died in SARS custody at Abuja on September 11, 2020)
- Tiamiyu Kazeem (21 years old, a footballer, killed by SARS on Feb 22, 2020).