Social media – the most important tool of the Nigerian youth at the moment
The protests began in 2017 as a Twitter campaign with the hashtag #ENDSARS, calling for the dissolution of the unit by the Nigerian government.
The #EndSARS protest has been primarily driven by young people who refuse to accept the dire situation in Nigeria. They want to break the cycle of oppression, poor leadership, poverty, and exclusion. They hope for a transformation to a better, more just life without fear of sudden attacks and arbitrary actions.
Without a formal leadership structure in the movement, they have been able to use social media to their advantage and give voice to their suffering.
A video from early October 2020 showing a police officer shooting a young man just to take his car sparked outrage. With the slogan “Enough is enough – end SARS”, thousands of people took to the streets in a wave of protests that spread across the country, especially in the major cities, to protest against arbitrary police violence.
The participants paid particular attention to a peaceful expression of their opinions to avoid giving the authorities any reason for brutally suppressing the demonstrations. Unfortunately, aggressive attacks did occur, culminating in a particularly despicable act of aggression on October 20 when military personnel fired on unarmed protesters at the toll gate in Lekki – Lagos.