'People are dying': Thousands call on AU, Ramaphosa to investigate police brutality in Nigeria
Scores of people have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa to intervene in his capacity as the AU chairperson to quell the killings of protesters in Nigeria.
“It must be noted with sadness and dismay that the useless AU, led by Cyril Ramaphosa, has turned a blind eye on the killings of innocent protesters by the Nigerian government. Waiting for the western countries to speak first and you'll send useless envoys?” tweeted Pastor Pule Mofokeng.
Nigerians have been protesting for two weeks, initially demanding that the government disband the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars) which has been accused of violence, brutality and torture. At least 15 protesters have been killed since the demonstrations began, according to Amnesty International.
Nigerian president Muhammadu Buhari announced the disbandment of the unit on October 11. He said this was the first step towards addressing the concerns of “agitated” Nigerians.
“The disbanding of Sars is only the first step in our commitment to extensive police reform, to ensure that the primary duty of the police and other law enforcement agencies remain the protection of lives and livelihoods of our people,” said Buhari.
He said the government would ensure accountability for police responsible for the killings of protesters. On police brutality, he said most members of the law enforcement bodies were “hardworking men and women” and attributed the violence to “a few bad eggs who must not be allowed to tarnish the image and reputation of the force”.
This did not end the protests as they continue to spread and have evolved into demonstrations against the overall state of the country.
Nigerians in SA took to the streets of Cape Town and Pretoria on Wednesday to protest against their government.
We want the restructuring of the system entirely. None of these institutions are working. The police force, medical, legal and education institutions have collapsed,” said Collins Mgbo, head of secretariat at Nigerian Union SA.
Here are some of the responses:
It must be noted, with sadness and dismay that the useless AU, led by this one @CyrilRamaphosa has turned a blind eye on the killing of innocent protestors by the Nigerian government.— Pastor Pule Mofokeng (@PastorPuleM) October 21, 2020
Waiting for the western countries to speak first and u'llsend useless envoys?#EndSARS
the real punchline is cyril ramaphosa being the chairperson of the AU.— Kush (@KuhleBesman) October 21, 2020
Cde President @CyrilRamaphosa, you are still the President of the AU until February.— #EndSARS ✊🏿 (@LwaziSomya) October 20, 2020
The continent and the world is watching in awe at the situation in Nigeria.
We call on swift action from the continental body. Stand firm on principle. Do not let history dictate your response.
AU Chairperson, Cyril Ramaphosa will establish a Committee to deal with the Nigeria SARS.— Schwarzenegger Chauke (@eliotchauke1) October 22, 2020
As the chairperson of the @_AfricanUnion @CyrilRamaphosa you must take immediate action to investigate the human rights abuses that have occurred in Nigeria during the #EndSARS protests.— Mmusi Maimane (@MmusiMaimane) October 20, 2020
Africa does not need more quiet diplomacy. This issue must be raised at the UNSC. pic.twitter.com/WHy5VUyWKU
Nigerian government has declared war against it's own citizens. Cyril Ramaphosa is a chairman of AU but he is forever quiet cause the people who are dying are blacks not white people. This guy is not only useless here in South Africa. Good morning fighters #EFFMustRise #EndSARS pic.twitter.com/RG48N1SHdp— KETSO (@KETSO_4LIFE) October 21, 2020
The AU has always been a useless organization. But never has it’s uselessness been more evident than it is under Cyril Ramaphosa.— Princess of Nkandla (@Sisi_Sasha) October 21, 2020