Martin Luther King III has appealed to the Nigerian government to value protestors’ human rights amidst ongoing #EndSARS protests. According to Nairametrics, King called directly on President Muhammadu Buhari to respect and protect the rights of Nigerian protestors. This comes after the bloody shooting of peaceful protestors at Lekki toll gate in Lagos. King joins a universal chorus of international voices that have supported Nigeria’s call to end police brutality through the disbandment of SARS.
King III took Twitter which is the platform where #EndSARS has been trending over two weeks now.
I appeal to @MBuhari to guarantee the fundamental freedoms of peaceful protesters in Nigeria, including their right… https://t.co/rc03spx3eW
— Martin Luther King III (@Martin Luther King III)1603562924.0
King, the son of historic civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr, is the latest African-American voice to join the admonishment of Buhari. The inheritor of a great human rights legacy and human rights advocate himself, firmly stated that he stands with #EndSARS protestors after they were shot at with live ammunition on the 20th of October. African-Americans have been vociferous with #EndSARS and have joined in solidarity for the disbandment of the corrupt special police force. King’s statement, released on Friday, followed after Buhari addressed Nigerians with a speech which seemed to chastise Nigerians for their ongoing demonstrations. Buhari indicated that he would continue to rule Nigeria with an iron fist with the police as his directory.
For two weeks, thousands of young people across Nigeria and abroad this month took to the streets to call for the dissolution of Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), a rogue police unit accused of extortion, extrajudicial killings, rape and torture. Buhari initially stated that SARS would be replaced with a new special force called SWAT. However protestors continued demonstrations calling for an end of any special force as they have a tendency to go rogue. Protests gained speed and strength culminating in the violence at Lekki toll gate.
Amnesty International estimates that a total of 56 people have died since the beginning of #EndSARS protests, 38 were killed on the 20th October at Lekki Gate. #EndSARS protests are still ongoing in the third week now. Mr. King joins other American political figures including US Presidential candidate Joe Biden and US Senate leader Elizabeth warren in condemning the attacks of brutality on peaceful protesters.