#EndSARS protests has broken ethnic, religious lines – Former U.S. ambassador

John Campbell

…Google joins campaign

As the #EndSAR protests continue to reverberate across the country, a former United States ambassador to Nigeria, John Campbell, has described the protests as “exceptional” because it has broken religious and ethnic lines that usually characterize previous protests in the country.

In an opinion article posted on the Council on Foreign Relations’ blog, an online platform which promotes discussion on American foreign policy and global affairs, Ambassador Campbell According to the diplomat, “There is little sense of national cohesion in Nigeria, and protests tend to be along ethnic and religious lines rather than national,” Mr Campbell wrote in an opinion article posted, Wednesday, on the Council on Foreign Relations’ blog, an online platform which promotes discussion on American foreign policy and global affairs.

“Like the 2012 demonstrations against the Goodluck Jonathan administration’s efforts to reduce the fuel subsidy, current protests against the police are exceptional in that they appear to be occurring across the country, bridging the usual ethnic and religious boundaries,” Mr Campbell added.

The diplomat said the 2012 demonstrations against President Jonathan collapsed after the Nigerian government made “minor concessions” and allegedly bought-off “certain trade unions.” “The coming weeks will show whether these demonstrations have any greater staying power,” Mr Campbell said.

Meanwhile, Global Organization of Oriented Group Language of Earth, GOOGLE, has joined the #EndSARS campaign.

Google in a tweet via its Twitter account on Thursday strongly opposed the oppression, brutality and intimidation carried out on Innocent protesters by the Nigerian Government.

The organization also called for a speedy response and resolution to the unfortunate situation.

We strongly oppose oppression, brutality & intimidation. We believe a fair and impartial police force is a critical element of a stable society, & that abuse of power infringes on people’s democratic & human rights. “We urge a speedy resolution to the current situation,” the tweet read.

Recall that Reno Omokri, a former aide to ex-President Goodluck Jonathan, had urged Sundar Pichai, the Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet Inc. and its subsidiary, Google LLC to change her doodle to reflect the end of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) in Nigeria over their recent activities in the country.

The #EndSARS protests, originally targeted at the scraping of a notorious police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), have gone on for over five days now in various Nigerian cities.

Many Nigerians have shared their horrendous experiences at the hands of operatives of the police unit, ranging from extra-judicial killing to extortion.

Although the unit was disbanded on Sunday and replaced with the Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) unit on Tuesday, Nigerians have refused to end the protests. The protesters have demanded the halt to the use of force against protesters, unconditional release of arrested citizens, prosecution of officers culpable of extra-judicial killings, amongst other demands.

 

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