• 2020-12-10

According to BBC News, prominent Black Lives Matter activists and celebrities, which includes Alicia Keys, Greta Thunberg, Opal Tometi, and others have called on President Buhari and the Nigerian government seeking justice over the treatment of people during the #ENDSARS protests against police brutality. The group is also urging the government to be transparent in the investigation of the alleged killing of protesters by armed forces.

"We cannot stay silent. Witnesses say they saw soldiers open fire on protesters at a toll gate in the wealthy Lagos suburb of Lekki on 20 October. It followed weeks of protests, which began against the now-disbanded, much-hated police unit, the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (Sars), but then morphed into greater calls for better governance. In the midst of a global pandemic, your people sought to bring peace and justice to their land, and they made Africa and its diaspora proud in doing so, yet their peaceful requests were met with state-sanctioned violence and suppression, as your administration meted out unwarranted force against its own unarmed citizens," wrote the group in a letter organized by #BlackLivesMatter movement co-founder Opal Tometi. This action by the movement is timely as it coincides with International Human Rights Day.

"As people who have supported the Black Lives Matter movement in the United States and throughout the diaspora, we cannot be silent when similar atrocities take place in African countries. We demand respect for the Nigerian people, especially as they engage in their constitutional right to protest grave injustices,” the letter further stated.

Celebrated personalities such as Kerry Washington, Danny Glover, Mark Ruffalo, as well as writers Afua Hirsch, Reni Eddo-Lodge, and Naomi Klein also added their signatories in support of the action by the group.

Photo: Michael Muller, NBC - Getty Images