Hundreds of youth in Ekiti State have joined the campaign against the excesses of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), the police squad known for its human rights abuses and extra-judicial killings.
The protest to #EndSARS started on Friday with the youth converging at Fajuyi Pavilion, Ado-Ekiti.
As of this afternoon, the protesters have blocked the popular Fajuyi Road leading to the state government office at Ado-Ekiti.
PREMIUM TIMES also gathered that early this morning there was a prayer walk in the state capital, Ado-Ekiti.
Protests began across the country last week as politicians, singers, activists and other Nigerians called for the total disbandment of the notorious police unit.
The protest also trended on social media, drawing support from prominent individuals and groups across the globe.
Speaking to one of the protesters who pleaded for anonymity, he said he joined the protest to see an end to police brutality and killings.
He demanded justice for those who have lost their lives to police killings in the state.
“All we have been doing since yesterday is to lend our voices to bring an end to police brutality, killings and extortions in Ekiti State.
“We are no longer safe in this state again as police officers are always extorting us claiming we are yahoo yahoo. I am a legit business person and I have never for once engaged in duping people.
“We are not just after ending SARS but we want justice for people who have died because of police killings.
“Last year a police officer killed two students in FUOYE (Federal University Oye Ekiti) during a peaceful protest and nothing was done to it by the police or the government. We want justice.”
Fayemi addresses protesters
While addressing the protesters on Friday, the governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi promised to set up a panel to investigate human rights abuses by the disbanded police squad in the state.
According to a post made available on Ekiti State Government’s Twitter page on Friday, “Governor of Ekiti State, Kayode Fayemi this morning addressed #EndSARS protesters, in Ado-Ekiti, where he disclosed plans to set up a panel to investigate human rights abuses by the disbanded police squad.
“The Governor who was billed to present the State of the State address at the House of Assembly, by 11.00 am, delayed the event by an hour to join the protesters at the Fajuyi area of the state capital, where he addressed them for about 30 minutes & answered their questions after listening to their grievances.
“The Governor told the protesters mainly youths that the government has acceded to their five-point demands, urging them not to allow their peaceful protest turn riotous.
“Governor Fayemi also urged the youths who have experienced rights abuse by SARS operatives, to bring such cases to the panel of enquiry when it commences sitting.
“Dr. Fayemi assured the protesting youths of his support and that of his colleagues in the Nigeria Governors’ Forum @NGFSecretariat for their demands, which he described as legitimate.”
Nigerians across the globe have taken to streets and online since last week to protest against the highhandedness of the rogue SARS unit of the police force.
There have been protests in Lagos, Abuja, Anambra, Abia, Ibadan, Kwara, Ebonyi, Ibadan, and other states across Nigeria.
The police unit was dissolved on Sunday but protesters have continued demanding reform of the Nigeria Police to end extrajudicial killings by police officers.
The protesters say the actions and promises made by the government are not enough.