The Nigerian army has issued a warning to “subversive components and bother makers” to desist after every week of protests about police brutality.
The federal government has additionally banned protests within the capital Abuja, citing public security measures to deal with Covid-19.
Demonstrations in opposition to police brutality have taken place in cities throughout Nigeria up to now week.
The protests have continued regardless of authorities agreeing to disband the Particular Anti-Theft Squad (Sars).
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The unit has been accused of extrajudicial killings, extortion and torture, particularly of younger folks.
Protesters say that teams of males wielding machetes and different weapons have attacked them over the previous two days, in each Abuja and the nation’s largest metropolis, Lagos.
What did the military say?
Military spokesman Col Sagir Musa mentioned in a Fb submit: “The NA [Nigerian army] hereby warns all subversive components and bother makers to desist from such acts because it stays extremely dedicated to defend the nation and her democracy in any respect price.”
He went on to supply to “help the civil authority in no matter capability to keep up legislation and order and cope with any state of affairs decisively”.
The assertion has been acquired as a veiled risk by protesters, studies the BBC’s Chris Ewokor from Abuja.
Will the military step in?
By Nduka Orjinmo, BBC Information, Abuja
If the president accepts the military’s provide to step in, it means the federal government hasn’t learnt from previous errors – it will be attempting to unravel new issues with previous options that by no means labored earlier than.
Nigeria’s military has a bloody historical past quelling civil disobedience.
The military coming in might make all the pieces that has occurred within the final week – with the deaths of at the very least 10 folks brought on by the protests, and the notoriety of the now disbanded Sars – appear to be kid’s play.
The era main the protests has no expertise of army rule – which led to 1999 – and its brutal repressions of civil disobedience, so it is laborious to know the way they’ll react.
But when there’s something the final week has proven, it’s that this group does not quit simply.
Why are protests in Abuja banned?
By Chris Ewokor, BBC Information, Abuja
The Minister of Nigeria’s Federal Capital Territory Administration says protesters have violated the general public security protocols on Covid-19 and so are endangering the lives of residents.
His spokesman, Abubakar Sani, instructed the BBC that the minister was involved for public well being and security of the inhabitants.
He mentioned that the authorities anticipated the protesters to adjust to the ban, failing which safety brokers can be anticipated implement their compliance.
One of many organisers of the protests in Abuja, Olumide Otitoju, mentioned this type of risk wouldn’t deter them from their peaceable protest to make their lawful calls for as residents.
What are the main points of the assault on the protesters?
On Wednesday, protesters in opposition to police violence in Abuja had been attacked by a gaggle of unidentified males with machetes.
Witnesses mentioned a number of hundred demonstrators had been gathered within the metropolis centre when the assault befell.
One protester mentioned a few of the assailants had later been detained and handed over to the authorities.
There are additionally studies of males with machetes turning up at a protest in Lagos on Thursday.
How did the protests begin?
The protests began following the alleged killing of a younger man by officers from the Sars unit in the beginning of October.
Protesters referred to as for the unit to be disbanded.
The police closed it down and introduced a brand new unit – the Particular Weapons and Ways (Swat) staff.
However protesters rejected the announcement, as many see the modifications as not sufficient to reform the police.
The protests have attracted worldwide consideration – most lately the CEO of Twitter, Jack Dorsey, urged his followers to donate Bitcoin to the organisers.
These working in Nigeria’s tech sector have been outstanding amongst these complaining concerning the actions of Sars officers.
Nigeria superstars Wizkid and Davido have additionally backed the protesters.
What are the accusations in opposition to Sars?
From theft to violent assaults to homicide, folks have been sharing their experiences by the hands of Sars.
Obianuju Iloanya instructed BBC Newsday that her brother Chijioke disappeared eight years in the past after being arrested by Sars officers.
The household was instructed by an officer he had been killed however weren’t proven his physique.
The officers later denied arresting him.
“To date we do not know whether or not he’s alive or not,” Ms Iloanya mentioned.
She instructed the BBC she had joined the protests to get justice for her brother.
“I don’t simply demand for Sars to be ended, I would like accountability, I would like justice. They can’t simply inform us Sars has been ended. We wish closure.”
“It is painful, it isn’t sufficient for us, it does not do something for us as a result of these officers who might need killed these boys are going scot-free with no justice.”
What has the federal government finished?
It has promised to fulfill a number of of the protesters’ calls for.
In addition to banning Sars, President Muhammadu Buhari has promised an “intensive” reform of Nigeria’s police service.
The authorities have additionally vowed to free all these protesters who’ve been detained.
They are saying that every one Sars officers will endure a psychological and medical examination earlier than additional coaching and redeployment, and that Sars officers is not going to be redeployed to the unit set as much as substitute it, the Particular Weapons and Ways (Swat) staff.
Nonetheless, the protesters stay sceptical, mentioning that a number of earlier pledges to abolish or reform Sars weren’t fulfilled.