Youths Protest Against Northern Banditry and SARS in Zaria


Written by Editorial Staff

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October 12, 2020

Protests erupted in Zaria, Kaduna state as youths protest against banditry killings in the North. The protesters numbering over 60 under the guise of #EndNorthBanditry and #EndNorthBanditryNow protested in the popular Red Onions in PZ demanding an end to the incessant killings in the region.

The protest started at around 12:30 pm, even though some of the protesters have been there since 10 am. The meeting point was the popular Red Onions. The protesters chanted solidarity songs and demand for an end to the Northern Killings and Police Brutality going on across the Nation.

Some of the protesters demanding an end to #NorthernKillings

The #EndNorthBanditry seemed to gain traction after the banning of notorious SARS. The trend #EndNorthBanditry and #EndNorthBanditryNow hashtags have been trending at various times on the social media platform, Twitter.

The latest development in the #EndNorthBanditry and #EndNorthBanditryNow is the protest in Zaria, Kaduna. This happened as over 60 citizens gathered in PZ area of Sabon Gari to protest the endless killings in the North and demand for it to stop among other things.

According to one of the protesters, Comrade Umar Ibrahim, the protest is against the injustice in Nigeria. ” An average Nigerian citizen doesn’t have rights in the country. That is why we are here protesting against police brutality, and killings in Northern Nigeria,” he said. “If you remember, back in 2015, President Buhari mockingly asked what is Boko Haram? Now the situation has worsened. Apart from the menace of Boko Haram, the region is also suffering from kidnappings, banditry, and incompetence of the Nigerian Police Force” he added. Also, the Comrade believed scrapping SARS is only the start as there is a need for a total reform of the Nigerian Police Force. He urged all youths and protesters to stay united and focused.

One of the protesters— Hassan Sanders— however, believed scrapping the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) is the wrong move. According to Sanders, Northern states face a lot of security and SARS can be of help. ” SARS has contributed immensely to improve the security situation in the country. SARS officers are one of those patroling on the Kaduna- Abuja highway. You can hardly travel 2-3km without seeing a Police checkpoint. With the banning of SARS, others will now come out to commit unethical behaviors.” The activist believed the decision to ban SARS can be reversed by the Government. He also urged all protesters to protest peacefully without vandalism or destruction of properties.

It can be recalled that a group Arewa Youth Consultative Council wrote a letter supporting #SARS. Many #ProSARS protests were also organized in Sokoto, Zamfara, and Katsina— the worst states hit by banditry in the North. These actions were well denounced by many well-meaning citizens of the North.

The #EndNorthBanditry and #EndNorthBanditryNow protests were well attended including by numerous important personalities and social influencers. The likes of The protest is the latest twist in the protests erupting in the country. Celebrities and popular Kannywood actors in the region have been criticized for not speaking enough against the killings, like their counterparts in the South.

Related: The Challenges Facing Kannywood

However, the likes of Sals Fateetee, Dj AB, Morell, Ali Jita and others have been supporting the activities of protesters online and bringing public attention to the protests.

With the raging #Endsars protests going on in social media, President Muhammadu Buhari finally in a short video clip promised the total reform of the Nigerian Police Force. This followed the declaration by the IGP of the disbanding of the Special Anti Robbery Squad and the subsequent deployments of its personnel. However, this doesn’t seem to appease Nigerians, as protests continue in major cities such as Lagos, Ibadan, Ogbomosho.

While this isn’t the first time such protest was held against the killings in the North as similar were organized in Zamfara and Katsina, this has by far been the most ferocious. The citizens seemed angry and fed up by the inactions in killings. It can be recalled while the proclamation of SARS is being announced, gunmen attacked and killed 15 people in Kidandan and Kadai villages of Giwa Local Government in Kaduna.

Some of the personalities who attended the #EndNorthBanditry and #EndNorthBanditryNow protests included Aliyu Kwarbai, Capt_Sheshi, Unscramz, Zahara BabanKumbo, Moha_shirts, and representative(s) of the Arewa Consultative and Synergy Congress. The protest was set to be the first among many, as many others are set to follow both in the city and other Northern Nigerian states.

Meanwhile, follow our Social Media handles MessageArewa on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Linkedin for more stories on Northern Nigeria as they happen.

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