Nigeria police order riot units to deploy nationwide

Wednesday October 21 2020

Nigerian police officers fire teargas at protesters during a demonstration to press for the scrapping of Special Ant-Robbery Squad (SARS) on the Abuja-Keffi Expressway on October 19, 2020. PHOTO | AFP


Nigeria's police chief ordered the nationwide deployment of anti-riot officers as protests sparked by brutality by law enforcement spiralled out of control. 

A police spokesman said in a statement that anti-riot officers were being dispatched "to protect lives and property of all Nigerians and secure critical national infrastructure across the country". 

Protests against police violence in Nigeria show no sign of stopping as thousands continue to take to the streets despite announcements of reforms by the government.

The demonstrations erupted this month and were initially focused on abolishing the federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS), accused of unlawful detention, extortion and extra-judicial killings.

But after the government announced the unit would be dissolved, thousands of mainly young protesters have remained out on the streets pushing for genuine change in the country.