Step up and act on Nigeria situation-Ramaphosa told

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Bongani Siziba

South African political parties have called on President Cyril Ramaphosa, who is also the African Union chairperson, to step up and speak on the situation in Nigeria by raising the matter with the United Nations’ (UN) Security Council.

The Economic Freedoms Fighters (EFF) took it a step further by sending a solidarity message to the protestors.

Nigeria has seen widespread protests over the last fortnight as the country’s citizens, under the #ENDSARS, demand an end to police brutality committed by the police force’s Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

The protests this week took a nasty turn after police officers and the army opened fire killing and injuring some protestors.

On Wednesday, Nigerians in South Africa joined growing #ENDSARS protests.

Nigeria’s SARS was set up in 1984 to combat rising crime and kidnappings but since then, Amnesty International says the unit is responsible for 82 cases of torture of civilians.

Speaking during a march in Pretoria this week, Nigerian premier in South Africa Nduka Udemezue said SARS is was dangerous to the society and police force because of its extreme aggression.

“We are calling for the total dissolution of that unit and we demand prosecution. Therefore, we are marching in solidarity wit our people at home.

“We are also calling on the army to stop killing their brothers and sisters. Don’t kill the youths, don’t engage in violence with unarmed peaceful demonstrators,” said Udemezue.

“We say to the Nigerian government, end corruption, end police brutality and all the ills in the Nigerian society. As youth, we deserve change and change must come,” another protestor Chucks Okoye said.

Other protestor also labelled Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari a murder demanding that he must go.

Across the world, celebrities have also sent messages of support with some of them taking to Twitter to show their solidarity.

On Tuesday Nigeria’s authorities announced a 24-hour curfew, which was followed by solders shooting dead two protestors that evening leaving many others injured. The Nigeria army has since denied its involvement in the shootings.

Meanwhile, United States presidential candidate Joe Biden and former secretary of state Hilary Clinton have criticised the Nigerian government’s response to the demonstrations by tweeting #SENDSARS;

The Nigerian government said it was investigating the killings

At least 10 people have died since the beginning of the protests two weeks ago.

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