#EndSARS: Protesters return to streets in Abuja

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“The change we want will not be forged on the negotiation table; it will be formed on the streets.”
A small band of #EndSars protesters regrouped on Sunday, in an attempt to revive the protests that rocked the nation in October.

They first occupied parts of the departure and arrival halls at Nnamdi Azikiwe International Airport in Abuja, before moving on to the Police Headquarters in the center of town.

The group painted the #EndSARS hashtag in bold red letters at both locations and chanted various slogans, including End SWAT Now – a reference to the newly formed tactical unit that has replaced the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).

Raphael Adebayo, one of the protesters, argued that the change protestors want “will not be forged on the negotiation table; it will be formed on the streets” – a reference to President Muhammadu Buhari’s calls for youths to end their protests and join the government at the negotiation table.

Another prominent voice among the group was the founder of the Revolution Now movement, Omoyele Sowore, who was among the first people to launch the #EndSARS protests in early October.

When contacted by the PREMIUM TIMES for a comment on why the relatively small group was back on the streets protesting, Mr Sowore said that there was still a need to protest against the issues of bad governance and police brutality.

He said this was not a symbolic protest and that the aim of protesters on Sunday was to relaunch the #EndSARS protest.

Some social media users were quick to comment on their approval of the protesters, while others condemned the use of Mr Sowore’s Revolution Now hashtag. When asked for his reaction to these comments, Mr Sowore told this reporter that “everyone is entitled to their own opinion”.

The event itself did not go without incident, as a video posted on Mr Sowore’s Twitter account shows a heated argument between several of the protesters and security operatives, who attempted to move them along – though it ended peacefully.

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