With Nigerians not backing down on protests for the reform of the police force and total disbandment of the Special Anti- Robbery Squad(SARS), there are speculations that the government might shut down the internet.
Six days ago, a video of a fatal police shooting of a Nigerian man, sparked outrage and reignited a public call for the total dissolution of the controversial police unit in the country.
The video caused large numbers of Nigerians including celebrities, politicians, and activists calling for justice using hashtags such as #WarOnSars, #EndSars, and #SarsAlert #SARSMUSTEND.
With celebrities adding their voice to the #EndSARS campaign, it jumped to the top of global trend on Twitter and drew international support from celebrities and soccer stars like Kanye West, Trey Songs, Mesut Ozil and Marcus Rashford.
Nigeria’s superstars, Wizkid and Falz who are also part of this generation of protesters, have been physically present in London and Abuja protests.
The protests against the police have largely been organised on social media, fuelled by citizens sharing their experiences of police abuses and videos of brutal incidents, including the beating of civilians and the firing of live ammunition at protesters.
The campaign moved from social media to the streets of Nigeria, with protesters demanding an end to the rogue police unit and wholesome police reform.
However, the protesters are not relenting despite the dissolution of the notorious police squad but have continued to protest noting the government’s ineffectual promises of police reforms and investigations in the past.
The campaigners have also been able to organise funds to cater to their welfares during protest using digital payment platforms.
But there are now speculations that the Nigerian government may shut the protesters up by shutting down the internet since the surreptitious move to divide the protesters have failed.
Active protesters on and off social media have said unknown numbers have been calling to threaten them to back off.
Moreover, Feminist Coalition, a pro-#EndSARS women group, said its bank account has been deactivated.
“For demanding an end to police brutality we are now under attack,” the group said on Twitter on Tuesday.
Nigerians are however speculating that the government in order to mute the campaign may clampdown on social media like its counterparts in other African countries have done in the past.
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