Protests against the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS) in Nigeria began after a video surfaced of a man being killed by police. The protests have been held by the End Special Anti-Robbery Squad (EndSARS) social movement, which started in 2017, with people coming together through Twitter to oppose SARS Nigeria, a unit of the Nigerian Police Force. The group is calling for the abolition of the unit and the end to police oppression and brutality in the country.
Celebrities worldwide have voiced their support for the #EndSARS campaign. Nigerian artistes such as Tiwa Savage, Runtown, Falz, and DJ Spinall are among those who have come out to put an end to SARS brutality in Nigeria – and they have even participated in the protests. Others like Naomi Campbell, Viola Davis, and Drake have supported the movement online, using social media to shine a light on the brutality by SARS Nigeria.
Celebrities supporting the EndSARS campaign
The celebrities who have openly supported the campaign include:
1. Tiwa Savage
Tiwa Savage is among the celebrities who have taken part in the protests.
“I don’t really think I have a choice, it’s something I have to do because everybody is affected by this,” Tiwa Savage said. “We have to do something, we are tired. Enough is enough. We have to value life, young lives in Nigeria, we have to speak up.”
The Nigerian singer has also taken part in the protests.
Speaking at the protest, Falz said:
We are here to let our intention to be known that we do not want Sars anymore. They come with all sort of stories about reform what they are allowed and what they are not allowed to do but it is about time to completely abolish sars, that is why we are here.
4. Burna Boy
Burna Boy took to Twitter on Saturday (Oct. 10) and shared a letter expressing his support for the movement and calling for the authorities to abolish the unit.
Additionally, the African Giant artist launched the Project Protect initiative to provide financial and legal assistance to those arrested at the protests. He also put up billboards across Nigeria to spread word of the movement.
On Sunday, October 11, 2020, Canadian rapper, Drake took to his Instagram stories where he re-shared a post from Grace Ladoja calling for Nigerians in the UK to join an #EndSARS protest at the Nigeria High Commission in London.
6. Trey Songz
Trey Songz voiced his support for the people of Nigeria on Twitter writing,
After doing a little research I would like to speak out against what’s going on in Nigeria right now. Their pleas to #EndSarsNow IS VERY REAL. I have so much love for my Nigerian fans and it’s so hurtful to hear whats happening.
“Police brutality here in America often is an abuse of power-driven by race. To be brutalized, extorted, and murdered by your own people is unimaginable. Prayers up and I’m researching ways I can help. #EndSARS.”
Davido is one of the Nigerian celebrities who have been very vocal about the EndSARS campaign. The Assurance hitmaker, on Sunday (11th October) morning, joined other protesters on the streets of Abuja as the protests continued in parts of the country.
On Monday (12th October), he met with the Inspector General of Police, Muhammadu Adamu, over the ongoing #EndSARS protests. In the Monday meeting, Davido raised the need for adequate training and psychological re-evaluation of members of the police unit.
“The new Police Act which they just signed even before the #EndSARS protest emphasised psychological evaluation and re-training of officers…What we are saying is that the ones that commit these offences, charge them and those that did not, still re-train them,” Davido said in a crowded room with the police boss.
8. Chance The Rapper
Chance The Rapper, like other celebrities, called for an end to the special police unit in the country.
9. Estelle Fanta Swaray
British singer Estelle tweeted:
“This if For my continent. For my relatives!!!! For humanity. Cannot continue this every day everywhere!!!! #EndSarsNow,”
10. Nasty C
Nasty C slammed the police for the crimes they have committed in the country.
“World is f*cked up & the people that are supposed to serve & protect are often the biggest problem smh. #EndSARS,” he tweeted.
11. Kojo Ebro
American radio personality Kojo Ebro advised the Nigerian government to fix the menace created by men of the special police unit, SARS.
12. Kanye West
US rapper Kanye West also joined the growing list of international celebrities speaking out in support of large protests against SARS harassment in Nigeria.
13. Rio Ferdinand
Professional footballer Rio Ferdinand tweeted,
Another day of traumatic scenes in Nigeria…Sending My Love To Everyone Affected…#EndSARS
14. John Boyega
British-Nigerian actor John Boyega launched a series of tweets calling for change and attention to the “pressing problem”. He also retweeted multiple tweets in support of the protests.
15. Kirk Franklin
American gospel singer Kirk Franklin, using a photo of one of the Nigerian protesters, issued a message of support on Instagram:
“For over 20 years, Nigeria stood with me, now I stand with you. #endsarsnow.”
16. Mr Eazi
Over the weekend, the Nigerian diaspora community also organized protests in solidarity with their counterparts at home.
Mr Eazi attended the diaspora protest in London. Mr Eazi, addressing the crowd with a microphone, said that he had personally been stopped and harassed by SARS officers. Mr Eazi said,
“None of us are safe if we continue to stay in the comfort of our homes allowing people to speak and say it does not affect them,”
Wizkid, in a series of tweets, called on Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari to focus on issues affecting the country and youths instead of matters in America.
In a separate tweet, he also called on the Lagos State governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to do something about the SARS threat.
This was a response to the governor’s tweet about his commitment to keeping Lagos safe for all.
Wizkid also attended the diaspora protests in London, whose aim was to encourage the diaspora community in England to financially support protesters in Nigeria so that they can keep their protests running.
He tweeted, saying,
On his official IG page, the celebrity wrote,
My brother @burnaboygram called me and let me know what is going on in Nigeria and it breaks my heart. I’ll help in anyway I can. This fight we are in is a global one. Our path forward is through unity. #ENDSARS ✊
20. Sandra Ezekwesili
Sandra Ezekwesili, a Nigerian broadcast journalist, also joined the discussion and urged people to keep protesting.
21. DJ Cuppy
Florence Ifeoluwa Otedola, also known as DJ Cuppy, stood behind the movement, tweeting:
22. Big Sean
American rapper Big Sean, on his Twitter page, said:
“Love to Nigeria, Nigerian roots!!! #EndSarsNow “
23. Cardi B
Grammy-winning rapper Cardi B had earlier on enquired for more information on the protest:
“What’s going ? Can you give me a summary so I can research later.”
The rapper added, alongside a Nigerian flag emoji:
“you know I love Nigeria”
24. Lil Baby
American rapper Lil Baby tweeted the #EndSARS hashtag.
25. Tammy Abraham
Chelsea F.C striker Tammy, who has Nigerian heritage, tweeted:
“Dear Nigeria #EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality”
26. Marcus Rashford
Manchester United striker Marcus Rashford has also added his voice to those calling for an end to the activities of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Rashford replied to Tammy Abraham’s tweet, adding:
“My thoughts and prayers with all of those affected.”
27. Mesut Ozil
The Arsenal footballer tweeted,
“Horrible to hear what’s been going on in Nigeria. Let’s make this a trending topic everywhere. #EndSARS – My thoughts go out to everyone who has been affected.”
28. Paul Pogba
Pogba posted on his page,
“I stand with my Nigerian brothers and sisters to end police brutality, the government must answer to the peoples cries #EndPoliceBrutalityinNigeria.”
29. DJ Spinall
On 4th October 2020, he tweeted,
30. Mercy Eke
In a tweet, she wrote,
The musician posted a video on Twitter, captioned,
It’s about time #EndSARS @MBuhari @ProfOsinbajo for how long
32. Peter Okoye
His 4th October tweet read,
Who did we offend? @MBuhari & @ProfOsinbajo How many more people do you want them to kill before you act as a commander in chief? #EndSARS
In a tweet, Olamide wrote,
Police brutality is sky rocketing by the day And the nigeria gov. Is not deaf nor blind, they see all the trends and tag along with whichever one they like. You don’t have to like this one to do right thing. The hashtags are becoming tiring. The people are sick of it.
34. Don Jazzy
Going as far as changing his Twitter username to #ENDPOLICEBRUTALITY, the entertainer” also tweeted,
They are doing more of killing us than protecting us. You have lost control of your men. Take these touts in uniforms off our streets. #EndSarsNow
35. Yemi Alade
The songstress tweeted,
I know you see these tweets …. you can monitor bigbrother from Government House….. oya #EndSARS now, innocent Nigerian Youths are being killed everyday.
36. Yvonne Orji
I’m proud of, and support the youth in Nigeria who are taking a stand to end police violence at home. Enough is enough. You can’t inflict the same crime you’ve been hired to protect against. #Ozugo! #EndSARs ✊✊
37. Jackie Aina
She has also voiced her support for the #EndSARS movement, tweeting,
it’s late on this side of the world but a lot of my followers in Nigeria are going to early morning protests today, please please be safe #SARSMUSTEND #SARSMUSTENDNOW
38. Naomi Campbell
On her official IG page, the actress wrote,
@muhammadubuhari Nigeria is the most populous country in Africa with one of the largest populations of youth in the world!! One of the Leading emerging markets in the world , but who makes this , is our young generation , Nigeria LEAD by EXAMPLE !! , we are BETTER than this @muhammadubuhari ! OUR YOUTHS ARE OUR FUTURE !! #ENDSARS #endpolicebrutality ❤️ #NAOMIAFRICA
39. Viola Davis
Viola Davis took to Instagram, where she posted a series of photos explaining the current situation in Nigeria, followed with the caption,
Praying for Nigeria!
40. Ms Tina Lawson (Beyoncé’s Mum)
On her official Instagram page, she wrote,
SARS is beyond Police brutality!!!!! It Stands for the “Special Anti-Robbery Squad “ but Is a bed of corruption , racism, harassment and brutality . EndSars is a social movement by the people of Nigeria! Support by reposting please!!!!!! Bring awareness !!! #sarsmustend I have word that it has been dismantled. How could the government let this go on ? The people are saying they would brutalize and kill their youth for having nice cars , jewelry or a cell phone !!! Please repost or post about it keep it in the press as much as possible!
41. Stefflon Don
The songstress expressed her support for the movement on IG, writing,
If This Is Nigerias Problem Then It Is Ours Too. ✊ I would Like To Know What What The Government Is Doing About This ??? #ENDSARS #F*ckTheSystem
42. City Girls
The American hip hop duo had a simple demand,
Popcaan took to his Instagram account on Tuesday (13th October) to share a prayerful message for his many fans in Nigeria, assuring them that he was aware of their plight.
“To my fans in Nigeria I just want all of you to know that my prayers are with you during this tough time, keep the faith and stay strong, prayers up for my Nigerian brothers and sisters,”
Dancehall act Kranium also expressed his support for the people of Nigeria and called for people to not be silent on the matter.
45. Morgan Heritage
Morgan Heritage tweeted, saying,
Sarkodie came under criticism for being silent while global and local celebrities have supported protesters in their fight against Special Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
Sarkodie broke his silence on Monday night after pressure from fans on Twitter. He reacted to a video of the singer Oxlade.
47. Celine Dion
After reading about what is going on in Nigeria, Celine Dion said that her heart is melting for Nigeria.
Adding her voice to the ongoing protest, the celebrated R&B singer tweeted:
“My heart is melting after reading what is going on in Nigeria…#EndSARS #EndPoliceBrutality”.
48. Regina Daniels
The actress is one of the celebrities supporting the #EndSARS movement in Nigeria. She recently posted an #EndSARS poster on her Instagram page.
The vibrant singer, in solidarity with the movement, did the big chop by shaving off his signature dreadlocks.
The Dumebi crooner took to his Twitter page to show off his new hair-cut with the caption:
“Dreads don’t mean I’m a criminal #EndSARS”
On Sunday (Oct. 11), it was announced that Nigeria dissolved the special police force at the center of protests against police brutality.
The government said a special presidential directive ordered the immediate dissolution of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS).
A tweet was sent out on Sunday from the Nigerian President Muhammadu Buhari’s account announcing the news. The tweet read,
“PRESIDENTIAL DIRECTIVE: The Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) of the Nigeria Police Force @PoliceNG has been dissolved WITH IMMEDIATE EFFECT. The Inspector-General of Police will communicate further developments in this regard,”
Following the announcement, the presidency also said the officers from the unit will now be assigned to a different task force.
“All officers and men of the now defunct Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS) are to be redeployed with immediate effect. A new policing arrangement to address anticipated policing gaps the dissolution of SARS will cause is being worked on and will be announced by @PoliceNG.”
The EndSARS movement has successfully achieved the dissolution of the Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS), but as stated by Davido, there is a need for adequate training and psychological re-evaluation of members of the police unit.
IGP Mohammed Adamu said the scrapped unit is now replaced with another tactical team known as SWAT. The decision came on the heels of multiple protests against the manifold atrocities of the police operatives.