Learning from #Endsar experience

#Endsars was a social campaign that started sometimes in 2017 via Twitter handle against overbearing violation and brutality of citizens especially young people/youths by Nigeria Police Force through it department known as - Special Anti Robbery Squad (SARS).

In October 2020, the social media campaign had gather momentum, galvanizing into a social movement and protest in streets of most major cities in Nigeria, calling for the scraping of SARS by youths. SARS was then disbanded but the Government used force on citizens to quench their demands resulting into more rights violation, arrests and killings.

Aware that there are ongoing rights violations at community levels by self help/community based security outfits, known as Community Joint Task Force (C-JTF) operating as non state security actors. We may be sitting on a dynamite without knowing just like in #Endsar episode.

But being proactive than reactive as human right defenders at grassroot, we organized a one day sensitization of “knowing human rights of citizens” to C-JTF, in nexus to the good works they are doing and in line with SDG16.

Almost all participants never saw how the constitution of Nigeria looks like before now, none have read it before, while all never attended any training on citizen rights, nor knew what human rights are before the workshop.

At the end of the training, participants testified how relevant respect to human rights in their community can help them do more and even have community buy-in given that security is everyone’s business.

This we can scale although for now is self funded. Play the simple part and help shape communities for good. Be an active citizen.

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