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Houston’s Nigerian community joins #EndSARS movement

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Houston’s Nigerian community joins #EndSARS movement


HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) — Africa’s most populous nation is seeing the most unrest it has seen in years.

“It was so sad. They killed people and unfortunately, the kids who were protesting. They were innocent,” Houstonian and march organizer Tunde Aogo said.

Oct. 20, 2020 will forever be etched in the mind of Nigerians and Nigerian Americans.

That’s when soldiers fired on young, peaceful protestors without warning, killing 12. They were standing up against the way the Special Anti-Robbery Squad has been treating citizens. In the 1990’s, the Nigerian government formed SARS to fight crime.

However, some members of the police unit have recently gone rogue and are harassing citizens, asking for money, and allegedly, if they don’t get what they want – sexually assaulting and killing people, according to Amnesty International.

SEE ALSO: Nigeria says ‘many lives have been lost’ in days of unrest

“They can pull you over for whatever reason, ask you for a bribe. 50 Naira, which is not even up to two dollars. If you don’t have it, they molest you, they do whatever. It’s been ongoing,” Houstonian and march organizer Sylvia Okoroafor said.

What’s happening there is affecting Nigerians here in Houston, which is home to one of the largest Nigerian population in America.

Mayor Sylvester Turner stood in solidarity at city hall. In west Houston, people gathered for a march to lend their support to those back home.

“We need the people of the world to look at Nigeria and join us in this march. Join us in raising your voices. Please. We need help. We need help. We need help,” Mayor Turner said.

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You don’t have to be African or a Black American to care about what’s happening on that continent. Protest organizers encourage everyone of every race to stand up for what’s right and condemn what’s wrong, which is abusing citizens.

“This is an oppression. True oppression,” Aogo said.

Another protest is happening Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. in the Fingerlickin’ parking lot on Bissonnet and one on Oct. 25 at 1 p.m. in front of Amala Zone restaurant at 14815 Westheimer.

Follow Erica Simon on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.

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