President Muhammadu Buhari’s special assistant on digital and new media, Tolu Ogunlesi, has advised the Nigerian police force to distribute water and face masks to the #ENDSARS protesters.
“Police that should be handing out face masks and bottled water to peaceful protesters… The response to police brutality is not further police brutality.” Tolu Ogunlesi tweeted.
This follows reports of the police’ brutality to the protesters.
Olu Onemola, a community organiser who previously worked as an aide in Nigeria’s senate, says he and his cousin were arrested by police on their way to joining the protest in the capital, Abuja
They were “pushed into the back of a pickup” before later giving a statement and being released, he adds.
One protester shared a video on Twitter in which he claimed police was “shooting” at protesters.
Others say tear gas and gunfire have been used to force peaceful protesters away – though the footage and photos posted on social media cannot be independently verified.
The protests follow come amidst growing anger against the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad.
It has been accused of extortion, intimidation, torture and killings.
The Inspector-General of Police issued a directive stopping SARS and other tactical squads from routine duties—traffic checks, road blocks, stop and search.
The directive also stops them from performing any duties in mufti.
Several state commands have issued directives to look out for officers
But protesters are calling for SARS to be completely scrapped.