Speaking to CNN’s Becky Anderson, Nigerian activist Aisha Yesufu said she is horrified by the violent suppression of peaceful protests in Lagos as protesters call for a complete overhaul and reform of the police.
“My reaction is absolute horror – I’m still numb,” Yesufu said. “I can’t believe that our military men turned roulettes on our citizens, and the government decided to hurt young adults – our youth who came out and in peace just to say that they want a right to live. And by coming out they have been killed, and it’s just horror that I am feeling right now.”
Watch the video here: https://edition.cnn.com/videos/tv/2020/10/21/exp-cnni-ctw-nigeria-yesufu.cnn
Yesufu, who helped organize the ‘Bring Back Our Girls’ movement, said there is a “culture of impunity” among the Nigerian police.
“The police will waste you, they will kill you and nothing will happen to them. They will even tell you the president will not be able to do anything. And indeed we have seen this with the youth who are constantly being profiled, who are being killed and who are being maimed, who are being escorted from coming out to make demands of the president and to say to him, stop this killing.”
Yesufu called on the Nigerian government to “stop killing its people” and for the international community to not look away from “this horror being inflicted on the Nigerian people.”
“The Nigerian government needs to stop killing its people and listen to the demands of the youth. They are asking for compensation for victims of police brutality. They want an end to police brutality. They are asking for protesters who have been arrested to be released. They are asking for reform – they are not asking for too much. We are asking them to stop killing the Nigerian people. It’s a crime against humanity. Genocide is happening right now and the world must not look away.”